My name is Nick Palumbo; I am a doctoral student at the University of Rochester and the fall 2015 project manager for the Inquiry Science Stars program. I have experience as both a special educator and as a developmental psychology researcher. To that end, I took lots of observational notes over the course of the fall. I became fiercely interested in looking at the development of students’ (STARS) ownership of scientific inquiry. My observations revealed a seemingly palpable “developmental trajectory” illustrating an association between students’ identity development and their ownership over the scientific inquiry. The proposed conceptual model is a visual representation of my notes, ideas, and thoughts representing these developmental trajectories (see the PDF link below).
Full disclosure – I want to openly point out the obvious biases and problems with this conceptual model:
- This is a CONCEPTUAL MODEL; therefore, it is not founded in empirical data or constructed based on empirical literature. This should NOT be confused with a theoretical model. However, elements of this conceptual model are clearly not novel and are heavily influenced by empirically founded theories (e.g., Self Determination Theory, Ecological Systems Theory, etc.).
- This is a conceptualization of possible developmental trajectories founded on my biased perceptions and interpretations of STARS’ identity development. In other words, this is merely conjecture.
- This is FAR from a comprehensive conceptual model illustrating developmental trajectories, as developmental trajectories are multifaceted constructs.
- Humans are unique animals. This conceptual model is not intended to be reductionist or to homogenize the unique lived experiences of individuals; rather, this is merely one interpretation of conceptualizing youths’ identity development.
I am sharing this conceptual model with the hopes of getting reform-minded educators thinking about the important role of identity development in academic and social-emotional outcomes for youths.