Affect and the scientific pursuit: Learning to feel like a scientist.
- A qualifying paper submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy In Science Education. This paper argues that affect is central to scientific pursuits and to engaging in science conceptually and epistemologically. To ground this claim, we first review accounts of scientists’ intellectual practices that suggest that science involves the activation and ... read morerefinement of affective resources, such as excitement for figuring things out, annoyance at inconsistencies, empathy with the object of inquiry, and persistence in the face of challenges. We then discuss a case study from a fourth grade science classroom which shows that (1) science learners can experience disciplinary feelings and emotions similar to those of scientists; (2) these affective experiences are closely entwined with the conceptual and epistemological substance of student engagement; and (3) they are consequential to the nature and flow of inquiry. Affect, we contend, is part and parcel of scientific pursuits, and learning science is in part learning how to feel like a scientist. We conclude with some implications of this perspective on research and instruction.read less