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  • 1.
    Airey, John
    et al.
    Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Music and physics don't mix!: What the humorous misuse of disciplinary-specific semiotic resources can tell us about disciplinary boundaries2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Becoming part of an academic discipline has been described both in terms of becoming fluent in a disciplinary discourse (Airey 2009; Airey & Linder 2009; Northedge 2002) and achieving disciplinary literacy (Airey 2011, 2013; Geisler 1994). In this paper we investigate disciplinary boundaries by documenting the responses of academics to a semiotic disciplinary hybrid. The hybrid we use is the Physikalisches Lied, a bogus piece of sheet music into which disciplinary-specific semiotic resources from the realm of physics have been incorporated to humorous effect.

    The piece is presented to three distinct disciplinary focus groups: physicists, musicians and a group of academics who have had little contact with either discipline. In order to elicit disciplinary responses that are free from researcher prompts, each focus group is first asked the simple, open-ended question What do you see here? Once discussion of this question is exhausted the focus groups are asked to identify as many puns as they can - essentially all the disciplinary items that they feel have been misappropriated - and to attempt to explain what this means from a disciplinary standpoint. The differences in the responses of the three groups are presented and analysed.

    We argue that the semiotic resources focused on by each of the three groups and the nature of the explanation offered provide evidence of the degree of integration into the disciplines of physics and music. Our findings shed light on the process of becoming a disciplinary insider and the semiotic work involved in this process.

  • 2.
    Airey, John
    et al.
    Uppsala University.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    That’s funny!: The humorous effect of misappropriating disciplinary-specific semiotic resources2014Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The socialization of disciplinary outsiders into an academic discipline has been described both in terms of becoming fluent in a disciplinary discourse (Airey, 2009; Airey & Linder, 2009; Northedge, 2002) and achieving disciplinary literacy (Airey, 2011, 2013; Geisler, 1994). In this paper we investigate disciplinary boundaries by documenting the responses of academics to a semiotic disciplinary hybrid. The hybrid we use is the Physikalisches Lied, a bogus piece of sheet music into which disciplinary-specific semiotic resources from the realm of physics have been incorporated to humorous effect.

    The piece is presented to three distinct disciplinary focus groups: physicists, musicians and a group of academics who have had little contact with either discipline. In order to elicit disciplinary responses that are free from researcher prompts, each focus group is first asked the simple, open-ended question What do you see here? Once discussion of this question is exhausted the focus groups are asked to identify as many puns as they can—essentially all the disciplinary items that they feel have been misappropriated—and to attempt to explain what this means from a disciplinary standpoint. The differences in the responses of the three groups are presented and analysed.

    We argue that semiotic material focused on by each of the three groups and the nature of the explanation offered, provide evidence of the degree of integration into the disciplines of physics and music. Our findings shed light on the process of becoming a disciplinary insider and the semiotic work involved in this process.

     

    References

    Airey, J. (2009). Science, Language and Literacy. Case Studies of Learning in Swedish University Physics. Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis. Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology 81. Uppsala Retrieved 2009-04-27, from http://publications.uu.se/theses/abstract.xsql?dbid=9547

    Airey, J. (2011). The Disciplinary Literacy Discussion Matrix: A Heuristic Tool for Initiating Collaboration in Higher Education. Across the disciplines, 8(3).

    Airey, J. (2013). Disciplinary Literacy. In E. Lundqvist, L. Östman & R. Säljö (eds.), Scientific literacy – teori och praktik (pp. 41-58): Gleerups.

    Airey, J., & Linder, C. (2009). A disciplinary discourse perspective on university science learning: Achieving fluency in a critical constellation of modes. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46(1), 27-49.

    Geisler, C. (1994). Academic literacy and the nature of expertise: Reading, writing, and knowing in academic philosophy. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

    Northedge, A. (2002). Organizing excursions into specialist discourse communities: A sociocultural account of university teaching. In G. Wells & G. Claxton (eds.), Learning for life in the 21st century. Sociocultural perspectives on the future of education (pp. 252-264). Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.

  • 3.
    Anderhag, Per
    et al.
    Department of Research and Development Education Administration, City of Stockholm, Sweden.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    The Role of Situated Humour and Joking for Cognitive Learning in the Science Classroom2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Previous research in science education reveals that teachers and students use humour when they communicate with each other in a science education context. In this paper we explore consequences of humour for learning in two different contexts of physics education using video-data: a physics classroom in year nine and a group of four undergraduate students learning basic mechanics together. The video data was analysed with practical epistemology analysis (PEA). The findings showed that the participants in situations of cognitive indeterminacy made jokes to clarify how reasoning and actions tallied with the task at hand. These humorous situations positively affected students’ capability to act intentionally towards the aim of the activity and the results show that this way of joking can have positive consequences for student learning. Therefore, humour ought to be viewed as a significant resource for meaning making in the science classroom. 

  • 4.
    Andrée, Maria
    et al.
    Stockholms universitet.
    Arvola-Orlander, Auli
    Stockholms universitet.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University.
    Caiman, Cecilia
    Stockholms universitet.
    Danielsson, Anna
    Uppsala universitet.
    Grande, Virginia
    Uppsala universitet.
    Günter, Katerina
    Uppsala universitet.
    Günther-Hanssen, Anna
    Uppsala universitet.
    von Hausswolff, Kristina
    Uppsala universitet.
    Jobér, Anna
    Malmö universitet.
    Johansson, Anders
    Nyström, Anne-Sofie
    Uppsala universitet.
    Ottemo, Andreas
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Palmer, Anna
    Stockhlms universitet.
    Peters, Anne-Kathrine
    Uppsala universitet.
    Planting-Bergloo, Sara
    Stockholms universitet.
    Silfver, Eva
    Umeå University.
    Ståhl, Marie
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Sumpter, Lovisa
    Stockholms universitet.
    Social justice in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education: Establishing a platform for conversation2019Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 5.
    Anna T, Danielsson
    et al.
    Uppsala universitet.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Lidar, Malena
    Uppsala universitet.
    Svensson, Maria
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Östman, Leif
    Uppsala universitet.
    Ingerman, Åke
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Power and Knowledge in the Technology Classroom: The Development and Illustration of a Conceptual Framework2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper explores the constitution of power and knowledge in science and technology classrooms. A deepened examination of the teaching of science and technology is partly motivated by these subjects high status in society, how they portrayed as crucial both for the individual, in order to function in an increasingly technologically advanced society, and for the society at large, while finding it increasingly difficult to attract interest among the youth. In the Swedish context, where this research is carried out, it can further be noted that while the country is top-ranked on a number of equality indices and in general has a reputation that highlights its commitment to eradicating social inequalities, the labour market is still highly gender segregated and in university educations focused on the physical sciences and engineering men are substantially overrepresented (Nyström 2009, Alexandersson 2011). This somewhat paradoxical situation further motivates studies of how science and technology are constructed in and beyond the classroom in Sweden, since often cited reasons to women's underrepresentation in science and technology in, for example, the U.S., such as the legislation regarding parental leave and the tenure clock (Rosser 2012), is much less applicable to the Swedish context. In our research project we take a particular interest in a period where research show that many students lose interest in science and technology, namely the last years of compulsory schooling (cf. Lindahl 2003, Archer et al. 2010). By a deepened exploration of how power and knowledge interrelate in moment-to-moment interactions in the classroom we therefore hope to provide some additional clues as to how micro-inequalities, adding up to patterns of exclusion in science and technology (Rosser 2012), occur in the classroom context.

