Student trajectories in physics: The need for analysis through a socio-cultural lens Article

Zapata, M. (2010). Student trajectories in physics: The need for analysis through a socio-cultural lens . 5(3), 729-734. 10.1007/s11422-010-9261-y

cited authors

  • Zapata, M



  • An analysis of student connections through time and space relative to the core discipline of physics is attempted, as viewed through the lens of actor-network-theory, by Antonia Candela. Using lenses of cultural realities, networks, and perceived power in the discourse of one specific university in the capital city of Mexico and one undergraduate physics classroom, the trajectories and itineraries of students are analyzed, relative to a physics professor's pedagogical practices. This ethnographic study then yields comparisons between Mexican undergraduate students and students from the United States. Actor network theory recognizes that the symbiotic relationship existing between an actor and a continuum of space and time is defined by the symbiotic yet interdependent relationships and networks of practice (Lemke in Downward causation: Minds, bodies, and matter 2000). As part of this study and in line with actor-network-theory, human actors and non-human participants were viewed in relation to how subjects acted and were acted upon within networks of practice. Through this forum I reflect on this work with particular focus on the issues of situatedness of actors from a sociocultural perspective and how established networks viewed within this perspective frame and subsequently impact student trajectories and itineraries. In essence I argue for a need to look at a myriad of further complexities driving the symbiotic relationships being analyzed. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

publication date

  • March 29, 2010

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 729

end page

  • 734


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