Authentic science experiences as a vehicle to change students' orientation towards science and scientific career choices: Learning from the path followed by Brad

M.W. Eijck, van, W.-M. Roth

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    23 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Bringing a greater number of students into science is one of, if not the most fundamental goals of science education for all, especially for heretofore-neglected groups of society such as women and Aboriginal students. Providing students with opportunities to experience how science really is enacted—i.e., authentic science—has been advocated as an important means to allow students to know and learn about science. The purpose of this paper is to problematize how "authentic" science experiences may mediate students’ orientations towards science and scientific career choices. Based on a larger ethnographic study, we present the case of an Aboriginal student who engaged in a scientific internship program. We draw on cultural–historical activity theory to understand the intersection between science as practice and the mundane practices in which students participate as part of their daily lives. Following Brad, we articulate our understanding of the ways in which he hybridized the various mundane and scientific practices that intersected in and through his participation and by which he realized his cultural identity as an Aboriginal. Mediated by this hybridization, we observe changes in his orientation towards science and his career choices. We use this case study to revisit methodological implications for understanding the role of "authentic science experiences" in science education.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)611-638
    JournalCultural Studies of Science Education
    Volume4
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

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