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  • 1.
    Airey, John
    et al.
    University of Kalmar, School of Human Sciences.
    Linder, Cedric
    Uppsala University.
    A Disciplinary Discourse Perspective on University Science Learning: Achieving Fluency in a Critical Constellation of Modes2009In: Journal of Research in Science Teaching, ISSN 0022-4308, E-ISSN 1098-2736, Vol. 46, no 1, p. 27-49Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this theoretical article we use an interpretative study with physics undergraduates to exemplify a proposed characterization of student learning in university science in terms of fluency in disciplinary discourse. Drawing on ideas from a number of different sources in the literature, we characterize what we call “disciplinary discourse” as the complex of representations, tools and activities of a discipline, describing how it can be seen as being made up of various “modes”. For university science, examples of these modes are: spoken and written language, mathematics, gesture, images (including pictures, graphs and diagrams), tools (such as experimental apparatus and measurement equipment), and activities (such as ways of working—both practice and praxis, analytical routines, actions, etc.). Using physics as an illustrative example, we discuss the relationship between the ways of knowing that constitute a discipline and the modes of disciplinary discourse used to represent this knowing. The data comes from stimulated recall interviews where physics undergraduates discuss their learning experiences during lectures. These interviews are used to anecdotally illustrate our proposed characterization of learning and its associated theoretical constructs. Students describe a repetitive practice aspect to their learning, which we suggest is necessary for achieving fluency in the various modes of disciplinary discourse. Here we found instances of discourse imitation, where students are seemingly fluent in one or more modes of disciplinary discourse without having related this to a teacher-intended disciplinary way of knowing. The examples lead to the suggestion that fluency in a critical constellation of modes of disciplinary discourse may be a necessary (though not always sufficient) condition for gaining meaningful holistic access to disciplinary ways of knowing. One implication is that in order to be effective, science teachers need to know which modes are critical for an understanding of the material they wish to teach.

  • 2.
    Lindahl, Mats
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Chemistry and Biomedical Sciences.
    Folkesson, Anne-Mari
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education and Teacher's Practice.
    Zeidler, Dana L.
    University of South Florida, USA.
    Students' recognition of educational demands in the context of a socioscientific issues curriculum2019In: Journal of Research in Science Teaching, ISSN 0022-4308, E-ISSN 1098-2736, Vol. 56, no 9, p. 1155-1182Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Students’ difficulties in interpreting what counts as knowledge have been addressed in past research on science education. The implementation of progressivist pedagogy in terms of more student-active classroom practice and the introduction of a variety of discourses into the science classroom deepens students’ difficulties.The integration of different forms and demands of knowledge and discourses typified by Science-in-Context initiatives, such as within the Socioscientific framework, exemplifies this development in science education. Here, the diffuse boundaries between school subjects and other silos of knowledge leads to considerable difficulties for students to interpret what is expected from them. Such contexts having diffuse boundaries between, for example, subject discourses and other fonts of knowledge, have been describes as contexts with weak classification. The present study aims to explore students’ interpretation of what knowledge or meaning they are requested to produce in contexts with weak classification, here exemplified withinan SSI-task. We use Bernstein’s concepts of recognition rulesand classificationto analyse how 15-16 year-old students develop their discussions in groups of 4-6 students. This study reports how students’ recognitionof the educational demands enabled integration of different discourses in their discussion, and that the use of both universalistic and particularistic meanings can produce new understandings. Students who had not acquired recognition ruleswere found to keep discourses apart, expressed either as rejection of the relevance of the task, answering questions as in a traditional school task, or just exchange of personal opinions. Furthermore, they included discourses irrelevant to the issue.An important outcome of the study was that socioscientific thinking was hampered when students kept universalistic and particularistic meanings apart. This hampering results from the inhibition of dynamic exploration during SSI discussions. The results provide new insights with relevance for teachers’ guiding students towards a fruitful SSI-discourse.

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