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Title: Culturing conceptions: From first principles
Authors: Roth, Wolff-Michael
Lee, Yew Jin
Hwang, Sungwon
Keywords: Activity
Learning science
Conversation analysis
Conceptual change
Issue Date: 2008
Citation: Roth, W.-M., Lee, Y. J., & Hwang, S. (2008). Culturing conceptions: From first principles. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 3(2), 231-261.
Abstract: Over the past three decades, science educators have accumulated a vast amount of information on conceptions––variously defined as beliefs, ontologies, cognitive structures, mental models, or frameworks––that generally (at least initially) have been derived from interviews about certain topics. During the same time period, cultural studies has emerged as a field in which everyday social practices are interrogated with the objective to understand culture in all its complexity. Science educators have however yet to ask themselves what it would mean to consider the possession of conceptions as well as conceptual change from the perspective of cultural studies. The purpose of this article is thus to articulate in and through the analysis of an interview about natural phenomenon the first principles of such a cultural approach to scientific conceptions. Our bottom-up approach in fact leads us to develop the kind of analyses and theories that have become widespread in cultural studies. This promises to generate less presupposing and more parsimonious explanations of this core issue within science education than if conceptions are supposed to be structures inhabiting the human mind.
Description: This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in Cultural Studies of Science Education. The published version is available online at
ISSN: 1871-1502 (print)
1871-1510 (online)
Other Identifiers: 10.1007/s11422-008-9092-2
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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