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Title: Attention to student emotions and teacher vulnerability as tools to maintain student disciplinary engagement
Research on students’ engagement suggests that epistemic affect--that is, the feelings and emotions experienced in the epistemic work of making sense of phenomena-- should be recognized as a central component of meaningful disciplinary engagement in science. These feelings and emotions are not tangential by-products, but are essential components of disciplinary engagement. Yet, there is still much to understand about how educators can attend and respond to students’ emotions in ways that support disciplinary engagement in science. To inform these efforts, we follow one high school Biology teacher, Amelia, to answer the following question: How does Amelia attend to and support her students’ emotions in ways that support their disciplinary engagement? Data examined include teacher interviews and classroom recordings of two multi-day science lessons. We found that the teacher worked to support her students’ emotions in moments of uncertainty in at least two ways: (1) by attending to these emotions directly, and (2) by sharing her personal experiences and feelings in engaging in similar activities as a science learner. We describe how Amelia made herself vulnerable to students, describing her own struggles in making sense of phenomena, in turn supporting her students to normalize these experiences as part of doing science.  more » « less
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Date Published:
Journal Name:
National Association for Research in Science Teaching Annual Meeting 2023
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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