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Abstract Title: Methodologies Using Identity Frameworks
Abstract: As a field, Physics Education Research (PER) has its place in the national initiatives to address the underrepresentation of minority and female students in STEM fields. Questions of how to recruit, retains and have underrepresented students persist in STEM fields leads researchers to explore much more than student performance, into exploring who our students are and how they participate in the sciences. Theories of identity help researchers interpret persistence trends and reasons that correlate with group underrepresentation in the sciences.  In this invited poster symposia we discuss some design challenges such as choosing a theoretical framework of identity that informs the research question and analysis of data. We will also discuss how a design choice reflects the researchers' own beliefs, biases, and perceptions of knowledge and education.
The poster symposia showcase identity theories within communities of practice, physics identity, critical race theory, intersectionality, and qualitative/quantitative data collection within these frameworks.
Abstract Type: Poster Symposium

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Idaykis Rodriguez
Florida International Univeristy
11200 SW 8th Street
Miami, FL 33199
Phone: 305.348.7898

Symposium Specific Information

Discussant: Idaykis Rodriguez
Presentation 1 Title: Making Sense of Different Generalization and Selection Practices in PER
Presentation 1 Authors: Amy D. Robertson, Rachel E. Scherr, and Sarah B. McKagan
Presentation 1 Abstract: In this poster, we will unpack the claim that different ways of generalizing and selecting in PER are tied to different assumptions about knowledge, our social world, and our reasons for knowing it.  In particular, we will compare and contrast the assumptions made by two different research paradigms: what we call case-oriented PER – which seeks to refine and develop theory by linking that theory to cases – and what we call recurrence-oriented PER – which seeks to inform instructional predictions by discerning reproducible, representative patterns and relationships.  We will discuss how the different assumptions instantiated within these two paradigms can help us make sense of differences in generalization and selection practices in PER.
Presentation 2 Title: Development of physics identity in self-concept and practice: analysis of the Learning Assistant experience
Presentation 2 Authors: Eleanor W. Close, Jessica Conn, and Hunter G. Close
Presentation 2 Abstract: The physics department at Texas State University has implemented a Learning Assistant (LA) program in our introductory course sequences. We are interested in how participation in the LA program influences LAs' identity both as physics students and as physics teachers; in particular, how being part of the LA community changes participants' self-concepts and their day-to-day practice. Our analytic lens is a blended theoretical framework informed by the physics identity framework developed by Hazari et al., which relies on self-report of experiences and self-perception; and Lave and Wenger's theory of Communities of Practice, which focuses on the ways in which identity is enacted and negotiated. We describe the two theories and build a correspondence between factors in the physics identity framework and community of practice theory. This blended theory is used to analyze video of LA interviews and written artifacts for evidence of shifts in LA identity.
Presentation 3 Title: Emergent Attitudinal Profiles of Introductory Engineering Students
Presentation 3 Authors: Jacqueline Doyle, Geoff Potvin
Presentation 3 Abstract: Traditionally, education studies that explicitly or implicitly examine differences between normative and non-normative groups have based their analysis by choosing a particular pre-defined normative group (e.g. majority race students), and then draw comparisons against that group. The researcher thus imposes a priori definitions of both what is important and how to group students for comparisons. This can put the research at odds with an intersectional approach to understanding individuals. A quantitative topological data analysis (TDA) allows us to answer research questions in a way that respects the intersectional diversity of the students. Using only quantitative affective data, including a spectrum of attitudes, beliefs and identity measures, but not student demographic information, we allow student responses to form emergent attitudinal profiles that define the normative characteristics of our sample of introductory engineering students.
Presentation 4 Title: Scientific Identity formation in Black women physicists: A methodological approach
Presentation 4 Authors: Katemari Rosa
Presentation 4 Abstract: When we look at underrepresented groups in science, Black women have particular experiences in the field. In this presentation we bring the perspectives of Black women in Physics in regards to the construction of scientific identity. Stemming from notions of identity as performance and using a Critical Race Theory (CRT) framework, we look at scientists' life trajectories to talk about how they develop their identity as physicists. Specifically, we will focus on the methods used to both unveil these narratives and analyze them. First, we will address interviewing as a method to collect data in Physics Education Research (PER). Then, we discuss the use of the qualitative analysis software Atlas.ti to help searching for emergent themes when dealing with interview transcripts as data. In addition, we talk about how qualitative analysis software can be an aid in reducing bias in qualitative research, which is rich and dense with information. With this work, we hope to bring CRT perspectives to the PER community and contribute with discussions around underrepresented groups in Physics.