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ERIC Number: EJ1035283
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 55
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 71
ISSN: ISSN-1050-8406
Engaging Girls' Sociohistorical Identities in Science
Thompson, Jessica
Journal of the Learning Sciences, v23 n3 p392-446 2014
What does it mean for ethnic minority girls, who have historically been marginalized by schools, to "see themselves" in science? Schools fail to create spaces for students to engage their identity resources in the learning of science or to negotiate and enact new science-related identities. This study investigates relationships among identity, engagement, and science discourse and provides a conceptual argument for how and why underserved ethnic minority girls engage in collective identity work, with science learning as a valued byproduct. The primary context for the study was Lunchtime Science, a 4-week lunchtime intervention for girls failing their science courses. There were 4 distinct ways the girls engaged in learning during Lunchtime Science: gleaning content for outside worlds, supporting the group, negotiating stories across worlds, and critiquing science. Each pattern had a signature profile with variations in the sociohistorical narratives used as resources, the positioning of one another as competent learners, and the type of science story critiqued and constructed. These findings indicate that when the girls were given opportunities to engage their personal narratives, and when science was open to critique, ethnic minority girls leveraged common historical narratives to build science narratives. Moreover, the girls' identity work problematizes the commonplace instructional notion of "bridging" students' everyday stories with science stories, which often privileges the science story and the composing of "science" identities. It also challenges researchers to investigate how the construction of narratives is broader than 1 community of practice, broader than 1 individual, and broader than 1 generation.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A