Response to Johannsen, Rump, and Linder’s Penetrating a wall of introspection: a critical attrition analysis
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In Penetrating a Wall of Introspection: A Critical Attrition Analysis, Johannsen, Rump, and Linder strive to give a voice to those whose thoughts might otherwise be unheard: students representing the casualties in the conflict surrounding the practices of STEM education, specifically those in the field of physics. Beyond giving those students a voice, they try to filter out and amplify a message that the seven individuals themselves may not have recognized: that the cause of their struggles in their physics programs might not be something innate (causa materialis in the authors’ framework), but might be found outside the individuals (causa efficiens in the authors’ framework). In our response, we attempt to extend the conversation regarding the issues these authors have raised by (1) considering the conditions within the physics community that might exacerbate this situation and (2) exploring from a different perspective the nature of the discourses that will either perpetuate or ameliorate such circumstances. In so doing we seek to provide a more holistic description of the features of the educational system that help to construct the wall of introspection and that might, in turn, be redressed in order to help tear it down—and positively impact attrition rates.
KeywordsRetention Attrition Identity Critical discourse analysis Physics education
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