Research in Science Education

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 133–151

Examining the social and scientific roles of invention in science education

Children, Technology and Learning

DOI: 10.1007/BF02461647

Cite this article as:
Calabrese-Barton, A. Research in Science Education (1998) 28: 133. doi:10.1007/BF02461647


I have been drawn to the construct of “invention” and “inventive acts” because in my research involving how homeless children construct science and the self-in-science, an overwhelming theme has been the multiple ways in which self-identity in science has been described by the children through a language of invention. Using post-modern feminism and science and technologies studies, I examine the multiple uses and definitions of “invention” in science in order to develop a theory of invention and inventive acts around the themes: invention as a social act, invention as a recursive and socially linked process, and embodied agency. I use this framework to examine the construct of “invention” in two different case studies involving the science education of urban homeless children. Finally, I link this discussion of invention and inventive acts with current international reform initiatives revolving around constructivist science teaching and learning.

Copyright information

© Australian Science Research Association 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.412A Main HallTeachers College Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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