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  • 1.
    Berge, Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Danielsson, Anna
    Uppsala universitet.
    Lidar, Malena
    Uppsala universitet.
    Storylines in the physics teaching content of an upper secondary school classroom2020In: Research in Science & Technological Education, ISSN 0263-5143, E-ISSN 1470-1138, Vol. 38, no 1, p. 63-83Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Physics is often seen as a discipline with difficult content, and one that is difficult to identify with. Socialisation processes at the upper secondary school level are of particular interest as these may be linked to the subsequent low and uneven participation in university physics. Focusing on how norms are construed in physics classrooms in upper secondary school is therefore relevant.

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to identify discursive patterns in teacher–student interactions in physics classrooms.

    Design and methods: Three different physics lessons with one class of students taught by three different teachers in upper secondary school were video-recorded. Positioning theory was used to analyse classroom interaction with a specific focus on how physics was positioned.

    Results: We identified seven different storylines. Four of them (‘reaching a solution to textbook problems’, ‘discussing physics concepts in order to gain better understanding’, ‘doing empiricalenquiry’ and ‘preparing for the upcoming exam’) represent what teaching physics in an upper secondary school classroom can be. The last three storylines (‘mastering physics’, ‘appreciating physics’ and ‘having a feeling for physics’) all concern how students are supposed to relate to physics and, thus, become ‘insiders’ in the discipline.

    Conclusions: The identification and analysis of storylines raises awareness of the choices teachers make in physics education and their potential consequences for students. For example, in the storyline of mastering physics a good physics student is associated with ‘smartness’, which might make the classroom a less secure place in general. Variation and diversity in the storylines construed in teaching can potentially contribute to a more inclusive physics education.

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  • 2.
    Berge, Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Ingerman, Åke
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Multiple theoretical lenses as an analytical strategy in researching group discussions2017In: Research in Science & Technological Education, ISSN 0263-5143, E-ISSN 1470-1138, Vol. 35, no 1, p. 42-57Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: In science education today, there is an emerging focus on what is happening in situ, making use of an array of analytical traditions. Common practice is to use one specific analytical framing within a research project, but there are projects that make use of multiple analytical framings to further the understanding of the same data, either in parallel or in sequence.

    Purpose: This methodological paper offers a description of using multiple theoretical lenses to address the question ‘What can be learned in groups discussing physics?’ This paper aims to consider and discuss drawbacks and benefits of this design.

    Sources of evidence: In our earlier research project, different theories were purposefully applied in a series of stratified analyses on video data of university students solving physics problems. Level one used phenomenography and variation theory, level two used positioning theory, and level three used techniques from conversation analysis.

    Main argument: Each lens contributed new information about group work in physics. Partly due to the openness of our initial question and the character of our video data, every lens brought new relevant information to the picture of group work in physics. While the theoretical lenses did not reference the same data, they operated with data from the same social setting. We point out that although our analytical frameworks are not commensurable, our different results are: together they offer a better understanding for group work in physics.

    Conclusions: The main benefit was that every level of analysis provided new understandings to create a bigger picture about group work in physics. The order of the analyses was also crucial, since each analysis informed the framing of the next analysis. The biggest drawback was the amount of time and quality of work needed to conduct the analyses.

  • 3.
    Broman, Karolina
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Bernholt, Sascha
    IPN Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education, University of Kiel, Germany.
    Parchmann, Ilka
    IPN Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education, University of Kiel, Germany.
    Analysing Task Design and Students’ Responses to Context-Based Problems Through Different Analytical Frameworks2015In: Research in Science & Technological Education, ISSN 0263-5143, E-ISSN 1470-1138, Vol. 33, no 2, p. 143-161Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Context-based learning approaches are used to enhance students’ interest in, and knowledge about, science. According to different empirical stud- ies, students’ interest is improved by applying these more non-conventional approaches, while effects on learning outcomes are less coherent. Hence, further insights are needed into the structure of context-based problems in comparison to traditional problems, and into students’ problem-solving strategies. Therefore, a suitable framework is necessary, both for the analysis of tasks and strategies. Purpose: The aim of this paper is to explore traditional and context-based tasks as well as students’ responses to exemplary tasks to identify a suitable frame- work for future design and analyses of context-based problems. The paper dis- cusses different established frameworks and applies the Higher-Order Cognitive Skills/Lower-Order Cognitive Skills (HOCS/LOCS) taxonomy and the Model of Hierarchical Complexity in Chemistry (MHC-C) to analyse traditional tasks and students’ responses. Sample: Upper secondary students (n=236) at the Natural Science Programme, i.e. possible future scientists, are investigated to explore learning outcomes when they solve chemistry tasks, both more conventional as well as context-based chemistry problems. Design and methods: A typical chemistry examination test has been analysed, first the test items in themselves (n=36), and thereafter 236 students’ responses to one representative context-based problem. Content analysis using HOCS/ LOCS and MHC-C frameworks has been applied to analyse both quantitative and qualitative data, allowing us to describe different problem-solving strategies. Results: The empirical results show that both frameworks are suitable to identify students’ strategies, mainly focusing on recall of memorized facts when solving chemistry test items. Almost all test items were also assessing lower order think- ing. The combination of frameworks with the chemistry syllabus has been found successful to analyse both the test items as well as students’ responses in a sys- tematic way. The framework can therefore be applied in the design of new tasks, the analysis and assessment of students’ responses, and as a tool for teachers to scaffold students in their problem-solving process. Conclusions: This paper gives implications for practice and for future research to both develop new context-based problems in a structured way, as well as pro- viding analytical tools for investigating students’ higher order thinking in their responses to these tasks.

  • 4.
    Sullivan Hellgren, Jenny
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Lindberg, Stina
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Motivating students with authentic science experiences: changes in motivation for school science2017In: Research in Science & Technological Education, ISSN 0263-5143, E-ISSN 1470-1138, Vol. 35, no 4, p. 409-426Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Students' motivation for science declines over the early teenage years, and students often find school science difficult and irrelevant to their everyday lives. This paper asks whether creating opportunities to connect school science to authentic science can have positive effects on student motivation.

    Purpose: To understand how authentic science experiences can affect students' motivation for science and students’ goals, values, beliefs and attitudes towards science.

    Programme description: The Medicine Hunt brought scientists and students together to find bacteria that produce secondary metabolites with antibiotic effects. Scientists received help with collecting soil samples and teachers and students took an active role in research and worked with solving an authentic problem as a part of their ordinary school science over a course of six months.

    Sample: About 388 students from 18 lower-secondary school classes participating in the Medicine Hunt. Students were enrolled in grade seven to nine (13–15 years old). At this stage, science is compulsory, and all students follow the same science course. The classes represented different geographical regions of Sweden.

    Design and methods: Students filled in motivation questionnaires before and after the Medicine Hunt. Paired t-tests were used to evaluate how students’ intrinsic motivation, goals, values, beliefs and attitudes towards science changed over the project period.

    Results: Students' intrinsic motivation for school science and plans for future participation in science remained unchanged during the period they participated in the Medicine Hunt, and students' goals, values and attitudes followed the well-documented pattern of decline. Thus, the authentic experience can arrest the well-described decline for some motivation-related factors.

    Conclusions: The findings suggest that the authentic experience can arrest some aspects of the decline in motivation for science in the teenage years. The paper discusses the processes around students' motivation in relation to authentic experiences.

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