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Laborativt arbete i grundskolans senare år: lärares mål och hur de implementeras
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Mathematics, Technology and Science Education.
2009 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Lab work in secondary school science : teachers' objectives and how these are implemented (English)
Abstract [en]

Laboratory work is considered important for student achievements in science education. This thesis will contribute with increased knowledge about lab work in science education in Swedish secondary school. The main purposes are to describe secondary school science teachers’ objectives for lab work and to describe how these objectives are implemented during laboratory exercises. The thesis shows and discusses, from a teacher perspective, the complexity involved in lab work.The thesis is comprised of four papers based on empirical analysis of teacher interviews, laboratory manuals and laboratory exercises. Two interview studies identified which objectives the teachers consider important and compared these to international studies. Two case studies identified how the teachers’ objectives are put forward during lab work and what factors are important for the implementation of objectives.The results from the interview studies show that Swedish secondary school science teachers express general objectives including the development of students’ understanding of concepts and phenomena, of their interest in science and ability to think and reflect upon labwork. This is to a large extent in accordance with objectives identified in international studies. However, when the teachers describe specific laboratory exercises they emphasize the activity and the laboratory skills. Some of the teachers describe lab work that includes scientific inquiry but not specifically, knowledge about the nature of science. Scientific inquiry was mostly used to develop interest in science and not to develop knowledge about how to systematically investigate phenomena in nature. The teachers express their objectives differently in different contexts. The laboratory manuals mostly put forward objectives to help students identify objects and phenomena and to learn facts, which is not always in accordance with the teachers objectives. Results from the case studies show that the teachers’ objectives do not always correspond to the students’ views of important things to learn. It is not obvious that lab work in itself make students understand a certain scientific content, they need help to “see what is intended to be seen”. Interactions between the teacher and the students are important to help students perceive the teacher’s objectives. Many interactions have a starting point in the laboratory manuals, and if the objectives in the manual correspond to the teacher’s objectives it makes it easier for both the students and the teacher to reach the intentions for the laboratory exercise. Implications for science teaching are discussed.

Abstract [sv]

Att laborationer har en naturlig och central plats i naturvetenskaplig undervisning håller de flesta med om men hur stor vikt svenska grundskollärare lägger på det laborativa arbetet och dess betydelse för elevers lärande i naturvetenskap är inte klarlagt. Denna avhandling ska ge ytterligare kunskap om det laborativa arbetet i svensk grundskola. Avhandlingen har två huvudsyften. Det ena är att ge en beskrivning av de mål för laborativt arbete som lärare i den svenska grundskolans senare år anser viktiga. Det andra är att beskriva hur laborationer som genomförs i skolpraktiken förverkligar de uppsatta målen. Avhandlingen uppmärksammar och diskuterar det laborativa arbetets komplexitet utifrån ett lärarperspektiv.De fyra delstudierna bygger på empiriska undersökningar av intervjuer med lärare, deras laborationsinstruktioner och av det laborativa arbetets genomförande. I två intervjustudier analyseras vilka mål som anses viktiga och hur dessa förhåller sig till internationell forskning om mål med laborationer. I två fallstudier analyseras hur lärarens mål framträder under det laborativa arbetet och vilka faktorer som har betydelse för hur målen implementeras.Resultaten från intervjustudierna visar bland annat att lärare i den svenskagrundskolan uttrycker generella mål för laborativt arbete som att eleverna skautveckla sin förståelse av naturvetenskapliga begrepp och fenomen, sitt intresse för naturvetenskap, och sitt reflekterande över laborativt arbete. Detta överensstämmer i stor utsträckning med mål som framträder i internationella undersökningar. När lärarna talar om specifika laborationer betonar de istället själva aktiviteten och de laborativa färdigheterna. Lärarna uttrycker således sina mål olika i olika sammanhang. Lärarna erbjuder laborationer där undersökande arbete förekommer men de utnyttjar inte laborationerna till att skapa förståelse av naturvetenskapens karaktär. Det undersökande arbetet utnyttjas främst för att öka intresset för naturvetenskap och inte för att ge kunskap om metoder för naturvetenskapliga undersökningar. Laborationsinstruktionerna innehåller i stor utsträckning mål för att hjälpa elever att identifiera objekt och att lära sig fakta. Instruktionernas mål stämmer inte alltid överens med lärarnas mål med laborationerna. Resultaten från fallstudierna visar att lärarna ofta har fler mål med laborationerna än de som kommer fram under genomförandet och att lärarnas mål inte alltid överensstämmer med vad eleverna uppfattar som viktigt. Det är inte självklart att det laborativa arbetet i sig medför att eleverna förstår ett visst naturvetenskapligt innehåll, eleverna behöver hjälp att ”se vad som är avsett att se”. Interaktionerna mellan lärare och elever och mellan elever och elever är mycket viktiga för att eleverna ska uppfatta målen. Mycket av interaktionerna tar sin utgångspunkt i laborationsinstruktionen. Om målen i denna överensstämmer med de mål läraren vill eftersträva underlättar det både för läraren och för eleverna. I avhandlingen diskuteras konsekvenser för undervisningen.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , 79 p.
Series
Studies in Science and Technology Education, ISSN 1652-5051 ; 28
Keyword [en]
Case studies; Laboratory manuals; Lab work; Nature of science; Science education; Science classroom; Scientific Inquiry; Secondary school; Teachers.
Keyword [sv]
Fallstudier; Grundskolans senare år; Laborativt arbete; Lärare; Naturvetenskapens karaktär; NO-undervisning; Undersökande arbete.
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-20628ISBN: 978-91-7264-755-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-20628DiVA: diva2:209219
Public defence
2009-04-17, N450, 90187 Umeå, Naturvetarhuset, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-03-27 Created: 2009-03-24 Last updated: 2009-03-27Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Lärares mål med laborativt arbete: Utveckla förståelse och intresse
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Lärares mål med laborativt arbete: Utveckla förståelse och intresse
2006 (Swedish)In: NorDiNa: Nordisk Didaktikk i Naturfag / Naturorienterende ämnen, no 5, 54-66 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-12321 (URN)
Available from: 2007-12-27 Created: 2007-12-27 Last updated: 2015-10-27Bibliographically approved
2. Implementation of Objectives for Laboratory Work in Secondary School Science
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Implementation of Objectives for Laboratory Work in Secondary School Science
2008 (English)In: Annual conference of National Association of Research in Science Teaching (NARST): Impact of Science Education Research on Public Policy, 2008Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this case study of three laboratory exercises in biology, chemistry and physics is to show how three Swedish secondary school science teachers’ objectives for labwork are carried out in practice. What objectives do the teachers

