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Young African American Children Constructing Academic and Disciplinary Identities in an Urban Science Classroom
Science Education (2012)
  • Justine M Kane, Wayne State University
Abstract

In this paper, I offer a framework for exploring the academic and disciplinary identities young African American children construct in urban science classrooms. Using interviews, fieldnotes, and videotapes of classroom lessons, I juxtapose the ways in which two children tell about their experiences in school and science with their performances of self in the midst of complex, spontaneous classroom engagements with their peers and teacher. I found that the children’s performances of self in the classroom were consistent with the ways they spoke about themselves in the interviews. I also found that the academic identities they constructed were different from their disciplinary identities, and these differing identities were consistent across analytic contexts. Moreover, the identities the children constructed in the interviews nuanced my understandings of what I observed in the classroom in significant ways. I argue that juxtaposing narrated and performed analytical contexts offers affordances for understanding academic and disciplinary identities constructions in school and science. Moreover, it is important both to listen to children’s stories about their experiences in addition to observing their ways of being in the classroom to fully understand their experiences of school and science.

Keywords
  • identity,
  • urban education,
  • science education,
  • elementary education
Publication Date
2012
Citation Information
Justine M Kane. "Young African American Children Constructing Academic and Disciplinary Identities in an Urban Science Classroom" Science Education Vol. 96 Iss. 3 (2012)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jmkane/1/