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Abstract Title: Coupling epistemology and identity in explaining student interest in science
Abstract: A critical goal in science education is to encourage minority students' continued interest and engagement in science (e.g., Bang & Medin, 2010; Basu & Calabrese Barton, 2007).  Here, we provide a case study of an eighth-grade student from Honduras, "Estevan," who first caught our attention in class for his dogged pursuit of trying to figure out how seasons occur on Earth.  We draw on interview and classroom data to demonstrate that what engages Estevan lies at the intersection of epistemology and identity.  Specifically, his epistemological stance toward science as figuring things out for oneself taps into his personal love of challenges, and this love of challenges is tied strongly to his sense of self.  We make the case for conceptualizing personal epistemology as deeply intertwined with aspects of identity, at least for some students, and we draw the implications of this perspective for classroom practice.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Jennifer Richards
University of Maryland, College Park
and Co-Presenter(s)
Luke Conlin, Tufts University
Ayush Gupta, University of Maryland, College Park
Andrew Elby, University of Maryland, College Park