    The aim of this paper is to develop and illustrate the use of a conceptual framework for exploring how power relations are constituted in the technology classroom – in terms of what Foucault (1982/2002) conceptualises as 'actions upon actions' (p. 340) – by the research questions:

    1)      How are teacher actions communicating how and what knowledge is privileged in the classroom?

    2)      How is this knowledge privileging establishing power relations, in terms of possibilities for student actions?

  • 6. Anna T, Danielsson
    et al.
    Lidar, Malena
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    The enactment of power within ‘didactical contracts’ of classroom teaching2015Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper reports on an empirical exploration of the constitution of power and knowledge in science and technology classrooms. A deepened examination of the teaching of science and technology is partly motivated by these subjects high status in society, how they are portrayed as crucial both for the individual, in order to function in an increasingly technologically advanced society, and for the society at large, while finding it increasingly difficult to attract interest among the youth . We are interested in how (instances of) teacher-student interaction can be understood as simultaneously contributing to meaning making and producing power relations. The empirical design is based on a purposive sampling of classrooms. The paper draws on three video recorded case studies of physics and technology teaching, with students in the ages 14-17. The analysis is focused on how actions initiated by the teachers (analysed in terms of epistemological moves (Lidar et al. 2006)) and the responses to these actions are functional in constituting a ‘didactical contract’ (Brousseau & Warfield 1999). In our paper we contrast the didactical contracts for the three studied classrooms, and discuss how power relations must be understood as integral to these contracts. Furthermore, a key concern in the analysis is to take the situatedness of the studied classroom seriously, by theoretically and empirically acknowledging that these classrooms are by no means isolated from surrounding structural factors (e.g. gendered disciplinary and societal norms). How to address this concern is something we are keen to discuss during the conference.

  • 7.
    Anna T, Danielsson
    et al.
    Uppsala universitet.
    Lidar, Malena
    Uppsala universitet.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Svensson, Maria
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Östman, Leif
    Uppsala universitet.
    Ingerman, Åke
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Studying Power and Knowledge in the Technology Classroom: Towards a Conceptual Framework2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper reports on an empirical exploration of the constitution of power and knowledge in science and technology (S&T) classrooms. A deepened examination of the teaching of S&T is partly motivated by high status of these subjects in society, how they are portrayed as crucial both for the individual, in order to function in an increasingly technologically advanced society, and for the society at large, while finding it increasingly difficult to attract interest among the youth. The aim of this paper is to develop and illustrate the use of a conceptual framework for exploring how power relations are constituted in the technology classroom – in terms of what Foucault (1982/2002) conceptualises as ‘actions upon actions’ (p. 340) – by the research questions: 1) How are teacher actions communicating how and what knowledge is privileged in the classroom? 2) How is this knowledge privileging establishing power relations, in terms of possibilities for student actions? The conceptual framework makes use of practical epistemological analysis (Wickman & Östman 2002) as an analytical tool for describing teacher actions that involves a privileging of a certain educational content. Furthermore, it also utilises an adaptation of Brousseau’s (1997) concept ‘didactical contract’ that includes a Foucauldian conceptualisation of power. The empirical design relies on a purposive sampling of classrooms, documenting classroom activities using video recordings. This paper will illustrate the use of the conceptual framework, by an analysis of a case of three lessons in one Swedish technology classroom in grade 8. The topic of these lessons concerns solid and stable constructions. The pupils work in smaller groups with construction of bridges, a very common activity when working with this topic in Swedish classrooms. The first stage of the analysis focuses the actions initiated by the teacher, through the identification of epistemological moves (Lidar et al. 2006), such as instructional or confirming moves. In a second stage, the analysis focuses on how these ‘moves’ are functional in constituting a ‘didactical contract’, that is ‘the (specific) set of behaviours of the teacher which are expected of the students and the set of behaviours of the student which are expected by the teacher’ (Brousseau & Warfield 1999, p. 47). In summary, we argue that the investigation of how power and knowledge interrelate in moment-to-moment interactions in the classroom may provide additional clues to how micro-inequalities, adding up to patterns of exclusion in S&T (Rosser 2012), occur in the classroom context.

  • 8.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education. Chalmers, Göteborg, Sweden.
    Group work and physics: characteristics, learning possibilities and patterns of interaction2011Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis explores group work in physics at university level. The guiding researchinterest is what happens in the students’ interactions during such (instructional)activities, focusing both on the physics content and group dynamics. The four collatedpapers are based on empirical data consisting of video and audio-recordings of sevengroups of students solving physics problems concerning force and friction in Newtonianmechanics. The students belonged to the Engineering Physics and Bioengineeringprogrammes at Chalmers University of Technology.In line with the guiding research interest, different facets of group work data wereanalysed using a multi-theoretic perspective at three levels with focus on the content,the context and the components. The three distinct approaches were based on differenttheoretical frameworks: phenomenography combined with variation theory, positioningtheory, and conversation analysis. The results presented in this thesis relate topedagogical characteristics of the learning situation, learning possibilities and patternsof interaction and all the analytical approaches contribute to all the aspects of theresults. The purpose of this design was to achieve a deeper understanding of a complexempirical situation by offering several accounts that are analytically and theoreticallydifferently grounded. The theoretical frameworks have been interpreted, and sometimesadapted, in order to offer analytical strength in reflecting essential facets of theempirical data with respect to the research interest. Each level of analysis uncoverednew dimensions of the learning situation, potentially enabling a synthesis of differentunderstandings of group work. This synthesis will inform and support instructionaladvice for the learning of physics.The results show that learning physics in small groups is a complex and nonlinearprocess where the students’ learning possibilities differ and have many levels. Theselearning possibilities take place simultaneously in group sessions and areinterconnected, for example, developing through discussion the way of experiencingphysics concepts, becoming and being part of a physics or an engineering communityand interactively producing answers, as well as communicative and representationaltools for learning.

  • 9.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    “The other side” of learning physics: positioning the subject2015In: Researching the dynamics of teaching and learning science: Sociocultural and discursive approaches incorporating positioning theory, 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    An enduring aim in educational research is to identify factors in teaching and learning, the curriculum, and the learning environment, operating at the classroom and school level, which can directly or indirectly explain variation in what students learn. This paper reports on how positioning theory (Harré & van Langenhove, 1999) can be used to consider social dimensions of learning physics from the perspective of the learner or “the other sides” of learning physics. Such a perspective provides insight into the learning process in a way that cannot be captured in pre- and post-tests, such as in traditional conceptual change approaches. The analysis draws on empirical data from two Swedish classrooms where students in upper secondary school prepare themselves for their final physics exam. In total, fifteen students were video-recorded and interviewed before their exam. Data was analysed with an analytical framework based on positioning theory. In this study all students, strong as well as weak, position themselves as dependent upon the book of formulas. Moreover, their collection of formulas (a book) takes a central position in their learning interactions, lending explanatory insight into findings from earlier research that a good performance in physics exams does not necessarily mean good conceptual understanding. In contrast to the Swedish curriculum, which stresses the importance of the student developing conceptual understanding and the capacity for inquiry, the students positioned themselves as successful physics learners based upon their capacity to make use of a specific book. These results foreground important contextual factors which can indirectly affect how and what kind of physics students learn in the classroom.

