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Abstract Title: A Community of Practice Approach to Identity Formation
Abstract: Research shows a correlation between physics identity and retention of students. A physics identity is deeply related to perceived self-association with the field. Indicators of identity development are enthusiasm about, connection with members of, and recognition of personal contribution to the discipline. Traditionally, informal programs have been characterized as spaces where participants engage voluntarily and have a sense of agency and autonomy. Furthermore, there are varying practices, people and places involved. For these reasons it can be difficult to study informal spaces. Therefore an intricate framework is necessary that looks at identity as a social construct, highlighting the dependency on socio-cultural environments. We operationalize Wegner's Community of Practice framework to study facilitators' identity formation, adapting it to include the dynamics of identity development and facilitators' positionality within the community. To demonstrate the use of the framework we present analysis of the identity development of facilitators of three informal physics programs.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session III
Poster Number: 3.A2

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Claire Mullen
University College Dublin School of Mathematics and Statistics
Dublin, Non U.S.
and Co-Presenter(s)
Brean Prefontaine, Michigan State University Department of Physics and Astronomy
Kathleen Hinko, Michigan State University, Lyman Briggs College and Department of Physics and Astronomy
Claudia Fracchiolla, University College Dublin, School of Education