ERIC Number: EJ1121614
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Identity Statuses in Upper-Division Physics Students
Irving, Paul W.; Sayre, Eleanor C.
Cultural Studies of Science Education, v11 n4 p1155-1200 Dec 2016
We use the theories of identity statuses and communities of practice to describe three different case studies of students finding their paths through undergraduate physics and developing a physics subject-specific identity. Each case study demonstrates a unique path that reinforces the link between the theories of communities of practice and identity statuses. The case studies also illustrate how students progress and regress in their commitment to their subject-specific identities and their professional identities. The progression/regression is dependent on their willingness to explore different aspects of a physics professional identity and their availability to carry out such exploration. Identity status and future identity crises can manifest in students' behavior in the classroom. Allowing students to engage in more legitimate practices of the physics community, especially in the form of undergraduate research, helps students to explore their opportunities and inform the level of commitment they wish to make to physics.
Descriptors: Communities of Practice, Identification (Psychology), Undergraduate Students, College Science, Physics, Case Studies, Correlation, Professional Identity, Student Behavior, Student Research
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A