  • 10.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    The Role of Humor in Learning Physics: a Study of Undergraduate Students2017In: Research in science education, ISSN 0157-244X, E-ISSN 1573-1898, Vol. 47, no 2, p. 427-450Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We all know that they do it, but what do students laugh about when learning science together? Although research has shown that students do use humor when they learn science, the role of humor in science education has received little attention. In this study, undergraduate students’ laughter during collaborative work in physics has been investigated. In order to do this, a framework inspired by conversation analysis has been used. Empirical data was drawn from two video-recorded sessions in which first-year engineering students solved physics problems together. The analysis revealed that the students’ use of humor was almost exclusively related to physics. Five themes identified summarize the role of humor in the group discussions: Something is obvious, Something is difficult, Something said might be wrong, Something is absurd, and Something said is not within informal norms.

    This study shows that humor may contribute not only to a good working atmosphere and thereby to the students’ learning but also how humor interrelates with both disciplinary culture of physics and its epistemology. The students do not only create and re-create humor that facilitates their social interactions, but through humor they constitute local norms of science and engage with the disciplinary discourse.

  • 11.
    Berge, Maria
    et al.
    Chalmers, Göteborg, Sweden.
    Adawi, Tom
    Chalmers, Göteborg, Sweden.
    Comparing Group and Individual Problem Solving: A Case Study from Newtonian Mechanics2012Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Previous research has demonstrated that many students not only emerge from their studies ofphysics with serious gaps in their conceptual understanding but that they also experience seriousstructural difficulties when solving physics problems, such as being able to see the structureof possible solutions and answers before actually solving the problem [1, 2]. One commonly implementedinstructional strategy to bridge these two types of gaps is to let students solve problems in groups, asthis leads to better conceptual understanding and students are able to solve more complex problems ingroups than individually [3,4]. There has, however, been very little research focusing on how the problemsolving process changes when students solve physics problems together rather than individually. In this case study, we explore differences and similarities in how students formulate and solve physicsproblems in groups and individually. The empirical data comprised video-recorded sessions of studentssolving problems in groups [5] and semi-structured interviews with other students solving thesame set of problems individually [2]. All students were enrolled in Engineering Physics at Chalmers Universityof Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. The problems were drawn from Newtonian mechanicsand the solution to the problems required an understanding of basic notions such as force, friction, accelerationand system. Success on the problems also required an understanding of basic mathematicalnotions such as functions, systems of equations and derivatives. An analysis of the video-recordingsand the interviews revealed how the students struggled with both near- and far transfer [6, 7], i.e. transferto a similar and a different context. Moreover, different patterns of problem solving that were connectedto the social context, i.e. if the problems were solved in groups or individually, became apparent.A comparison between these contexts illustrates some of the benefits of collaborative learning. Someimplications for instruction are also discussed in the paper.

  • 12.
    Berge, Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Anderhag, Per
    Department of Mathematics and Science Education Department of Mathematics and Science Education Stockholm University.
    Consequences of Humour in Physics Education2014Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 13.
    Berge, Maria
    et al.
    Chalmers, Göteborg, Sweden.
    Anna T, Danielsson
    University of Cambridge, UK.
    Ingerman, Åke
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Different stories of group work: exploring problem solving in engineering education2012In: NorDiNa: Nordic Studies in Science Education, ISSN 1504-4556, E-ISSN 1894-1257, Vol. 8, no 1, p. 3-16Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article aims to further the understanding of group work in higher education, primarily in science. This is done through an empirical investigation of problem solving in small groups. Position theory isused as an analytic tool for describing the complex and dynamic processes of group work, focusing simultaneously on the physics content and the student community and how they constitute each other. We analysed four video-recorded sessions with students from two Master’s programs, Engineering Physics and Bioengineering, respectively. The students addressed two introductory mechanics problems. The analysis resulted in a characterisation in terms of seven ‘storylines’ of two different kinds. These are argued to reflect different aspects of engineering student communities, where one kind of storylines captures ways of approaching the problems and the other kind exemplifies boundary work involved in the constitution of communities.

  • 14.
    Berge, Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Anna T, Danielsson
    Uppsala universitet.
    Lidar, Malena
    Uppsala universitet.
    Östman, Leif
    Uppsala universitet.
    Ingerman, Åke
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Svensson, Maria
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Constructions of power and knowledge in the technology classroom2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study is to investigate how knowledge and power are constituted in meaning-making processes in technology classrooms in relation to the teachers’ enactment of a disciplinary discourse. By collecting video data from a Swedish technology classroom in grade 8 we explore interaction on a micro-level. Our examination of the teaching of technology is motivated by the fact that this is a key period for students engagement in technology and that many students are losing interest in the subject during grades 7-9. Our analysis is guided by an analytical framework based on practical epistemology, teachers’ epistemological moves and the theory of didactical contract as completely implicit but highly powerful aspect of the relationship between teacher and student. Our analysis reveals that in the interaction between a teacher and her pupils both knowledge and power are mutually constituted in meaning-making processes, and are not possible to separate. It is therefore fruitful to use an analytical framework that includes both meaning-making and power in further research.

  • 15.
    Berge, Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Danielsson, Anna
    Uppsala University.
    Characterising learning interactions: a study of university students solving physics problems in groups2013In: Research in science education, ISSN 0157-244X, E-ISSN 1573-1898, Vol. 43, no 3, p. 1177-1196Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this article is to explore how a group of four university physics students addressed mechanics problems, in terms of student direction of attention, problem solving strategies and their establishment of and ways of interacting. Adapted from positioning theory, the concepts ‘positioning’ and ‘storyline’ are used to describe and to analyse student interaction. Focused on how the students position the physics problems, themselves, and each other, the analyses produced five different storylines. The dominant storyline deals with how the students handled the problem solving, whilst two other storylines characterise alternative ways of handling the physics problems, whereas the two remaining storylines are concerned with how students positioned themselves and others—as either funny and/or knowledgeable physics students—and constitute different aspects of the physics community. Finally, the storylines are discussed in relation to the pedagogical situation, with recommendations made for teaching practice and future research.

  • 16.
    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 classroom2019In: Research in Science & Technological Education, ISSN 0263-5143, E-ISSN 1470-1138Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Physics is often seen as a discipline with difficultcontent, 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 unevenparticipation 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 oneclass 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 onhow 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 thediscipline.

    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, inthe 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.

  • 17.
    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.

  • 18.
    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 discussions: Research in Science & Technological Education2017In: Recent highlights from Research in Science and Technological Education, Dublin, 2017Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 19.
    Berge, Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Ingerman, Åke
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Multiple theoretical spaces as analytical strategy in researching classroom interaction2012Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    What are the challenges and benefits of multiple theories within a single study to promote our understanding of learning? In this paper a study of university students solving physics problems, different theories were purposefully applied in a series of stratified analyses. Level one employing phenomenography and variation theory, level two using positioning theory and level three making use of the techniques of conversation analysis. We propose that these three analytical perspectives are complementary rather than commensurable, because they are not referring to the same data, even though the data they reference is derived from the same social setting, situation and event. Consequently, any ontological mismatch does not matter since the different perspectives do not address the same issues - they do not even exist in the same theoretical space.

