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ERIC Number: EJ895345
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1871-1502
Time and Space: Undergraduate Mexican Physics in Motion
Candela, Antonia
Cultural Studies of Science Education, v5 n3 p701-727 Sep 2010
This is an ethnographic study of the trajectories and itineraries of undergraduate physics students at a Mexican university. In this work learning is understood as being able to move oneself and, other things (cultural tools), through the space-time networks of a discipline (Nespor in Knowledge in motion: space, time and curriculum in undergraduate physics and management. Routledge Farmer, London, "1994"). The potential of this socio-cultural perspective allows an analysis of how students are connected through extended spaces and times with an international core discipline as well as with cultural features related to local networks of power and construction. Through an example, I show that, from an actor-network-theory (Latour in Science in action. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, "1987"), that in order to understand the complexities of undergraduate physics processes of learning you have to break classroom walls and take into account students' movements through complex spatial and temporal traces of the discipline of physics. Mexican professors do not give classes following one textbook but in a moment-to-moment open dynamism tending to include undergraduate students as actors in classroom events extending the teaching space-time of the classroom to the disciplinary research work of physics. I also find that Mexican undergraduate students show initiative and display some autonomy and power in the construction of their itineraries as they are encouraged to examine a variety of sources including contemporary research articles, unsolved physics problems, and even to participate in several physicists' spaces, as for example being speakers at the national congresses of physics. Their itineraries also open up new spaces of cultural and social practices, creating more extensive networks beyond those associated with a discipline. Some economic, historical and cultural contextual features of this school of sciences are analyzed in order to help understanding the particular way students are encouraged to develop their autonomy.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Mexico