The space shuttle: an introduction to ecology teaching
2009 (English)In: The nature of research in biological education: Old and new perspectives on theoretical and methodological issues / [ed] Marcus Hammann, Arend Jan Waarlo & Kerst Boersma, Utrecht, The Netherlands: CD-beta Press , 2009, 297-311 p.Conference paper (Other academic)
New ways of teaching ecology are needed since teenagers do not find concepts such as food webs interesting. Inquiry-based teaching is suggested to increase the interest in science. This study has an ethnographic approach and three classes of eight graders, 70 students, were observed during two weeks of work with the inquiry-based Space Shuttle task. The classroom atmosphere and teaching situations were rendered by means of thick descriptions. Students’ reasoning was categorised and analysed. 23 audio-taped student interviews were conducted and partly used. The findings show the complex problems in teaching and learning situations that appear during inquiry-based work in a classroom environment. The working atmosphere differed from noisy to calm. Students’ curiosity, level of attainments and interest made them use three levels of reasoning in the first 40 minutes. A learning process about complexity in ecosystems started but little improvement in concept knowledge was achieved. The task encircles students’ knowledge and entices them into ecological thinking and reasoning. The teachers did classroom management and did not have time to listen and support. The students, but not the teachers, were satisfied with the task’s result. The task’s potential in ecology teaching and students’ opportunities to learn will be discussed.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Utrecht, The Netherlands: CD-beta Press , 2009. 297-311 p.
ecology teaching, inquiry-based task, students' reasoning
Research subject didactics of natural science
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-32070OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-32070DiVA: diva2:300865
ERIDOB 2008.Seventh conference of European researchers in didactics of biology,at Utrecht University, 16th - 20th September 2008.
Also Submitted, 2009 to EJSE (Electronic Journal of Science Education)2010-03-012010-03-012015-10-27Bibliographically approved