SIG 5: State of the Art Research on Science Identities

Studies that apply identity theories are making an important contribution to science education research. The science identities research field is rapidly expanding, spanning a wide range of theories, foci, topics and educational settings. However, proponents share a common interest in understanding how individuals, groups and communities from various backgrounds interact, engage with and relate themselves to science – and the consequences that science identity work entails for engagement with, and participation in, science. The aim of this symposium is to present state of the art research on science identities, and to discuss the affordances, limitations and lacunae within and between these for science education. The participants in the symposium will each point to recommendations for future research on science identities and the final discussion will address how science identity research can continue to move forward to ensure the development of theories as well as application to new areas of research. The first paper offers a critical analysis of three methodological approaches to study science identity. The second paper discusses the potential value of the Bourdieusian concept of ‘field’ for theory and research on student science identities.  The third paper is grounded in a longitudinal critical ethnography and explores how youth imagine and author pathways towards becoming in STEM in ways that consequentially and authentically bridge science and community. And finally the fourth paper combines identity and temporarily in a critical lens that explores the complex interaction of science study culture, possible future selves and higher education STEM students’ study strategies.