  • 20.
    Berge, Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Ingerman, Åke
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Triple vision in different theoretical spaces: exploring physics jokes in small group discussions in engineering education2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We have used multiple theoretical spaces as analytical strategy when researching learning possibilities when engineering students discuss physics together. Three different theories were purposefully applied in a series of stratified analyses. Level one employing phenomenography and variation theory, level two using positioning theory and level three making use of the techniques of conversation analysis. Having done this, we wanted to explore to what extent a phenomena in one theoretical space is visible in other theoretical spaces (but not naturally focused on) and what it in that case looks like. The students’ jokes are examples of such which were also important part of the students’ conversation. Our analysis illustrates how one joke is observable through all three analytical lenses. The three analytical lenses are linked to three different theoretical spaces, even when it is linked to the same original event. The lenses have become advantageous in different ways: the lens of conversational analyses assistances to discern the joke, the lens of position theory provides clues about the cultural context and the lens of phenomenography and variation theory informs us the learning possibilities that are related to the jokes. In this paper we propose and illustrate that these three theoretical perspectives are complementary rather than commensurable, because they are not referring to the same data, even though the data they reference is derived from the same event.

  • 21.
    Berge, Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Ingerman, Åke
    Department of Pedagogical, Curricular and Professional Studies, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Danielsson, Anna
    King's College London, London, United Kingdom.
    Silfver, Eva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Searching for a viable approach to project work in engineering education2017In: Proceedings of the 45th SEFI Annual Conference 2017: Education Excellence for Sustainability / [ed] Bernardino J.,Rocha J.,Quadrado J.C., European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI) , 2017, p. 1393-1400Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Many engineering departments across the world are moving towards implementing project-organised courses. In this paper we make the claim that there is a need for quality criteria for project work, given that research provides a mixed picture of what students can potentially learn in project work. The empirical data in this case study consists of ethnography, video-recordings, video-diaries and interviews, from one project work with four students taking a six weeks long course on machine elements. Our analysis shows that the students spend substantial amounts of time on activities with little or no value to their education, but that this is interspersed with very productive moments. In addition, our analysis showed that two of the students worked considerably less than the other two, but the assessment structure made this more or less invisible to the teacher. The analysis also illustrates the uneven nature of implementations of group work and we argue that as engineering educators we must implement approaches to project work that bring out and utilise the valuable parts, while actively suppressing less productive parts, thereby producing a shift towards being more 'effective.

  • 22.
    Berge, Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Johansson, Anders
    Uppsala University.
    Lecture jokes: a litmus test of physics discourse?2017Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Earlier studies in physics education research have shown the importance of analysing students' processes of ‘becoming a physicist' in a wider sense. For example, it is often expected of physicists to have a kind of ‘authentic intelligence' or ‘smartness', which is generally perceived as male. In this study we contribute to this area of research by analysing an area often forgotten in educational research: humour. Empirically, this study is based on 177 jokes from physics lectures, collected from three different higher education contexts, the US and two Scandinavian countries. With a discourse analytical framework we explore the question of how teacher's jokes in physics lectures portray physics and physicists. In the analysis of the teacher's jokes, physics is constantly constructed as difficult and very advanced, mainly through ironically speaking of it as ‘easy'. Physicists are portrayed as single minded and very passionate, not to say obsessed, about physics. In this study we argue that although none of the jokes were mean the jokes contributed to a discourse that can be perceived as problematic in limiting the conceptions of who a physicist may be.

  • 23.
    Berge, Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Kobayashi, Sofie
    Norms in supervision: jokes in life science2019In: ESERA 2019, 2019Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    More research into the disciplinary content and context of doctoral education is needed. The aim of this study is to address this gap by investigating norms in supervision in the specific context of life science. Our approach focuses on the humour in two supervision meetings, looking at who and what is positioned as funny in longer instances of humour. Using an analytical framework inspired by positioning theory, we found that both conceptual knowledge and personal identity were positioned through jokes during supervision meetings. The humour dealt with disciplinary norms on several levels, from ‘Which numbers are aesthetic?’ (Answer: even numbers) to ‘How best to communicate with team members in another country?’ We noticed both positive and negative positionings within the jokes. Humour has several functions: one is to create a relaxed atmosphere; another is to offer criticism in a kind way. Since supervision is also characterised by power distances, it is important that supervisors be aware of the ambiguity of humour.

  • 24.
    Berge, Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Lidar, Malena
    Department of Education, Uppsala University.
    Danielsson, Anna T
    Department of Education, Uppsala University.
    The power within the 'didactical contract': An exploration of questions in science and technology classrooms2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study is to further contribute to the understanding of the role that teachers may have for learning in science. We are interested in how teacher-student interaction can be understood as simultaneously contributing to meaning making and producing power relations. In particular, focus is on how questions are used by the teachers, since this gives an insight into which knowledge that is privileged in the situation (Wertsch 1991), in other words what is included and excluded. The study draws on eleven video recorded lessons of physics and technology teaching, with students aged 13-17. The teachers’ actions were coded in relation to the students’ interactions, following how practical epistemological analysis considers interactions as a language game where people create meaning together (Lidar et al. 2006). In a second stage, the analysis focused on how ‘epistemological moves’ are functional in constituting a ‘didactical contract’, that is ‘the (specific) set of behaviours of the teacher which are expected of the students and the set of behaviours of the student which are expected by the teacher’ (Brousseau & Warfield 1999). The main outcome of the study is the development of a conceptual framework for analysing the simultaneous constitution of knowledge and power in the classroom. The teachers’ actions affect students’ learning opportunities in the sense that the questions govern the didactical contract of a physics or technology lesson. Our analyses foreground relations between teaching practices and students’ learning opportunities within the physics and technology classroom: what is considered as important and relevant for the subject and the lesson, which in turn is seen as foundational in constituting power relations in classrooms.

  • 25.
    Berge, Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Silfver, Eva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Danielsson, Anna
    Department of Education, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden; School of Education, Communication and Society, King's College London, London, UK.
    In search of the new engineer: gender, age, and social class in information about engineering education2018In: European Journal of Engineering Education, ISSN 0304-3797, E-ISSN 1469-5898Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It is widely argued that engineering education needs to change in order to attract new groups of students and provide students with knowledge appropriate for the future society. In this paper we, therefore, investigate and analyse Swedish universities’ websites, focusing on what characteristics are brought to the fore as important for tomorrow’s engineers. The data consist of text and pictures/photos from nine different Engineering Mechanics programme websites. Using a critical discourse analysis approach, we identify three societal discourses concerning ‘technological progression’, ‘sustainability’, and ‘neoliberal ideals’, evident in the websites. These discourses make certain engineering identities possible, that we have labelled: traditional, contemporary, responsible, and self-made engineer. Our analysis shows that universities’ efforts to diversify students’ participation in engineering education simultaneously reveal stereotypical norms concerning gender and age. We also argue that strong neoliberal notions about the self-made engineer can derail awareness of a gendered, classed, and racialized society.

  • 26.
    Berge, Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Weilenmann, Alexandra
    University of Gothenburg.
    Learning about friction: group dynamics in engineering students’ work with free body diagrams2014In: European Journal of Engineering Education, ISSN 0304-3797, E-ISSN 1469-5898, Vol. 39, no 6, p. 601-616Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In educational research, it is well-known that collaborative work on core conceptual issues in physics leads to significant improvements in students’ conceptual understanding. In this paper, we explore collaborative learning in action, adding to previous research in engineering education with a specific focus on the students’ use of free body diagrams in interaction. By looking at details in interaction among a group of three engineering students, we illustrate how they collectively construct a free body diagram together when learning introductory mechanics. In doing so, we have focused on both learning possibilities and the dynamic processes that take place in the learning activity. These findings have a number of implications for educational practice.

