Van Eijck, M. & Roth, W.-M. (2009). Authentic science experiences as a vehicle to change students’ orientations toward science and scientific career choices: Learning from the path followed by Brad. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 4, 611–638.
This study aims to answer two questions important to informal science learning: What is “authentic”? And, why do we want students to have authentic science learning experiences? Using ethnographic methods, the authors developed a case study over the course of one year of an Aboriginal student, Brad, who participated in a scientific internship program that included both nature conservation and laboratory work. This study analyzes how Brad’s cultural identity interacted, influenced, and hybridized with the scientific and other practices he participated in during his internship. The paper will be of interest to ISE educators exploring how program experiences interact with identity to encourage expanded participation in STEM.
Brown, B. A., & Kloser, M. (2009). Conceptual continuity and the science of baseball: Using informal science literacy to promote students’ science learning. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 4(4), 875–897.
The formal introduction of learners to scientific phenomena is accompanied by the need to reconcile what they are being taught in classrooms with their informal or pre-existing conceptualizations of the same phenomena. Reconciled formal and informal conceptualizations represent what the authors of this study refer to as “conceptual continuity,” which, they argue, is an important asset for science educators seeking to support students’ conceptual development. In this paper, authors studied the ways in which high-school baseball players expressed their understanding of how curveballs curve using both scientific and everyday language. This study will be of use and interest to ISE educators, who seek to support students’ conceptual continuities across different settings.
DeGennaro, D., & Brown, T. L. (2009). Youth voices: Connections between history, enacted culture and identity in a digital divide initiative. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 4(1), 13–39.
The paper describes how middle school students appropriated and transformed a particular learning experience in an afterschool literacy program in Philadelphia. The learning experience was designed to ensure that urban African-American, middle school girls had access to technology and learned how to use it to create a web page that showcased future career aspirations. The program’s director enlisted the help of male, Caucasian high school students from the suburbs of Philadelphia to facilitate the technology learning experience for the middle school youth (both girls and boys were in the program). The researchers identified a wide range of ways that cultural assumptions were made and projected upon the urban middle school students, and how these middle school students resisted and transformed the program into one where they could explore and communicate their identities within their communities. This paper can draw ISE educators’ attention to the existing resources and strengths that teens from nondominant communities bring to learning experiences.
Furberg, A. & Arnseth, H.A. (2009). Reconsidering conceptual change from a socio-cultural perspective: Analyzing students’ meaning making in genetics in collaborative learning activities. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 4, 157–191.
How do students understand through talk and interaction with their resources? This series of articles reviews conceptual change through social interaction, learning opportunities that support students’ gaining understanding of genetics, and institutional constraints that influence students’ discussions.