The material and social constitution of interest

Daniela Kruel DiGiacomo, Katie Van Horne, Erica Van Steenis, William R. Penuel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the 21st century, what role does interest play in the organization of equitable learning opportunities for young people? Drawing on a large corpus of interview data from a longitudinal study of fifty-four adolescents involved in interest-driven afterschool activities domestically and abroad, we investigate the role of youths’ interests in their everyday lives. Cognizant of the growing emphasis from sociocultural learning scholars on issues of interest, agency, and engagement as they relate to learning, we explore youths’ interests from their perspective—that is, we highlight the ways in which youth themselves made sense of their interests in relation to the rest of their lives. Informed by social practice theory, our analysis situates the interests articulated from the first-person perspectives of youth amidst the broader sociocultural situations from which they arose. Analysis of data reveals the material and social constitution of interest itself—and calls for increased attention to the interplay between social relations and material realities as key mediators of contemporary learning opportunities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-60
Number of pages10
JournalLearning, Culture and Social Interaction
Volume19
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to the Connected Learning research team at the University of Colorado Boulder for their helpful feedback on the many versions of this manuscript, as well as to the adults and young people involved in the Connected Learning programs that generously agreed to speak to us about their experiences in these programs. Funding for the development of the survey and interview effort for this study comes from the MacArthur Foundation . All opinions expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the authors. We wish to thank the youth leaders in the sites that facilitated data collection for the field test and members of the Connected Learning Research Network for their generous input into the data collection process and feedback on the protocols themselves.

Funding Information:
We are grateful to the Connected Learning research team at the University of Colorado Boulder for their helpful feedback on the many versions of this manuscript, as well as to the adults and young people involved in the Connected Learning programs that generously agreed to speak to us about their experiences in these programs. Funding for the development of the survey and interview effort for this study comes from the MacArthur Foundation. All opinions expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the authors. We wish to thank the youth leaders in the sites that facilitated data collection for the field test and members of the Connected Learning Research Network for their generous input into the data collection process and feedback on the protocols themselves.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018

Keywords

  • Interest
  • Learning
  • Social practice theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The material and social constitution of interest'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this