27 SES 11 A JS, Science Identities: Methodological considerations within an emerging field of research
Joint Symposium NW 27 and NW 33
Lately, the work on ‘science identities’ has gained a lot of attention within science education research across many European countries (cf. Bøe et al. 2011, Struyf et al. 2017) and a science identities lens has proven to be a valuable tool for understanding how various participants relate to science, and the consequences of this relationship for their choices, interests, aspirations and participation. Examining how individuals negotiate their identification with science, or not, offers a valuable way to study inclusion and exclusion from the discipline which has been associated with and often remains dominated by a narrow social demographic. To date, this research has engaged with gender, ethnicity/‘race’ and social class often taking an intersectional approach (Carlone et al. 2014; Wong 2012). The studies of STEM identities cover contexts from primary education (Archer et al. 2010) to higher education (Gonsalves et al. 2016). In a broad sense, this research is inspired by sociocultural theories of activity and identity, which posit that identity is co-produced with social, cultural and material activities. However, there is a variety of different theoretical and methodological approaches applied within the field. The aim of this workshop is to bring together scholars from Denmark, Sweden and the UK who employ different methodological approaches to studying science identities across different contexts and age groups, for a discussion about the affordances and constraints of these different methodologies and how they can inform one another. As such, the symposium aims to contribute knowledge about how processes of inclusion and exclusions can be studied within a subject-specific domain.
The first presenter will discuss the use of portfolios in researching young people's science identities, exploring how identity performances can be traced through material artefacts that participants of an out-of-school youth tech programme in the UK included to represent their engagement with STEM. The technology-centred artefacts are interpreted as forms of self-representation involving the performance of STEM knowledge, skills and competencies. The second presenter will discuss the different methods involved in a small-scale ethnographic study in the context of Swedish university engineering education (classroom observations, video-recordings of project work, interviews, and video diaries). The third presenter will discuss the affordances of using longitudinal interviewing for understanding students’ choices of higher education in Denmark as something that is constructed and reconstructed over time. The fourth presenter will discuss a mixed methods approach consisting of life history interviewing and quantitative data to understand to identity constitutions of highly successful female scientists in UK biology and physics. The symposium will discuss the learning potential derived from a focus on science identities in general and in particular the knowledge potential embedded in the various methodologies presented, as well as highlight ways forward for research in the field of science education. This places the symposium in the intersection between Networks 27 (Didactics – Learning and Teaching) and 33 (Gender and Education), by focusing on identity research can play as a tool for examining inclusion/exclusion in relation to a specific disciplinary context.
Archer, L., DeWitt, J., Osborne, J., Dillon, J., Willis, B., & Wong, B. (2010). 'Doing' science versus 'being' a scientist: examining 10/11‐year‐old schoolchildren's constructions of science through the lens of identity. Science Education, 94(4), 617-639. Bøe, M. V., Henriksen, E. K., Lyons, T. & Schreiner, C. (2011). Participation in science and technology: young people’s achievement‐related choices in late‐modern societies. Studies in Science Education, 47(1), 37-72. Carlone, H. B., Scott, C. M., & Lowder, C. (2014). Becoming (less) scientific: a longitudinal study of students’ identity work from elementary to middle school science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 51(7), 836-869. Gonsalves, A., Danielsson, A. & Pettersson, H. (2016). Masculinities and experimental practices in physics: The view from three case studies. Physical Review Physics Education Research, 12(2). Struyf, A., Boeve-de Pauw, J. & Van Petegem, P. (2017). ‘Hard science’: a career option for socially and societally interested students? Grade 12 students’ vocational interest gap explored. International Journal of Science Education, 39(17), 2304-2320. Wong, B. (2012). Identifying with science: A case study of two 13-year-old ‘high achieving working class’ British Asian girls. International Journal of Science Education, 34(1), 43-65.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
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Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
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Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
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Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
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Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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