Developing and Recognizing Relative Expertise in FUSE
Traditional methods of STEM education position the child as a novice and create narrow opportunities for children to demonstrate and constructively utilize their developing skills, related interests and capabilities, perhaps even inadvertently suppressing them (Stevens, 2000; Bevan, Bell, Stevens, & Razfar, 2012; Barron, 2006). Researchers have explored expertise in terms of domain mastery (Ericsson, Krampe, & Tesch-Romer, 1993), developed models for how novices become domain experts (Alexander, 2003), and discussed pathways along which students move in developing science expertise (Schwarz et al., 2009; Alonzo & Gotwals, 2012). Yet we have a limited understanding of young people’s developing STEM expertise in real time and know little about how young people recognize and utilize the expertise of their peers along these pathways towards expertise (Bricker et al., 2008). This paper examines activity in FUSE Studios to expand our understanding of the development and recognition of what we call relative expertise, how young people’s growing relative expertise becomes valued by teacher and peers, and how relative expertise leads to fluid and varied formulations of peer collaboration, sharing, and assistance. Data used in this analysis comes from two school years (2013-15).
[See pages 1025-1032]