  • 27.
    Danielsson, Anna
    et al.
    Uppsala Universitet, Sverige.
    Lidar, Malena
    Uppsala universitet, Sverige.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Methodological considerations in the analysis of the co-production of knowledge and power in secondary school physics classrooms2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this presentation, we explore the co-production of knowledge and power in secondary school physics classrooms. The basic premise is that the privileging of certain content in teaching has consequences for what the students are given the opportunity to learn, and can thus be regarded as an aspect of power (cf. Foucault 1982/2002; Öhman, 2010). The presentation will focus on the methodological considerations involved in analysing the co-construction of knowledge and power and outline the findings of our analysis. The empirical data consists of video recordings and field notes from physics lessons in three lower secondary schools (14-15 years old students), where the students are differently situated in terms of socioeconomic and cultural background. A key construct in our analysis is ‘governance’: we analyse power aspects in the teaching of physics by identifying actions that guide or direct other people's actions (cf. Foucault, 1982/2002). Thereafter, we investigate similarities and differences in the classrooms in terms of how governance is staged and what potential consequences this can have (see Danielsson, Berge and Lidar (2017) and Östman, Öhman, Lundqvist and Lidar (2015) for similar approaches used in science education). Teachers from all three schools adhere to a rather traditional interpretation of a physics curriculum, in that moral and political aspects are largely excluded. However, a more in-depth analysis highlights differences between the classrooms, in that the students in the three classrooms are given very different opportunities for participating in the teaching and learning, and creating relationships with the content. For example, in two of the studied classrooms, the teacher to a large extent controls the content progression, but in one classroom this takes place by inviting students to contribute physics knowledge that has not yet been presented, whereas in the other classroom it takes place by asking questions of a controlling character (thus, checking that they have followed what just have been said). Hence, the conditions for taking part in knowledge-making in the classrooms vary greatly. In the context of this symposium, we are interested in discussing how the production of categories of difference (such as social class and gender) can be taken into account in an analysis of didactical interactions, in ways that highlight potential inequalities without reproducing those through the analysis.

  • 28.
    Danielsson, Anna
    et al.
    Uppsala universitet.
    Silfver, Eva
    Umeå University.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University.
    Engineering Identities: Affordances and Constraints of Different Methods for Exploring Engineering Students’ Identity Work2018Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Previous engineering education research concerned with inclusion and exclusion has typically focused on female underrepresentation and the identity work necessary for women in engineering (cf. Tonso 1999, Phipps 2008). This presentation has dual purposes; one empirical and one methodological. The empirical object under investigation is how social class is negotiated in male engineering students’ narratives about ‘educational choice’ and professional trajectories, with a particular focus on how trajectories into, through, and out of engineering educations are constructed. The methodological purpose is to discuss the affordances and constraints of using a small-scale ethnographic approach for exploring students’ identity constitution in the context of engineering education. The empirical data was collected within the bachelor Engineering Mechanics Programme (EMP) and consists of interviews with six engineering students, video-diaries recorded by the interviewed students, ethnographic field-notes from lectures and video-recordings or project work. Engineering educations are currently being transformed, both to attract new groups of students (e.g. women) and to provide the students with broader skill-sets than those traditionally included in engineering educations (e.g. team working skills). The EMP was chosen as it, as educating for a traditional branch of engineering, is likely to incorporate tensions between traditional and contemporary notions of engineering. The ethnographic observations and video-recordings of project work show an enactment of a passion for technology, but also an instrumental approach to the education and the completion of the project (see also, Ottemo 2015). The interviews and video-diaries provide additional means of exploring this passion/instrumental tension in relation to the students’ conceptualisation of engineering education practices, in particular the extent to which they take pride in the completion of the product of their project work. A reoccurring theme in the interviews and video-diaries is also students’ negotiations of tensions between practical and theoretical/analytical aspects of engineering, something that can be interpreted in relation to a doing of social class (Gonsalves et al. 2016). The presentation will discuss further examples of findings, as related to particular methods for data collection and how the data collection methods complement one another.

  • 29.
    Danielsson, Anna
    et al.
    King's College London, London, UK.
    Silfver, Eva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Masculinities and social class in conceptualisations of the engineering mechanics programme2017Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Engineering educations are currently being transformed, both to attract new groups of students (e.g. women) and to provide the students with broader skill-sets than those traditionally included in engineering educations (e.g. team working skills). In this study we explore how students understand the educational opportunities provided by a particular engineering education, namely bachelor Engineering Mechanics Programme (EMP), with a particular focus on how the perceived opportunities are related to class and gender. The empirical data consists of engineering education websites, interviews with EMP students, and video-diaries recorded by the interviewed students. In the analysis of the websites four different, potential engineering identity positions were discerned: The engineer as a traditional technologist, the engineer as a contemporary technologist, the responsible engineer, and the self-made engineer. The initial analysis of the interviews and video-diaries bring tensions between practical and theoretical/analytical aspects of engineering to the fore, and we use two case studies of interviewed students to illustrate how these students nagivate the theory/practice dichotomy and the various identity positions available within the EMP.

  • 30.
    Danielsson, Anna
    et al.
    Uppsala universitet.
    Silfver, Eva
    Umeå University.
    Gonsalves, Allison
    McGill University.
    Ottemo, Andreas
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University.
    Video-diaries in engineering identities research: Some methodological considerations2019Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 31.
    Danielsson, Anna T.
    et al.
    Uppsala University.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Lidar, Malena
    Uppsala University.
    Knowledge and power in the technology classroom: a framework for studying teachers and students in action2018In: Cultural Studies of Science Education, ISSN 1871-1502, E-ISSN 1871-1510, Vol. 13, no 1, p. 163-184Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this paper is to develop and illustrate an analytical framework for exploring how relations between knowledge and power are constituted in science and technology classrooms. In addition, the empirical purpose of this paper is to explore how disciplinary knowledge and knowledge-making are constituted in teacher–student interactions. In our analysis we focus on how instances of teacher–student interaction can be understood as simultaneously contributing to meaning-making and producing power relations. The analytical framework we have developed makes use of practical epistemological analysis in combination with a Foucauldian conceptualisation of power, assuming that privileging of educational content needs to be understood as integral to the execution of power in the classroom. The empirical data consists of video-recorded teaching episodes, taken from a teaching sequence of three 1-h lessons in one Swedish technology classroom with sixteen 13–14 years old students. In the analysis we have identified how different epistemological moves contribute to the normalisation and exclusion of knowledge as well as ways of knowledge-making. Further, by looking at how the teacher communicates what counts as (ir)relevant knowledge or (ir)relevant ways of acquiring knowledge we are able to describe what kind of technology student is made desirable in the analysed classroom.

  • 32.
    Danielsson, Anna T
    et al.
    Uppsala universitet.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Lidar, Malena
    Uppsala universitet.
    Ingerman, Åke
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Östman, Leif
    Uppsala universitet.
    Svensson, Maria
    Göteborgs universitet.
    A bridge to understanding?: An approach for analysing the construction of power/knowledge in atechnology classroom2014Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 33.
    Danielsson, Anna T.
    et al.
    Department of Education, Uppsala University Uppsala, Sweden.
    Gonsalves, Allison J.
    Department of Integrated Studies in Education, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
    Silfver, Eva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    The Pride and Joy of Engineering? The Identity Work of Male Working-Class Engineering Students2019In: Engineering Studies, ISSN 1937-8629, E-ISSN 1940-8374, Vol. online: 10 Sep 2019, p. 1-25Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article, we explore the identity work done by four male,working-class students who participate in a Swedish mechanicalengineering program, with a focus on their participation in projectwork. A focus on how individuals negotiate their participation in scienceand technology disciplines has proven to be a valuable way tostudy inclusion and exclusion in such disciplines. This is of particularrelevance in engineering education where it is widely argued thatchange is needed in order to attract new groups of students andprovide students with knowledge appropriate for the future society.In this study we conceptualized identity as socially and discursivelyproduced, and focus on tracing students’ identity trajectories. Theempirical data consists of ethnographic field notes from lectures,video-recordings of project work, semi-structured interviews, andvideo-diaries recorded by the students. The findings show that eventhough all four students unproblematically associate with the ‘technicist’masculinity of their chosen program it takes considerable workto incorporate the project work into their engineering trajectories.Further, ‘laddish’ masculinities re/produced in higher education inengineering also contribute to a ‘troubled’ identity trajectory for oneof the interviewed students.

