27 SES 13 A JS, New Materialism in STEM Education
Joint Symposium NW 13 and NW 27
“I remember [the teacher’s] chemical formulas, written with a sharply angular, aggressive handwriting. . . . My confusion when I dutifully copy her formulas. Because copying is exactly what I do. It doesn’t matter how much I look like a small scientist in a white lab-coat and goggles. The chemistry seems hard to understand and I soon give up. (Female preservice primary teacher). For this preservice teacher, the symbolic representation of chemistry disenfranchised her from learning the subject. Chemistry is the study of matter in which the macroscopic behaviour of matter is explained at the sub-microscopic level using, for example, atomic, molecular and kinetic theory and communicated using symbolic levels. However, chemistry education often fails to help learners make connections between chemistry’s macro, micro and symbolic levels (Gabel, 1999). And most chemistry education research, has focused on learners’ conceptual knowledge, rarely engaging with the role of matter and materiality in supporting learners to understand the world from a chemical perspective (Authors, in press). Further, there are limited feminist critiques of chemistry (Authors, 2016) in conjunction with post qualitative research practices can become the means for matter to kick back at chemistry education and explore the entanglement of matter, materiality and gender. This paper will discuss how chemistry education’s research may have a unique position in the discussion about new materialisms in science education through an examination of how humans engage with matter at different levels of representation, in chemistry and gender. As a social construct, gender also has levels of representation such as structural, symbolic, and individual (Harding, 1986; Risman & Davis, 2003). Structures are macro, cutting across and impacting the different sociological levels. And a similar disconnect can occur between gender levels of representation when individuals at a ‘micro’ level are unaware of how the macro structure of gender impacts their learning (Risman & Davis, 2003). The learner can be entangled with molecules at the micro level when observing how changes in chemical bonds may influence matter’s macro properties. And gender comes into play at the sociological individual level, because the human part of this entanglement is subject to the structures that influence knowledge production (Barad, 2007). However, the researcher is not isolated in her ‘entanglement’, the values, emotions, and thoughts are part of the phenomena that is produced when humans and matter are engaged at chemistry’s micro, symbolic and macro levels.
Barad, K. (2007). Meeting the universe halfway: quantum physics and the entanglement of matter and meaning. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. doi: 10.1215/9780822388128 Gabel, D. (1999). Improving teaching and learning through chemistry education research: a look to the future, Journal of Chemical Education, 76 (4), 548 doi: 10.1021/ed076p548. Harding, S. (1986). The science question in feminism. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Risman, B., & Davis, G. (2013). From sex roles to gender structure. Current Sociology. DOI:10.1177/0011392113479315
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
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
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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