ABSTRACT

When I received the invitation to contribute to the book on science and engineering education, initially I was surprised because I do not have a background in STEM fields. However, as dialogues with the editors and review of the table of contents and the introductory chapter revealed, the focus of this volume is more on research methodologies as ways of understanding the construction of science and engineering in classrooms, rather than on the content of science or engineering itself. As an ethnographer and a professor of qualitative research methodologies, I accepted the challenge to write this chapter as an opportunity for me to learn how scholars in a field new to me, construct research utilizing the ethnographic, discourse analysis, and interactional ethnographic approaches with which I am familiar. Entering the field of science and engineering education provided me with an opportunity to step back from my own interests in order to “fight familiarity” (Delamont, 2013) and thus look at research in an unfamiliar field to examine the potentials of research methodologies represented across chapters in this book.