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The Viability of Portraiture for Science Education Research: Learning from Portraits of Two Scientific Classrooms
International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education
  • Cassie F. Quigley, Clemson University
  • Amy Trauth-Nare, Indiana University - Bloomington
  • Nicole Beeman-Cadwallader, Indiana University - Bloomington
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Taylor & Francis
The purpose of this paper is to describe the relevance of a qualitative methodology called portraiture for science education. Portraiture is a method of inquiry that blends art and science by combining the empirical aspects of inquiry with the beauty and aesthetic properties. This method encompasses all aspects of a research study, including protocol, data collection and analysis, and presentation of findings. To examine the viability of portraiture as methodology for science education researchers, we provided two portraits of science teachers and their classrooms to illustrate how context played a significant role in teachers’ experiences and how it influenced their classroom pedagogy. The implications of this work show how portraiture can support deep, dynamic understanding of context in science education. This work also illustrates the importance of attending to relationships and voice, both of which are often lacking in science education research.

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