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Coupling epistemology and identity in explaining student interest in science Documents

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Coupling epistemology and identity in explaining student interest in science 

written by Jennifer Richards, Luke Conlin, Ayush Gupta, and Andrew Elby

In this paper, we present the case of Estevan, an eighth-grader from Honduras whose interest in science lies primarily at the intersection of personal epistemology and identity. Drawing on video data from classroom interactions as well as interviews with Estevan and his teacher, Ms. K, we show how Estevan's passionate engagement in sense-making about the seasons arose from an alignment between his epistemological stance that science involves figuring things out for yourself and his enacted identity as someone who faces challenges head-on. We use Estevan's case to highlight the importance of remaining open to the multiplicity of connections that might exist between interest in science and students' identities and to motivate looking deeper into such issues before prescribing how to engage students in science.

Published January 24, 2013
Last Modified July 1, 2013