put forward for specific laboratory exercises, what objectives appear in supporting laboratory manuals and how do objectives appear in teacher and student interactions during laboratory work? In three cases, pre-interviews with teachers

about their objectives took place, laboratory manuals were collected, video recordings of the actual laboratory exercises were made and post-interviews with teachers about these video-recordings took place. Comparisons between objectives

expressed by the teachers, identified in laboratory manuals and identified in teacher actions and teacher-student interactions were made to examine how objectives appeared during labwork. The results show that the introduction of the laboratory exercise and its laboratory manual is very important for the way

labwork is performed. In order for teachers’ objectives to be implemented, results in this study put forward that a correlation between objectives, laboratory manual and actual labwork is favourable. Objectives need to be explicit to the teacher and

that teachers’ awareness of the need to pursue objectives is crucial.

Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-10505 (URN)
Available from: 2008-09-22 Created: 2008-09-22 Last updated: 2015-10-27Bibliographically approved
3. Lab work and learning in secondary school chemistry: the importance of teacher and student interaction
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Lab work and learning in secondary school chemistry: the importance of teacher and student interaction
2010 (English)In: Research in science education, ISSN 0157-244X, E-ISSN 1573-1898, Vol. 40, no 4, 505-523 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Laboratory work is considered essential in promoting students' learning of science and of scientific inquiry. What the students perceive as important to learn from a regular laboratory exercise is probably affected by the teacher's objectives. We study to what extent one teacher's objectives are fulfilled during lab work, and how teacher-student and student-student interactions contribute to developing learning experiences from the laboratory exercise. Do students encounter opportunities to learn in agreement with the teacher's objectives? This explanatory single case study includes use of a palette of methods, such as pre- and post-interviews, observations and video documentation from anexperienced secondary school teacher and her 8th grade (aged 13-14) students' laboratory work. Our results point to the importance of teacher involvement to help students understand what to look for, how to do it and why. Especially teacher-student interactions during lab work seemed to influence what students perceived as important to learn. In the laboratory exercise in this case, the teacher helped the students to observe and to use their observations in their explanations. The lab work included learning experiences other than those addressed by the teacher, and the teacher's intentions were partially fulfilled. Not only what the teacher says, but also how the teacher acts is important to help students understand what to learn from a laboratory exercise.

Keyword
Case study; Interaction; Lab work; Learning opportunities; Secondary school
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-20685 (URN)10.1007/s11165-009-9131-3 (DOI)000279606100002 ()
Available from: 2009-03-24 Created: 2009-03-24 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
4. Laborativt arbete i grundskolans senare år: Lärares perspektiv
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Laborativt arbete i grundskolans senare år: Lärares perspektiv
2010 (Swedish)In: NorDiNa: Nordic Studies in Science Education, ISSN 1504-4556, E-ISSN 1894-1257, Vol. 6, no 1, 80-91 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this paper we describe the results from interviews withscience teachers in lower secondary school. The teachers were asked whatthey wanted to achieve with laboratory work, what difficulties theyexperienced and if there were any differences between lab work in biology,chemistry and physics. The results show that the teachers wanted lab workto help the students develop their understanding, to make them interestedand to develop their laboratory skills. Some of the teachers described labwork that included scientific inquiry but not, specifically, knowledge abouthow to systematically investigate phenomena in nature. Aspects of natureof science were rare. Lack of time to discuss with the students during labwork was seen as one difficulty. Laboratory exercises in chemistry wereoften regarded too abstract while lab work in physics and biology weremuch easier to link to everyday life.

National Category
Pedagogical Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-20686 (URN)
Available from: 2009-03-24 Created: 2009-03-24 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved

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