The Evolution of Science Ownership in Learners Engaged in Design and Technology Usage
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In my dissertation, I set out to explore the following research question on bridging: How does ownership evolve as learners engage in a guided inquiry-based science learning environment focused on design and technology usage? My dissertation explores a case study of four learners involved in an afterschool program called Kitchen Chemistry (KC). KC is a nonformal learning environment in which learners engage in scientific practices within the context of cooking. Learners engage in inquiry practices through the development of their own scientific food investigations. In my study I examined how four focal learners come to develop a sense of ownership of science learning as they each develop their own personal food investigations. Using Wenger's (1998) framework of identity formation in communities of practice (imagination, engagement, and alignment), my study shows that a learner's identity and social dynamics from home, school, and informal learning shape and fashion what he or she chooses to own, how ownership is expressed, and how that ownership can both support and hinder a learner's science learning.