Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Mind, Culture, and Activity: An International Journal






Taylor & Francis

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Last Page



Changing an established role in a classroom is difficult. It involves constructing a new set of relations within a community. In this article we investigate how students with newly developed interest and experience in programming developed outside the classroom pick up and establish their roles as experts in programming within the classroom community. More specifically, we focus on how two 11-year-old software designers shifted their established roles in their classroom to gain status as expert programmers. We use an identity lens to understand how peer expertise was established in the context of a classroom community, adopting a multifaceted perspective of identity by focusing on an individual's narrativization of self, full, or peripheral participation among a group of people, and individuals' social recognition by others. Our findings point to the importance of both positive positioning by authority figures in the classroom and activities and roles that provide opportunities to establish intersubjectivity among peers in facilitating students' identities as experts in the classroom. Students' willingness to take up a new position in the established activity system also played a role. We consider implications of how making roles flexible within classroom stratification may provide opportunities for more students see themselves as experts.



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