Triple vision in different theoretical spaces – exploring physics jokes in small group discussions in engineering education
Conference contribution, 2013
We have used multiple theoretical spaces as analytical strategy when researching learning possibilities when engineering students discuss physics together. Three different theories were purposefully applied in a series of stratified analyses. Level one employing phenomenography and variation theory, level two using positioning theory and level three making use of the techniques of conversation analysis. Having done this, we wanted to explore to what extent a phenomena in one theoretical space is visible in other theoretical spaces (but not naturally focused on) and what it in that case looks like. The students’ jokes are examples of such which were also important part of the students’ conversation. Our analysis illustrates how one joke is observable through all three analytical lenses. The three analytical lenses are linked to three different theoretical spaces, even when it is linked to the same original event. The lenses have become advantageous in different ways: the lens of conversational analyses assistances to discern the joke, the lens of position theory provides clues about the cultural context and the lens of phenomenography and variation theory informs us the learning possibilities that are related to the jokes. In this paper we propose and illustrate that these three analytical perspectives are complementary rather than commensurable, because they are not referring to the same data, even though the data they reference is derived from the same event.