Learning Science From Childhood to Adulthood: Life Stories of Chilean and American Doctoral Students in Relation to Their Experiences and Visions About the Nature of Open and Closed Science

Keywords: Higher education, learning science, qualitative study, formal education, informal education, nature of science


Objective. The purpose of this research was to explore how doctoral students in the United States and Chile have experienced their careers in the life sciences, and how they have perceived the nature of science (NoS) throughout their lives, including their activities as doctoral students working in laboratories. Methodology. The narrative design of this qualitative study included individual life story interviews with 10 Chilean and 10 American doctoral students; it was applied a semi-structured questionnaire that delved into their experiences of learning science from childhood to adulthood. The work with the collected data was carried out from a thematic analysis combined with the use of qualitative analysis software to codify the transcribed interviews. Analysis of results. The socialization process in the practice of doing science was similar for Chilean and American students in terms of the different stages of life, particularly in the doctorate stage, where the interviewees referred to creativity as a characteristic of the NoS. Conclusions. This raises a discussion on the role of the family, teachers, school, university, and teacher guides as socializing agents in science in different cultures. 

Author Biographies

Marta Alejandra Silva-Fernández, Universidad Austral de Chile

Licenciada en Antropología y Magíster en Comunicación por la Universidad Austral de Chile y Magíster y Doctora en Educación por la Universidad de California Santa Bárbara. Las áreas de investigación son: Perspectivas Culturales en enseñanza de las aprendizaje de ciencias y en disciplinas STEM y sistemas de conocimiento y saberes respecto a medioambiente con perspectiva cultural.

Paulina Constanza Sanzana-Müller, Universidad Austral de Chile

Licenciada en Educación y Profesora de Lenguaje y Comunicación con mención en Literatura Infantil y Juvenil de la Universidad Austral de Chile. Actualmente se desempeña como Profesora en el Instituto Cristiano Gracia y Paz donde enseña Literatura, Lingüística y Filosofía.


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How to Cite
Silva-Fernández, M., & Sanzana-Müller, P. (2022). Learning Science From Childhood to Adulthood: Life Stories of Chilean and American Doctoral Students in Relation to Their Experiences and Visions About the Nature of Open and Closed Science. Revista Electrónica Educare, 27(1), 1-15. https://doi.org/10.15359/ree.27-1.14510
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