ISEC 2021


Gregory J. Kelly

Professor of Science Education and Senior Associate Dean for Research, Outreach, and Technology in the College of Education at Penn State University

Using ethnography and discourse analysis to research epistemic practices in science and engineering education

In this workshop, I will describe research methods grounded in ethnography and discourse analysis. Participants will then use these methods to examine epistemic practices in science and engineering education. Science and engineering education are increasingly interested in epistemic dimensions of learning, including the ways that knowledge claims are justified and assessed across social configurations in educational settings. Decisions about the validity of knowledge claims are rooted in discussions of evidence. I will provide examples of discourse analysis from video of students working in elementary engineering design. My research methodology for examining epistemic practices proceeds through a series of steps that include ethnographic description of the educational context, sociolinguistic analysis of talk and action, sequential analysis of activity across time scales, and identification of specific epistemic practices through detailed coding. Discussion will distill methodological principles guiding this research approach, identify affordances and challenges of qualitative research, and address participants’ questions about analyzing video data sets.

Victor Sampson
Associate Professor of STEM Education
Fellow, Elizabeth Massey Chair in Education, The University of Texas at Austin

Using Idea Selection to guide the design of research studies on argumentation


This workshop will first provide an overview of Idea Selection. Participants will then work in small groups to identify the postulate in a transcript of a discussion that took place between a group of students as they were engaged in the process of proposing, supporting, challenging and refining claims about the cause of a natural phenomenon. Participants will then be encouraged to work together to design a study to test one or more of the postulates of idea selection, examine one of the postulate in different contexts, or use a one of the postulate to develop and then test a hypothesis about how to design a learning experience to promote different learning outcomes for students from an opportunity to participate in argumentation