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ERIC Number: EJ1163568
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Jan
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8326
An Inquiry into the Structure of Situational Interests
Azevedo, Flávio S.
Science Education, v102 n1 p108-127 Jan 2018
I advance theoretically and empirically grounded arguments for broadening how we frame and understand situational interests. A situational interest refers to the short-term spike in a person's attention and participation in an activity and it is triggered in the interactions between the person and environment features (e.g., novelty and surprise). As represented in the literature, extant conceptions of the phenomenon frame it fundamentally as a discontinuity in a person's experiences. Put differently, a situational interest denotes a moment in which a new object or activity is first brought into a person's stream of experiences and its triggering marks the boundary between two qualitatively distinct moments--a before-and-after--in one's ongoing activity participation. In contrast, I conjecture that situational interests are best understood as phenomena that combine both discontinuous "and" continuous dimensions of experience. To argue this point, I use three in-depth videotaped case studies of the triggering and (when available) retriggering of situational interests in STEM-based practices and show that the continuity + discontinuity lens provides a fine-grained and more accountable description of the phenomenon, its triggering process, and its eventual uptake and development (or not).
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: RED9553902; REC9973156