Cultural Studies of Science Education

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 231–247 | Cite as

A critical materialist entry into the comforts and dangers in defining academics’ of science teaching and learning research communities

  • Michelle M. WootenEmail author
Original Paper


Research on science teaching and learning commonly makes use of reductionism to specify conditions of science learning. In my studies of academics’-of-science-teaching-&-learning (academics’-of-st&l) research practices and values, I discuss how philosophic inquiry shifted my research practices from reductionism to critical (or, “new”) materialism, where critical materialism is a research approach attuned to the materiality of social practices. Reading materiality as affectual, intellectual, and spatial components of practices turns my attention toward the logics informing academics’-of-st&l research practices as well as the comfortable and dangerous effects of particular practices on our connectible landscape. In this forum response, I briefly explore multiple logics informing academics’-of-st&l conference attendance choices, in addition to these choices’ alignment to communal definition rendered by governmental and conference entities. I also explore other modes of communal boundary-marking experienced by academics-of-st&l that do not make use of formal definitions, but suggest that it is in the minutiae of conference relating that academics-of-st&l construct their sensing of communal un/boundedness. With these explorations, I hope to generate awareness of the small shifts that re-configuring practices can make possible in academics’-of-st&l connectivity.


Science education Trans-disciplinarity Feminist new materialisms Discipline-based education research 



This research was supported by the University of Alabama College of Education’s William E. Sexton Endowed Scholarship and Dr. Brad S. Chissom Memorial Scholarship. I acknowledge Dr. Kelly Guyotte and MTSU’s Biology Education Association’s valuable input toward shaping my methodology’s phrasings and demonstration.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational Research MethodologiesUniversity of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA

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