  • 34. Danielsson, Anna T.
    et al.
    Silfver, Eva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    "Although we are engineers, we will work with people too…"2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper aims at exploring how intersections of gender, age, social class, and ethnicity are negotiated in talk about the transition from being an engineering student to becoming an engineer. The empirical data consists of final year female engineering students’ narratives collected through video-diaries and interviews. Theoretically we draw on critical discursive psychology (Potter and Wetherell 1992). We investigate how female engineering students use different interpretative repertoires (Edley 2001), which can be described as specific and often contradicting ways of talking about a phenomenon in everyday conversations. Different repertoires are used strategically by people as a way to make sense of their actions and ideas by representing them as ‘good’ and ‘normal’ in the specific context. Wetherell and Potter (1992) argue that repertoires are related to social structures and power relations, which means that not all repertories are available for every individual. The concept of interpretative repertoires is helpful when it comes to analysing the students’ (in)ability to use different repertoires and, in this sense, the (im)possibility for them to achieve different subject positions when they talk about engineering studies and engineering. Power relations are upheld when some social positions becomes troubled, i.e. when a position is questioned or criticized in different ways, while another position is regarded as untroubled, i.e. as a normal and righteous identity that needs no further explaining (Wetherell 1998). The two positions, troubled/untroubled, help to analyze how and in what contexts notions of gender, age, social class and ethnicity are given importance in students’ talk. Our results show that the students are discursively produced as in need of ‘thick skin’. They are both seen as special and normal, too strong and too week, welcomed and pitted. Being older or born abroad is interpreted as unproblematic, but seems to produce invisibility and limited access to employability.

  • 35.
    Danielsson, Anna
    et al.
    Uppsala University.
    Wiksten Folkeryd, Jenny
    Uppsala University.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Lidar, Malena
    Uppsala University.
    Scientific Norms And Evaluative Language Use – A Lesson Example From Grade 9 (Physics)2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this paper is to explore how some characteristics of school physics knowledge are reproduced but also contested in student-teacher interaction, here exemplified through the teaching and learning of nuclear power in secondary physics.

    The difficulty to recruit students (in particular women and minorities) in science and technology is an international concern throughout the Western world (cf. Sjøberg & Schreiner, 2010). Politicians, policy makers, and science education researchers all agree that a widened and increased student participation and engagement in the physical sciences and technology is pivotal both in order to secure a pool of future scientists and in order for individuals to function in an increasingly technologically advanced society (SOU 2010:28;  House of Lords 2012). Research also shows that the last years of compulsory schooling is a key period for students’ engagement in science and technology; it is during these years that many students lose interest in the subjects (Archer et al., 2010; Lindahl, 2003). The difficulties to identify, and thereby engage, with science for many students have by critical science education researchers been connected to the sociohistorical legacy of science, how it is perceived as an objective, privileged way of knowing that is not accessible to everyone (Barton & Yang, 2000; Carlone, 2004; Lemke, 1990). Such descriptions of science’s sociohistorical legacy draws on the work by philosophers and historians of science who have argued that physics is constructed as a discipline that produce value-neutral, universal, and objective knowledge (Harding, 1986; Schiebinger, 1991). School science in particular tends to be characterised as fact-oriented with clear separations between facts and values (Gyberg & Lee, 2010). Barton and Yang (2000) describe how people and social contexts are often hidden in textbooks and other curricular materials, and summarise: ‘The result is often a fact-oriented science which appears decontextualized, objective, rational, and mechanistic.’ (p. 875). As a consequence, Lemke (2001) has argued for the inclusion of other components of science (such as aesthetic, intuitive and emotional) in order to challenge the too narrowly rationalistic and abstract school science.

    In this paper we aim to further the exploration of how school physics is constructed in classroom practices by focusing on a module about a potentially politically and emotionally charged physics content area (nuclear power). More specifically the use of evaluative language resources is focused in order to discuss characteristics of school physics within this module. In other words, the research question investigated in this paper is:

    How are characteristics of school physics constructed through evaluative language use?

    The issue is thus analytically approached from a linguistic standpoint, and the theoretical framework for analyses found within a social semiotic perspective. According to Halliday (1978), the semiotic systems that we live by are considered to form a meaning resource. It is from this meaning resource that we choose when we articulate and structure meaning.  By these choices, certain aspects are put in the background or completely excluded while others are foregrounded and thereby emphasized. In this respect, the selected language forms, and especially evaluative language resources, are highly significant and coloured with ideology.

    In interpreting results from the linguistic analyses, an important theoretical point is also that any learning situation will involve socialisation (Roberts & Östman 1998). In other words, in teaching and learning activities much more than the content knowledge being taught is learnt, we learn about norms and values and who we can and want to be in relation to those norms and values (Brickhouse 2001). The characteristics of school physics are understood as interactively constituted by teacher and students, while also adhering to broader societal discourses about science and science learning.

    Method

    The empirical data for the paper was collected in a Swedish secondary school during a physics teaching module about energy sources. The teaching module as a whole took place over six one hour lessons, but in this paper we focus on the introductory lesson concerning nuclear power. The primary focus of the introductory lesson was on the physics of the nuclear reactor. The lesson began with a 25 minutes teacher briefing, which also included conversations between teacher and students. Subsequently, the students worked in groups with an assignment sheet, a film about nuclear power was then shown, and the lessons ended with a whole class discussion about the film. The classroom was video-recorded using two cameras. The teacher was audio-recorded using a clip-on microphone and the students audio-recorded using four audio-recorders. Two observers were present in the classroom and took field-notes. The audio-recording from the teacher’s clip-on microphone have been transcribed verbatim by a professional transcriber. In the analysis we primarily worked with the transcripts, but turned to the recordings to check, for example, unclear references made by the teacher. The content area was chosen for analysis since the socio-scientific character of it could allow for a wider range of knowledge expressions. The class consisted of 19 students, grade nine (14-15 years old). Prior to the video-recording, the students and their guardians had been given information about the research project and had given consent to participation. All names in the paper are pseudonyms. As previously mentioned, the analytical framework for the study is found within a social semiotic perspective (Halliday 1978), a perspective which provides a well-developed theoretical framework for detailed analyses of different dimensions of meaning-making in students’ texts (written as well as spoken). More specifically, student texts are discussed from the point of view of the semantic framework Appraisal. Linguistically the investigation thus explores evaluative language resources used in the texts to construct emotion (words of Affect such as ‘happy eagles’), judge behaviour in ethical terms (words of Judgement such as ‘competent operator’) and value objects aesthetically (words of Appreciation such as ‘beautiful process’). In addition evaluative language resources that turn up or lower the evaluative volume through using graduation (such as very happy, a little bit afraid) are also investigated (Martin & White 2005, Folkeryd 2006).

