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“I Saw Myself as a Scientist”: The Role of Identity in STEM Learning

Speaker: Dr. Kelly Riedinger: Senior researcher, STEM Research Center at Oregon State University

Learning is as much about becoming as it is about knowing (Nasir, 2002). Our identities as learners influence what activities we participate in, our motivations and interests toward learning, and how we see ourselves fitting within different communities. The National Research Council’s (2009) consensus report, Learning Science in Informal Environments, acknowledged the importance of identity as a learning outcome by stating that learners in informal environments should “think about themselves as science learners and develop an identity as someone who knows about, uses, and sometimes contributes to science.”

In this seminar, Dr. Riedinger will discuss ways to conceptualize STEM related identities, why identity is important for STEM learning, ways to measure identity, and practical implications for supporting STEM identities in education settings.