Do Moments Sum to Years? Explanations in Time
In this final chapter, Lehrer and Schauble review the contributions of the commentary chapters with an eye to evaluating whether and how fine-grained analyses of brief slices of time illuminate long-term development and learning. The authors conclude that interaction analysis can lend richness, depth, and complexity that are difficult to pursue at larger time-scales. At the same time, this kind of close focus can miss larger patterns, because there is no guarantee that what happens within a relatively brief period will resemble or predict the forms of reasoning, disciplinary knowledge, and identity that a student develops over the years of his or her educational history. These conclusions articulate a tension that goes to the heart of our field – we do not yet have either satisfactory mechanisms of account or even many extent cases that can assist us in reconciling perspectives and explanations at different scales of time. As the field of education research matures, seeking this kind of articulation among levels of description will become increasingly important.
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