Session S50a (Tuesday, 9:30am, Thomas 201)

P459: Theoretical frameworks: What are they, and why should I care?

MaryKay Orgill (University of Nevada – Las Vegas, USA)

The first time I walked into a chemistry education research meeting, I wondered what language the group members were speaking. It clearly wasn’t English. Strange words like phenomenography, hermeneutics and situated cognition were mentioned by group members as they discussed a research project. Initially, I had no idea what they were talking about. After much reading and discussion, though, I came to understand that these words refer to theoretical frameworks: systems of ideas, aims and assumptions that influence not only the design of a qualitative study in chemistry education, but also the type of data that can result from that study. This symposium is intended for both new and practicing qualitative researchers who want to know more about theoretical frameworks. Here, I will give a general introduction to theoretical frameworks: what they are, why they are needed in chemistry education research, and how they influence the design of qualitative studies.


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