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Abstract Title: Our Classrooms as Cultural Systems: An Examination of Social and Cultural Influences in Two Educational Environments
Abstract: This inter-active poster seeks provides case studies of two educational environments, one, a formal introductory college level course that implements several PER-based innovations, the other, an informal afterschool educational program for children 6-18 years old.  Each is considered from two different cultural historical activity theoretic perspectives, which provide the opportunity make sense of both the theory and the educational environments by triangulating among both the theories and the environments. An activity theoretic lens frames the classroom and afterschool program as activity systems where we delineate variation in roles, rules, and distribution of labor surrounding the use of similar tools (physics concepts). A Communities of Practice and Apprenticeship lens frames these environments as allowing or constraining various forms of participation by members both within the classroom community and within the institutional setting.  The authors will share tools that will provide participants and opportunity to apply these perspectives to their own work and compare with our two case studies.
Abstract Type: Targeted Poster
Targeted Session: Broadening Our Lens: Socio-Cultural Perspectives in PER (Part II: communities & social interaction)

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Noah Finkelstein
University of Colorado
and Co-Presenter(s)
Chandra Turpen and Laurel Mayhew, University of Colorado