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ERIC Number: EJ1226804
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Sep
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1871-1502
Can the Subaltern 'Speak' Science? An Intersectional Analysis of Performances of 'Talking Science through Muscular Intellect' by 'Subaltern' Students in UK Urban Secondary Science Classrooms
Archer, Louise; Nomikou, Effrosyni; Mau, Ada; King, Heather; Godec, Spela; DeWitt, Jennifer; Dawson, Emily
Cultural Studies of Science Education, v14 n3 p723-751 Sep 2019
This paper draws on Judith Butler's concepts of "intelligibility" and "identity as performance" to make sense of enactments of 'subaltern' (that is, subordinated) urban students within secondary school science. Understanding classrooms as constituted by complex power struggles for voice, authenticity and recognition, the paper offers an in-depth exploration of a particular dominant performance of science that was enacted across classes by some students--and which curtailed the possibilities for other students in terms of who can, and cannot, be intelligible in school science. Analysing data from 9 months of observations conducted with nine teachers and c. 200 students aged 11-15 from six London schools and 13 discussion groups with 59 of these students, a dominant performance was identified across the classrooms of 'talking science through muscular intellect'. This was predominantly enacted by a small group of working-class boys from a range of ethnic backgrounds and was generally recognised as an authentic and legitimate performance of science by both teachers and other students. These performances comprised three main elements: competition; dominating and controlling class science talk; and policing the science talk of others. However, such performances were experienced ambiguously by teachers and were viewed negatively by Other students, notably girls and 'quiet' boys, due to silencing their contributions and limiting the range of ways that Others might be recognised as intelligible science students. The paper concludes by reflecting on the implications of the dominance of performances of 'talking science through muscular intellect' for students, teachers and social justice approaches to science education.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (London)