Vilka frågor ställer elever och vilka elever ställer frågor: En studie av elevers frågor i naturorienterande ämnen i och utanför klassrummet
1991 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
The purpose of this study is to investigate some of the conditions for teaching based on questions asked by the students. Special attention is given to the possibilities inherent in students' questions and to the limitations in the classroom. Two classes in each of the grades 3, 6 and 9 in six different schools were visited and the teaching was tape-recorded and observed. Complete descriptions of the lessons could be written down on the basis of these recordings and the observer's notes. 1024 questions that students asked were extracted and analysed on the basis of these descriptions. It appeared that boys asked almost twice as many questions as girls in almost all categories of questions with the exception of questions that the teacher invited the students to ask, orally or in writing, at the beginning of a new content area. Girls also asked comparatively more questions that opened the perspective by putting things into a wider context.
In the visited classes 55 students were randomly selected for interviews. In the interviews the students were told to ask questions about six different objects. Altogether the students produced 1345 questions, girls slightly more than boys. The questions had to be systematized in order to be described in a suitable way. From the systematizing activity both content-oriented themes and cognitive categories emerged. The content-oriented themes were different for different objects, but certain similarities were observed. The themes could be organized along two lines, one stretching from the history or origin through actual appearance to future use and the other from details through appearance to relations to the surroundings. The cognitive categories that were found remained the same for all objects.
It is worth emphasizing that the identification and description of the themes and categories of the content of the pupils' questions, within as well as outside the classroom, are to be seen as a main result of this study.
Both concerning content-oriented themes and cognitive categories it was found that boys, working class students and students in grade 3 favoured the different categories in much the same way. The same applies to girls, upper middle class students and students in grade 6.
In interviews teachers claimed that students were allowed to influence the teaching content by asking questions. Questions were said to be welcomed, noticed and answered. At the same time some of the teachers expressed strong ideas about what the students should know and what was expected of them. The analysis of the teachers' handling of the students' questions clearly demonstrated how teachers used certain strategies in order to adjust the questions to suit their purpose of stressing or repeating things that they considered to be important. All in the interest of being efficient and not wasting time.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 1991. , 214 p.
Akademiska avhandlingar vid Pedagogiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, ISSN 0281-6768 ; 31
students' questions, science teaching, classroom interaction, teacher strategies, gender differences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-16591ISBN: 91-7174-632-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-16591DiVA: diva2:156264