Unpacking ‘Culture’ in Cultural Studies of Science Education: Cultural Difference Versus Cultural Production

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Heidi B. Carlone, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: In this article, we explore three anthropological approaches to science education research: funds of knowledge, third space/hybridity and practice theory. Definitions, historical origins, uses and constraints of each approach are included along with reviews of exemplary studies in each tradition. We show that funds of knowledge research draws on an earlier research tradition, cultural difference theory and rests on an assumption that groups build culture in response to fixed and static socio-political conditions. Practice theory is more flexible in that it allows researchers to study how groups create local meanings, which may conform to, resist or even transform those larger conditions through cultural production. We then illustrate the approaches by analysing the same case (that of a Mexican-American boy) using both cultural difference theory and practice theory, to illustrate the strengths and limitations of each approach.

Additional Information

Ethnography and Education, 7(2), 151-173
Language: English
Date: 2012
funds of knowledge, third space, practice theory, science education, culture, situated learning, equity

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