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The Science labwork situation and opportunities for learning – Teacher and student perspectives
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Mathematics and Science Education.
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Mathematics and Science Education.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7961-1741
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Labwork in science education has been questioned with respect to its contribution to learning. This paper reports on critical factors to enhance students’ meaning making during labwork in six different Swedish schools. Using Spy-glass cameras we were able to collect close-up video data from student talk and activities. Student focus varied between schools and student groups, on most occasion a majority of time was spent focusing clearly outside anything related to the subject. Teachers’ introductions were categorized according to their main focus (scientific ideas, laboratory skills or knowledge of scientific inquiries) and school-related students’ negotiations were analyzed using the same categories. There was no clear-cut relationship between the focus of teacher introductions and the nature of the school-related student negotiations. Overall, teacher introductions most often focused on the scientific ideas. However, student negotiations were dominated by the laboratory skills category, followed by scientific ideas. Negotiations concerning knowledge of scientific inquiry were rare. Small variations among groups suggests that students had similar experiences of what was expected from them in the labwork situation. We found a connection between whether the scientific ideas had been previously processed and the likelihood that students discussions would focus on the scientific ideas. There was a range in the type of tasks given to the students in connection with the labwork. We found that both open discussions about scientific topics as well as limited activities such as simply filling in a form could potentially generate scientific discussions. However, the combination of previously unprocessed scientific content and openly formulated tasks was never successful. We conclude that several factors affect student focus and that the labwork situation remains questionable as learning situations as long as all these factors are not entirely appreciated by teachers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-37873OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-37873DiVA, id: diva2:1375345
Conference
XVIII IOSTE Symposium, Malmö, Sweden 13-17 Aug, 2018
Available from: 2019-12-04 Created: 2019-12-04 Last updated: 2019-12-04Bibliographically approved

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von Zeipel, HugoWestman, Anna-Karin

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf