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See detailScience learning in an early childhood classroom in Luxembourg: A journey from sociocultural and cultural historical theories to post-humanism
Haus Geb. Hilgers, Jana Maria UL

Doctoral thesis (2018)

In this dissertation, I map the journey I went on; from applying cultural-historical theory to the application of posthumanist perspectives on science learning and researching science learning in an early ... [more ▼]

In this dissertation, I map the journey I went on; from applying cultural-historical theory to the application of posthumanist perspectives on science learning and researching science learning in an early childhood classroom in Luxembourg. Within this work, I show the process of realizing that the theories I applied for a certain amount of time at the beginning of the Ph.D. revealed a gap to me concerning what I wanted to achieve in the field of researching science learning. I draw on posthumanist perspectives to elaborate broader views of the research process to show how each (human and non-human) participant contributes to the context of science education with young children in Luxembourg. I also I present findings that changed my perspective on research and data analysis with young children in the field of science education. In sharing my reflexive journey, I contribute to ongoing methodological and ethical discussions about the research process with – rather than on – young children, as well as working to increase awareness of the importance of the researcher's stance and positioning towards both human and non-human research participants in Luxembourg classrooms. In the chapters that follow, I show the trajectory of how I applied sociocultural and later posthumanist theory and ethnographic video analysis to data I collected in one Kindergarten science classroom in Luxembourg. Findings of this journey show how human and non-human beings work together, and provide impulses for researchers to situate themselves reflexively to consider why and how they are doing research and what they hope to gain from it. This is not to promote a narcissistic and self-indulgent view of the researcher, but to point out what might be missing from some research reports that claim to be participatory when in fact they reproduce the researcher's perspectives of the children's view and "sell" it as their own, instead of listening and including participants’ voices. In order to link this to posthumanist theory and agential realism (e.g., Barad, 2007), this thesis theorizes research processes in ways that not only take into account who is researching whom, but that draw attention to the surrounding entanglements that constitute research, and how the research itself changes and is changed by the participating human and non-human beings. The papers assembled below show how all participating (human and non-human) beings are entangled and together become through and for one another. [less ▲]

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