Title: New directions in understanding relationships among science learning experiences, science identity and understandings of the nature of science
Time: 12:00-13:30 CET
Abstract: Situated within global socioscientific challenges (e.g., public health, climate change, inequality, poverty) we aim at engaging the audience with questions associated with the role of science education research in promoting goals related to equity and social justice. In doing so, we will first provide a brief overview of the existing knowledge base around science learning experiences, science identity, and understandings of the nature of science. Following on that, and drawing on our experiences as researchers, we will highlight opportunities and challenges of being cognizant of one’s positionality. We will reflect on the ways in which place(s) and the unique sociopolitical realities attached to specific research contexts might position researchers as insiders/outsiders in studying issues related to science learning experiences, science identity, and understandings of the nature of science. We will engage with questions such as: What is our responsibility as researchers, and to whom should our responsibility be? How do our lives intersect (or not) with the lives of the participants and how do those intersections impact the research process and outcomes? In engaging with these questions we will offer concrete examples from our own research studies in the areas of science identity and the nature of science and we will reflect on the affordances and limitations of specific research approaches, theoretical frameworks and methodologies. We will conclude by gazing forward and exploring new directions in understanding relationships among science learning experiences, science identity, and understandings of the nature of science for the purpose of addressing goals related to equity and social justice in science education research.
Renee Schwartz is a professor of science education in the Department of Middle and Secondary Education, Georgia State University. Her research focuses on the study of epistemological views of science, specifically views of the nature of science (NOS) and the nature of scientific inquiry (NOSI). Through primarily qualitative methods, she examines preservice and practicing science teachers’ developing conceptions of NOS and NOSI in various contexts — including authentic science research experiences and classroom-based science learning — to identify effective means of fostering conceptual and pedagogical knowledge.
Lucy Avraamidou is an associate professor of science education at the Institute of Science Education and Communication, University of Groningen, NL. Her research is associated with theoretical and empirical explorations of what it means to widen and diversify STEM participation in school and out-of-school settings through the lens of intersectionality. At the heart of the account of her work is an exploration of minoritized individuals' identity trajectories with the use of narrative and life-history methods.