Science identity development: how multimodal composition mediates student role-taking as scientist in a media-rich learning environment

Shiyan Jiang, Ji Shen, Blaine Smith, Kristin Watson Kibler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Science identity has been widely discussed in recent years; however, research on its development in multimodal composing environments, especially in formal classroom settings, has yet to be fully investigated. This qualitative study unraveled the science identity development of sixth-grade students as they created multimodal science fiction stories in a STEAM course. Thirty-two students enrolled in the course and worked in groups of 3–5, and each student self-selected one of three roles: designer, scientist, or writer. This study focused on the students (n = 9) who took the role of scientist and examined their science identity development. Data sources include digital surveys, semi-structured group interviews, and multimodal artifacts. Our qualitative analysis suggests that (a) composing with modes of choices could drive interests in science; (b) students connected science practices in classrooms with those in professional domains through taking the role of scientist; (c) taking hybrid roles (i.e., a combination of scientist and other roles) while composing with multiple modes contributed to the recognition of science in non-science careers. Based on these findings, we discuss the implications for cultivating positive science identities and engaging early adolescents in career exploration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEducational Technology Research and Development
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Career exploration
  • Multimodal composing
  • Role-taking
  • Science identity
  • Science practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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