Foltz, who earned a degree in math and education May 30, will study the effect that stereotype threats have on female math students in secondary classrooms in Chile.
This will be the second experience abroad for Foltz, who studied in Linfield’s Study Abroad program in Oaxaca, Mexico, as a sophomore.
“Being abroad in Mexico changed every aspect of my life, in a positive way, and I am hopeful that my Fulbright to Chile will have a similar impact,” she said. “My research topic involves my three academic passions — Spanish, math and education. This means that every single one of the skills that I develop in Chile will only help me in my future career.”
Foltz’s research supports a goal of the Chilean Ministry of Education to address underachievement and gender disparity in mathematics. As part of her work, Foltz will administer a math attitude survey to students in grades K-12 to discover any potential gender differences regarding ability and performance. Through interviews and classroom observations, she hopes to identify possible trends in teacher and student behaviors that reinforce or discourage negative educational stereotypes.
“My passion lies in education, especially in helping high school and middle school aged girls become more confident in mathematics,” Foltz said. “My goal in Chile is to learn more about how math is taught, improve my Spanish and identify any negative stereotypes that are preventing girls from equal access to mathematics.”
“Krista is one of 20 Linfield College graduating seniors who have been selected for Fulbright grants since 1999, with four of these students graduating this year,” said Deborah Olsen, competitive scholarships advisor.
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide.