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Why do teachers adopt or resist a pedagogical idea for teaching science in preschool?
Umeå universitet, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för naturvetenskapernas och matematikens didaktik. Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Umeå centrum för genusstudier (UCGS). (UmSER)ORCID-id: 0000-0001-7273-5442
(engelsk)Manuskript (preprint) (Annet vitenskapelig)
Abstract [en]

Numerous initiatives are carried out across the world to support science teaching in early childhood education. However, professional development research shows that in order for teaching interventions to bring about successful changes in practice, it is key that teacher’s beliefs, confidence and knowledge change. As a complement to studies showing how teachers change, this article exa­­mines why teachers adopt a pedagogical idea for teaching science in preschool. Drawing on Clarke and Hollingsworth’s model for teacher professional growth, the article analyses interviews with teachers that have implemented and developed a pedagogical idea for teaching science in preschool. The results indicate that teachers adopt the pedagogical idea because it helps them to discern and build on science content in everyday practice, which they prefer to their previous way of teaching science through occasional experiments. Further the results show that teachers balance several exter­nal influences on what is good preschool pedagogy. The particular pedagogical idea eases that balancing act since it aligns with, and helps teachers to make meaning of, many of these influences.

Emneord [en]
science education, preschool, professional development, teacher-researcher collaboration, early childhood education
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
pedagogiskt arbete
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-135093OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-135093DiVA, id: diva2:1096617
Tilgjengelig fra: 2017-05-18 Laget: 2017-05-18 Sist oppdatert: 2017-05-19
Inngår i avhandling
1. Utanför experimentlådan: kunskapsproduktion, tid och materia i förskolans naturvetenskapsundervisning
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>Utanför experimentlådan: kunskapsproduktion, tid och materia i förskolans naturvetenskapsundervisning
2017 (svensk)Doktoravhandling, med artikler (Annet vitenskapelig)
Alternativ tittel[en]
Outside the science box : knowledge production, time, and matter in preschool science teaching
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to contribute knowledge on conditions for science teaching in preschool. While Swedish preschool practices commonly build on children’s subjective experiences, scientific knowledge production is often associated with objectivity and detachedness. Seen from that perspective, tensions may occur when the knowledge cultures of preschool and science meet, as when science teaching is implemented in preschool. This thesis seeks to explore issues that are crucial for teachers to negotiate when they implement science teaching in preschool.

The thesis includes five articles that build on empirical data in the form of teachers’ talk (interviews, focus group discussion, project meetings) and observation data from preschool practice. The data analyses draw on various theoretical perspectives, including communities of practice and feminist critique of science as well as theoretical concepts connected to framing and agential realism.

The main result is that it is crucial, to teachers’ implementation of science teaching in preschool, that science content is open to children’s contributions. Further, the results show that teachers integrate several different forms of knowledge production when working with science content in practice. For example, observations and systematic investigations are combined with imagination and children’s bodily experiences. This goes against the presumed tensions between the knowledge cultures of preschool and science. However, tensions between the knowledge cultures are indicated by teachers’ unwillingness to interfere with children’s investigative processes or ideas about science content by relating children’s ideas to scientific explanatory models. Seen from a teacher’s perspective, it appears to be unproblematic to leave children’s ideas about science content unresolved, compared to leaving children’s ideas about social relations and other content unresolved.

Drawing on the results, I discuss teaching beyond the limited material and temporal dimensions of the science box, which emerges as a metaphor when teachers describe a way of teaching that they are not comfortable with. Further, I suggest that the concept working theories, which addresses children’s tentative ideas about relations in their surrounding world, be introduced in preschool science teaching, to ease the perceived conflict between children’s ideas about science and scientific explanatory models.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2017. s. 98
Serie
Doktorsavhandlingar i pedagogiskt arbete, ISSN 1650-8858 ; 78
Emneord
preschool, science education, knowledge cultures, symbolic gender, working theories, time, matter, design-based research
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
pedagogiskt arbete
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-135095 (URN)978-91-7601-708-1 (ISBN)
Disputas
2017-06-13, N360, Naturvetarhuset, Umeå, 13:00 (svensk)
Opponent
Veileder
Prosjekter
Förskolans praktik i mötet med naturvetenskapMiljöer för naturvetenskap i förskolan
Forskningsfinansiär
Swedish Research Council, 2011-5657
Tilgjengelig fra: 2017-05-23 Laget: 2017-05-18 Sist oppdatert: 2017-05-23bibliografisk kontrollert

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