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Walking ethnographies in higher education spaces of physics
Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3407-9007
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education. (UmSER)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3614-1692
Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
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2023 (English)In: ECER 2023: Programme, EERA , 2023Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This presentation draws on the methodological pilot from a new research project focused on in/exclusion in higher education physics and mathematics (PI: last author), illustrating the reciprocal process of theoretical and methodological fine-tuning as the project literally takes its first empirical steps during walking ethnographies in higher education settings. The project explores the paths of students from under-represented groups into the fields of physics and mathematics, and the identities that they build as they engage with these disciplinary areas. We are inspired by socio-material perspectives that consider humans and nonhumans as constantly performed and enacted (de Freitas & Curinga, 2015). In their engagement with the disciplines of physics and mathematics, the students link into socio-historic practices and virtues, learning those through participation (Daston & Gallison 2007). From such a perspective, scientific knowledge can not be separated from the knower. More specifically, Mol (2002) argues that objects and subjects need to be understood as enacted inseparably in the multiple materialized relations of scientific practice. As such, human actors, scientific practices, materialities are all entangled in distributed networks of materialization of practice. Identity can be studied by tracing the assemblages of practice in which bodies, spaces and materials - objects, instruments, artefacts, matter - as well as language as materialities come to be connected (Acton 2017). In order to trace the reciprocity of student identities and scientific materialities we use walking ethnographies to identify configurations of identity that promote students’ successful engagement. In the walking ethnographies students are invited to take the researcher around places of importance to them as physics or mathematics students (e.g. laboratories, lecture halls, social areas, study spaces), focusing on the use of materials in the places (e.g. which objects, materials, instruments are used how and where), how the students experience the places (e.g. as contributing to a sense of belonging or competence, safety and/or insecurity) and their engagement with the room distribution, instruments and other artefacts in these spaces. As such, our methodological pilot seeks to sharpen our ethnographic gaze and our analytical apparatus. In the conference presentation we focus on how the data generated during the walking ethnographies is entangled with our theoretical vantage points, both in the generation and the analysis of the data.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
EERA , 2023.
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
educational leadership
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-214318OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-214318DiVA, id: diva2:1795877
Conference
ECER 2023, Glasgow, UK, August 21-22, 2023
Projects
ImmpactAvailable from: 2023-09-11 Created: 2023-09-11 Last updated: 2023-09-11Bibliographically approved

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Berge, Maria

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Citation style
  • apa
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