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Culturally equipped for socio-scientific issues?: a comparative study on how teachers and students in mono- and multiethnic schools handle work with complex issues
Malmö högskola, Lärarutbildningen. (SISC)
Malmö högskola, Lärarutbildningen. (SISC)
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education. (UMSER)
2011 (English)In: International Journal of Science Education, ISSN 0950-0693, E-ISSN 1464-5289, Vol. 33, no 13, 1835-1859 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Socio-scientific issues (SSI) are not only said to increase students' interest in science, but they also strengthen the generic skills of teamwork, problem-solving, and media literacy. At the same time, these skills are prerequisites for successful work with SSI. The aim of the study is to analyze what happens when SSI are implemented in science classrooms with various degrees of ethnic diversity and socio-cultural status. We are also interested in knowing how teachers structure the SSI work from discourses on what suits different students. Quantitative and qualitative methods are combined, for example, questionnaires and ethnographic fieldwork, presented through partial least squares analysis and thick descriptions. We can notice discursive differences between 'Us' and 'The Other' and between mono- and multiethnic schools. In an earlier research, images of differences between the different student groups emerged, and we can find these in the results from the questionnaires. In an observation study, another pattern appeared that indicated similarities rather than differences between mono- and multiethnic classrooms. The students are first of all inside the discourse of 'the successful student.' Noteworthy is that the teachers' roles correspond better with the discourse than with how students actually act. The study also shows that SSI articulate a collision between different discourses on education: a discourse on differences between students in multi- and monoethnic classrooms; a discourse on how to become a successful student; and a discourse on the school's mission to educate participating citizens. It is suggested that schools should relate to, expose, and articulate discursive clashes that emerge when introducing new work forms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis , 2011. Vol. 33, no 13, 1835-1859 p.
Keyword [en]
discourse, multicultural, science education
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
educational work; didactics of chemistry; didactics of biology; didactics of physics
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-37637DOI: 10.1080/09500693.2010.519803ISI: 000300221300004OAI: diva2:369532
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2010-11-10 Created: 2010-11-10 Last updated: 2015-06-22Bibliographically approved

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Winberg, Mikael
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