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XSci Research Methodology

XSci employs mixed methods research approaches associated with our projects, including both qualitative and quantitative methodologies to best address specific research questions. In many cases we have developed methods for analyzing innovative data sources to get at the more difficult questions of characterizing interpretation and meaning making by participants as it relates to identity construction.

ID BELT – Identity Based Experiential Learning Theory

An educational philosophy where learning is equated with identity construction. ID-BELT concerned with learning from direct first-person experience and a holistic perspective that goes beyond content to include the construction of: knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, transfer of learning to new situations, personal relevance, meaning making processes, and Identity Development.

Experiential Learning Theory

Experiential education is best understood as a philosophy of education, in contrast to learning methodologies such as didactic or rote learning that are mostly concerned with knowledge delivery. An emerging trend in science educator professional development is experiential learning through what can best be described as immersive and extraordinary informal experiences.

Narrative Study of Lives

As symbolic representations, stories can be modified, re-interpreted, and even re- created just as identities are fluid and evolving throughout our lives. This is a powerful idea because it implies that story provides a structure for both organizing and modifying our identities – our understanding of how we fit into and relate to the world – therefore potentially changing our lives or those of students.

Science Identity Construction

The central focus of XSci’s work is science identity construction – or the psychological processes by which people become inspired by science, engineering, technology, and mathematics (STEM) to the point of personal relevance, ownership, and integration into the sense of self.

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