Experiences in Sense Making: Health Science Students’ I-Positioning in an Online Philosophy of Science Course
Arvaja, M. (2015). Experiences in Sense Making: Health Science Students’ I-Positioning in an Online Philosophy of Science Course. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 24 (1), 137-175. doi:10.1080/10508406.2014.941465
Published inJournal of the Learning Sciences
© Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. This is a final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published by Taylor & Francis (Routledge). Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
This article reports on a qualitative study on the dialogical approach to learning in the context of higher education. The aim was to shed light on the I-Position and multivoicedness in students’ identity-building, and to provide empirical substantiation for these theoretical constructs, focusing especially on the connection between personal knowledge and theoretical knowledge. The study explored how health science students’ reflections on their work and discipline-related experiences provided resources for making personal sense of and understanding the subject studied. The students undertook an online course on the philosophy of science. To study students’ internal and external dialogue in terms of multivoicedness in their sense-making processes a discourse analysis combined with a dialogical approach was applied. The results showed that in reflecting on their experiences in the light of different scientific approaches, the students became engaged in dialogues with different voices, thereby experiencing tensions in their professional positioning. The reasoning tasks gave rise to internal dialogue, involving negotiation between different I-Positions of the self or heterodialogue with the texts. These identity negotiations were manifested in refining, strengthening, and re-constructing professional and scientific I-Positions, and in sharing and constructing a We-Position. ...