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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.


Katz, P., McGinnis, J. R., Hestness, E., Riedinger, K., Marbach-Ad, G., Dai, A. & Pease, R. (2011). Professional identity development of teacher candidates participating in an informal science education internship: A focus on drawing as evidence. International Journal of Science Education, 33(9), 1169–1197.

Previous research studies have found that many new teachers feel inadequately prepared to teach science (cf. Kelly, 2000). This situation may be attributable to a number of factors, although the nature of teacher preparation courses is clearly significant. This research describes a teaching training initiative in which teacher candidates are engaged in internships in an afterschool programme. The findings, comprising the teacher candidates’ drawings and interviews, indicate that the experience positively influenced the participants’ professional identity development as science teachers.