Extending the theoretical framing for physics education research: An illustrative application of complexity science
2014 (English)In: Physical Review Special Topics : Physics Education Research, ISSN 1554-9178, Vol. 10, 020122- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The viability of using complexity science in physics education research (PER) is exemplified by(1) situating central tenets of student persistence research in complexity science and (2) drawing on themethods that become available from this to illustrate analyzing the structural aspects of students’ networkedinteractions as an important dynamic in student persistence. By drawing on the most cited characterizationsof student persistence, we theorize that university environments are made up of social and academicsystems, which PER work on student persistence has largely ignored. These systems are interpreted asbeing constituted from rules of interaction that affect the structural aspects of students’ social and academicnetwork interactions from a complexity science perspective. To illustrate this empirically, an exploration ofthe nature of the social and academic networks of university-level physics students is undertaken. This isdone by combining complexity science with social network analysis to characterize structural similaritiesand differences of the social and academic networks of students in two courses. It is posited that framing asocial network analysis within a complexity science perspective offers a new and powerful applicabilityacross a broad range of PER topics.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 10, 020122- p.
01.40.Fk, 89.75.Fb, 89.65.-s
Research subject Physics with specialization in Physics Education
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-235503DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.10.020122ISI: 000342156200001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-235503DiVA: diva2:760915