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

P465: Situated learning theory: A framework for research in chemistry education

Lauren Denofrio-Corrales, Russell Korte (University of Illinois – Urbana, USA)

As fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) are becoming increasingly more specialized, technical and interdisciplinary, the process by which undergraduates transition towards becoming practitioners of science requires careful examination by science educators. Becoming a scientist involves more than learning content knowledge or traversing an educational pipeline from secondary school to higher education to professional practice. Learning to be a scientist involves assuming knowledge, skills, dispositions and cultural values of other scientists, and this learning takes place via a tacit collection of lessons and understandings passed from generation to generation in the context of scientific research practice; this concept is referred to generally as a ‘situated curriculum’. This presentation explores situated learning as a theoretical framework for learning in both chemistry classrooms and research environments and proposes relevant applications of the framework in chemistry education research, where learning can be viewed as the outcome of participation in social practice.


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