    Expected Outcomes

    Preliminary results show that evaluative language resources are used throughout the module, although to various degrees and of different types depending on the topical focus for the teacher-student conversations. In the construction of the physics content, the process in the nuclear reactor is constructed as simple, rational and natural by using evaluative language resources that construct emotion as well as value objects and processes positively. The components of the process are constructed as well-known and not harmful by using positive appreciation, e.g. ‘ordinary water’ and the handling of the nuclear reactor constructed as a positive rational process. The short-term effects of the process are constructed as benign (e.g. the warm water let out by the power plant contributes to a flourishing biotope including ‘happy eagles’). However, long-term effects of the final storage of radioactive waste are constructed as potentially dangerous and difficult to fully grasp, thereby breaking up the rationality of the process. In students’ relationship to the content science is continuously constructed as not demanding much work (the teacher repeatedly uses graduation such as ‘some questions’, ‘work a little bit in pairs’. This is a construction we argue need to be understood against a backdrop of cultural conceptions of physics as difficult and inaccessible. To summarise, while the analysed lesson concerns a topic with political, moral and emotional overtones the analysis reveals that many of the typical characteristics of school science are still preserved (such as rationality). However, such characteristics are also challenged as humans and their emotions are brought into the classroom physics discourse. Interestingly enough, both when these characteristics are re-produced and challenged this to a large extent occurs through the use of evaluative language resources. This study thereby gives an important contribution to the discussion of how characteristics of school physics are constructed in the classroom.

    References

    Archer, L., DeWitt, J., Osborne, J., Dillon, J., Willis, B., & Wong, B. (2010). “Doing” science versus “being” a scientist: Examining 10/11‐year‐old schoolchildren's constructions of science through the lens of identity. Science Education, 94(4), 617-639. Barton, A. C., & Yang, K. (2000). The Culture of Power and Science Education: Learning from Miguel. Journal of Research in Science Education, 37(8), 871-889. Carlone, H. B. (2004). The cultural production of science in reform-based physics: girls' access, participation, and resistance. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 41(4), 392-414. Folkeryd, J. W. (2006). Writing with an attitude : appraisal and student texts in the school subject of Swedish. Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis Gyberg, P., & Lee, F. (2010). The Construction of Facts: Preconditions for meaning in teaching energy in Swedish classrooms. International Journal of Science Education, 32(9), 1173-1189. doi:10.1080/09500690902984800 Halliday, M.A.K. (1978). Language as social semiotic. The social interpretation of language and meaning. London; Edward Arnold. Harding, S. (1986). The science question in feminism. Milton Keynes: Open university press. House of Lords (2012). Higher education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects. London: The Stationery Office Limited. Lemke, J. L. (1990). Talking science: Language, learning, and values. Norwood, NJ: Ablex. Lemke, J. L. (2001). Articulating Communites: Sociocultural Perspectives on Science Education. Journal of Research in Science Education and Technology, 38(3), 296-316. Lindahl, B. (2003). Lust att lära naturvetenskap och teknik? En longitudinell studie om vägen till gymnasiet. Gothenburg: University of Gothenburg. Martin, J., & White, P. (2005). The language of evaluation: Appraisal in English: Palgrave Macmillan. Schiebinger, L. (1991). The mind has no sex? Women in the origins of modern science. United States of America: Harvard University Press. Sjøberg, S., & Schreiner, C. (2010). The ROSE project. An overview and key findings. SOU (2010:28). Vändpunkt Sverige – ett ökat intresse för matematik, naturvetenskap, teknik och IKT. (Teknikdelegationen). Stockholm: Fritzes.

  • 36.
    Gonsalves, Allison J.
    et al.
    Faculty of Education, McGill University, Canada.
    Silfver, Eva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Danielsson, Anna
    Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    "It’s not my dream, actually": students' identity work across figured worlds of construction engineering in Sweden2019In: International Journal of STEM education, E-ISSN 2196-7822, Vol. 6, no 13, p. 1-17Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Research in engineering education has pointed to the need for new engineers to develop a broader skillsetwith an emphasis on “softer” social skills. However, there remains strong tensions in the identity work that engineersmust engage in to balance the technical demands of the discipline with the new emphasis on heterogeneous skills(Faulkner, Social Studies of Science 37:331–356, 2007). This study explores how three unconventional students experiencethese tensions in the final year of their construction engineering program, and as they move in and out of workplacefield experiences.Results: Using a figured worlds framework (Holland et al., Identity and agency in cultural worlds, 1998), we explore thedominant subject positions for students in construction engineering classroom and workplaces in a 3-year Swedishengineering program. Results demonstrate that dominant subject positions for construction engineers can troublestudents’ identity work as they move across classroom and workplace settings.Conclusions: This study expands our knowledge of the complexity of students’ identity work across classroom andworkplace settings. The emergence of classroom and workplace masculinities that shape the dominant subject positionsavailable to students are shown to trouble the identity work that students engage in as they move across these learningspaces. We examine students’ identity strategies that contribute to their persistence through the field. Finally, we discussimplications for teaching and research in light of students’ movements across these educational contexts.

  • 37.
    Gonsalves, Allison
    et al.
    McGill University.
    Silfver, Eva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Danielsson, Anna
    Uppsala University.
    Ottemo, Andreas
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    "Brunkers and brave heroes": Dominant Subject Positions in Figured Worlds of Construction Engineering2019Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research in engineering education has pointed to the need for new engineers to develop a broader skill-set with an emphasis on 'softer' social skills. However, there remains strong tensions in the identity work that engineers must engage in to balance the technical demands of the discipline with the new emphasis on heterogeneous skills. This study explores how three non-traditional students experience these tensions in the final year of their construction engineering program, across classroom and workplace experiences. We explore the dominant subject positions for students in construction engineering classroom and workplaces in a three-year Swedish engineering program. Results demonstrate that dominant soubject positions for construction engineers can trouble students' identity work as the move across classroom and workplace settings. 

  • 38.
    Ingerman, Åke
    et al.
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Berge, Maria
    Chalmers, Göteborg, Sweden.
    Booth, Shirley
    University of the Witswatersrand.
    Physics group work in a phenomenographic perspective: learning dynamics as the experience of variation and relevance2009In: European Journal of Engineering Education, ISSN 0304-3797, E-ISSN 1469-5898, Vol. 34, no 4, p. 349-358Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, we analyse learning dynamics in the context of physics group work of the kind increasinglyfound in engineering education.We apply a phenomenographic perspective on learning, seeing the notionof variation as the basic mechanism of learning. Empirically, we base our analysis on data from first yearengineering students discussing physics problems concerning force and friction while working in smallgroups of three or four. The discussions were captured on video and audio, and the subsequent analysisprimarily relies on detailed transcriptions and the students’ notes. The results illustrate how students relatedifferent parts of the whole learning object (Newtonian mechanics) to one another and create a variationwith respect to the parts and/or the whole; how the presence and experience of variation complementedby an experience of relevance may result in identifiable learning; and how tutor interventions may have afavourable impact on the learning dynamics.

  • 39.
    Kobayashi, Sofie
    et al.
    University of Copenhagen.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University.
    Grout, Brian
    University of Copenhagen.
    Rump, Camilla
    University of Copenhagen.
    I’m just thinking: how learning opportunities are created in doctoral supervision 2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    With this paper we aim to contribute towards an understanding of learning dynamics in doctoral supervision by analysing how learning opportunities are created in the interaction. We analyse interaction between supervisors and doctoral students using the notion of experiencing variation as a key for learning. Earlier research into doctoral supervision has been rather vague on how doctoral students learn to carry out research. Empirically, we have based the study on four cases each with one doctoral student and their supervisors. The supervision sessions were captured on video and audio to provide for verbatim transcripts that were subsequently analysed. Our results illustrate how supervisors and doctoral students create learning opportunities by varying aspects of research in the discussion. Better understanding of this mechanism whereby learning opportunities are created by bringing aspects of variation into focal awareness can help supervisors develop their competences in supervisory pedagogy.

