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Abstract Title: Multiple pathways to the development of a physics identity
Abstract: In an ongoing investigation into identity development in upper-level physics students we present three case studies illustrating the relationship between identity development and a students pathway through physics. Sally is a physics minor who gradually transforms into a physicist through her undergraduate research experiences and a developing affinity for physics as a discipline. Bob is a mechanical engineering and physics double major who attests a great affinity for physics but ends up dropping it as a major due to practical career concerns. Larry is a physics major who intends to be a teacher and repeatedly identifies himself a physicist. In this talk we talk about this group of students development in light of a framework which conceptualizes identity as having three integral aspects -- personal, practice, and participation -- by examining both interview and observational data. We conclude that discussions about physics identity development should not be reserved for physics majors.
Abstract Type: Symposium Poster
Targeted Session: Identity Development in Physics

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Paul Irving
Kansas State University
116 Cardwell Hall, KSU
Manhattan, KS 66506-2600
Phone: 7852361779
and Co-Presenter(s)
Eleanor Sayre, Kansas State University