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Abstract Title: Where do physics students come from and what do they become? A look at knowledge and identity pathways through and beyond school experience
Abstract: In this talk, I will present a perspective that conceptualizes learning in cultural practice terms.  Cultural practices are differently 'sized' patterns of interaction among people and things to which people orient and hold each other accountable. Learning then involves coming to participate in these patterns of interaction and undergoing possible changes to body, mind, and identity in the process. Cultural practices are often knotted together to make normative cultural paths, through and around which people traverse specific pathways.
Drawing on a conceptual framework for studying young people's learning pathways toward "becoming" engineers (Stevens et al., 2008), this presentation will examine the knowledge and identity formation processes in everyday physics, physics education, and professional physics. I will consider an additional dimension of importance, how people individually and with cultural support, navigate through sanctioned institutional passage points and rituals. I will use this framework to generate a set of future-looking questions for physics learning and physics education research.
Footnote: Stevens, R., O'Connor, K., Garrison, L., Jocuns, A. & Amos, D. (2008). Becoming an Engineer: Toward a three-dimensional view of engineering learning. Journal of Engineering Education, 97, 355–368.
Abstract Type: Plenary

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Reed Stevens
Northwestern University