  • 40.
    Kobayashi, Sofie
    et al.
    University of Copenhagen.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Wilson Grout, Brian William
    University of Copenhagen.
    Østerberg Rump, Camilla
    University of Copenhagen.
    Experiencing variation: learning opportunities in doctoral supervision2017In: Instructional science, ISSN 0020-4277, E-ISSN 1573-1952, Vol. 45, no 6, p. 805-826Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study contributes towards a better understanding of learning dynamics in doctoral supervision by analysing how learning opportunities are created in the interaction between supervisors and PhD students, using the notion of experiencing variation as a key to learning. Empirically, we have based the study on four video-recorded sessions, with four different PhD students and their supervisors, all from life sciences. Our analysis revealed that learning opportunities in the supervision sessions concerned either the content matter of research (for instance, understanding soil structure), or the research methods—more specifically how to produce valid results. Our results illustrate how supervisors and PhD students create a space of learning together in their particular discipline by varying critical aspects of their research in their discussions. Situations where more open-ended research issues were discussed, created more complex patterns of variation. Both PhD students and supervisors can learn from this. Understanding of this mechanism that creates learning opportunities can help supervisors develop their competences in supervisory pedagogy.

  • 41.
    Lidar, Malena
    et al.
    Uppsala universitet, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Fakulteten för utbildningsvetenskaper, Institutionen för pedagogik, didaktik och utbildningsstudier.
    Danielsson, Anna
    Uppsala universitet, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Fakulteten för utbildningsvetenskaper, Institutionen för pedagogik, didaktik och utbildningsstudier: Uppsala universitet, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Historisk-filosofiska fakulteten, Centrum för genusvetenskap.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Investigating power in teaching and learning processes in the physics classroom2016In: Social Justice, Equality and Solidarity in Education, 2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper focuses on how power operates in the practice of physics education; aiming to explore the simultaneous constitution of knowledge and power in the secondary physics classroom. Power is here regarded as something that guides or governs the actions of others. In the case of the physics classroom, a systematic use of language and actions by teachers as well as students direct what should be highlighted and discerned in terms of physics knowledge and knowledge-making, which we consider as an aspect of power. In this way power and knowledge are integrated and also integral to teaching and learning processes. A key assumption is that when someone participates in teaching and learning activities, they learn much more than the content knowledge being taught; they learn what counts as relevant knowledge in physics, about the norms and values of physics, and who can be a physicist. These aspects are analysed in a comparative approach which shows the differences and/or similarities in terms of how governance is acted out and which companion meanings are offered in the interplay. The empirical data consists of video recordings and field notes from two lower secondary schools in Y8 and Y9 respectively (six physics lessons in each school). The analytical model used here is built on the transactional approach suggested by Author/s (A), founded in the view that meaning in a situation is constituted in interplay between the participants in the situation. This transactional approach is here operationalized in a three stage analytical approach; the first stage consists of investigations of the meaning making in the teaching process (through the identification of epistemological moves), the second stage draws on analyses of governance and self-governance (cf. Öhman 2010), and in the third stage potential companion meanings of the meaning making and governance in the proceeding steps are considered. At first glance, teachers from both schools adhere closely to a traditional interpretation of a physics curriculum, with their strong focus on factual knowledge and a distinct progression through this curriculum. However, a more detail analysis revealed that, for example: In Case 1 the students are invited to contribute to the progression of the lessons by generative moves guiding them to ‘fill in’ certain content, not previously presented by the teacher. In Case 2 the students’ contributions are largely limited to showing that they have been keeping up with what the teacher has previously presented. Consequently, while the differencing approaches might not include different physics content, an analysis of the companion meanings made consequences for potential student subjectivities explicit. Therefore, in the increasingly individualised late liberal society where people are expected to be active, reflective and make choices for their own personal good, the students in these two classrooms are given very different pre-requisites for informed citizenship.

  • 42.
    Lidar, Malena
    et al.
    Uppsala university.
    Danielsson, Anna
    Uppsala University.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Power in Teaching and Learning Processes in the Physics Classroom2016Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 43.
    Lidar, Malena
    et al.
    Department of Education, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Danielsson, Anna
    Department of Education, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden; School of Education and Professional Studies, King’s College London, London, UK.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    What Is Construed as Relevant Knowledge in Physics Teaching?: Similarities and Differences in How Knowledge and Power Are Staged in Three Lower Secondary Classrooms2018In: Research in science education, ISSN 0157-244X, E-ISSN 1573-1898Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The content that is privileged in teaching has consequences for what the students are given the opportunity to learn, and can thus be regarded as an aspect of power. We analyse power aspects in the teaching of physics by identifying actions that guide or direct other people's actions, and then analyse similarities and differences in different classrooms in terms of how governance is staged and what potential consequences this can have. The analyses are made on data from classroom activities, documented through video recordings and field notes, in three lower secondary schools in Y8 and Y9 respectively. At first glance, teachers from all three schools adhere to a traditional interpretation of a physics curriculum. But a more in-depth analysis shows that the students in the different classrooms are given quite dissimilar opportunities to participate in teaching and create relationships with the content. What appears to be a desirable way of acting offers different conditions for meaning-making. In an increasingly individualised society where people are expected to be active, reflective and make choices for their own personal good, the students in these three classrooms are offered very different conditions to practice and learn to take part in knowledge-making, connect physics content to their everyday life and exercise informed citizenship.

  • 44.
    Maria, Berge
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Danielsson, Anna
    Uppsala University.
    Lidar, Malena
    Uppsala University.
    Powerful Stories in the Physics Classroom2016Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 45.
    Mendick, Heather
    et al.
    Freelance Academic.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Danielsson, Anna
    King's College London.
    A Critique of the STEM Pipeline: Young People’s Identities in Sweden and Science Education Policy2017In: British Journal of Educational Studies, ISSN 0007-1005, E-ISSN 1467-8527, Vol. 65, no 4, p. 481-497Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article, we develop critiques of the pipeline model which dominates Western science education policy, using discourse analysis of interviews with two Swedish young women focused on ‘identity work’. We argue that it is important to unpack the ways that the pipeline model fails to engage with intersections of gender, ethnicity, social class and nationality, and their impact on science and with debates about science as elitist and implicated in neoliberalism.

  • 46.
    Silfver, Eva
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Danielsson, Anna
    Uppsala universitet.
    Gonsalves, Allison
    McGill University, Montreal, Kanada.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Snuff and IKEA candles: ‘material moments’ in female students’ narratives about entering engineering workplaces2018Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 47.
    Silfver, Eva
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Danielsson, Anna
    Gonsalves, Allison
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Snuff and Ikea candles: ‘material moments’ in female students’ narratives about entering engineering workplaces2018Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 48.
    Silfver, Eva
    et al.
    Umeå University, Umeå School of Education (USE).
    Danielsson, Anna
    Uppsala University and King's College London.
    Ingerman, Åke
    University of Gothenburg.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    The new engineer: Gender and social class in information about engineering educations2016Conference paper (Refereed)
1 - 48 of 48
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