Organizers: Thomas Bussey (University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA), MaryKay Orgill (University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA), Stephanie Ryan (University of Illinois at Chicago, USA)
Presider: Stephanie Ryan (University of Illinois at Chicago, USA)
The type of quantitative data a chemist collects in an experiment is influenced by his or her choice of instrumentation. In qualitative research, a theoretical framework plays a role analogous to that of the instrument. It is the lens through which a study is viewed: it guides the types of questions that can be asked, the way data is collected, and what can be learned from the study. The purpose of this symposium is to explore how active researchers in the fields of chemical and science education actually choose theoretical frameworks to examine a topic of interest and use those frameworks to construct and conduct qualitative research. During this symposium, a variety of theoretical frameworks will be discussed in the context of chemical or science education research. The focus of this symposium is on the aims, assumptions, limitations, and potential applications of each framework, not on specific research results.