SCIENCE TEACHING AND THE SCHOOL - WHEN CONCEPTS MEET CONTEXT

TitleSCIENCE TEACHING AND THE SCHOOL - WHEN CONCEPTS MEET CONTEXT
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsSchoultz, J, Hultman, G
JournalJournal of Baltic Science Education
Volume3
Issue2
Start Page22-33
Date PublishedMarch/2003
Type of ArticleOriginal article
ISSN1648-3898
Keywordsconcepts, culture of school science, experimental work, school science project, science education
Abstract

With this paper we want to discuss possibilities and problems for pupils to learn science. Ex­ploratory studies have been carried in science classrooms. The science lesson exists in a context of its own but classroom interaction re­veals parallel discourses and many research studies show that pupils have great difficulties to move from an eve­ryday discourse into a science discourse and to acquire the spe­cial language of science and the special ways of seeing the world.
Learning and progress in science mean that you acquire concepts and knowledge, which have been developed during a long period of time in cultures with specific terms and rules. In this perspective learning can be regarded as the individual increasing his/her familiarity with the area of knowledge. This is a slow and de­manding process for the learner. But in a science classroom with 30 pupils and one teacher this is rather problematic. The teacher has not time to help every student to go further into the science “arena”. For many pupils the experimental work ends up with the fact that the pupils learn the method and how to handle the material but get no opportunity learn more science.
In conclusion we must say that the result of the work in the science classroom depends on the combina­tion of pupils, teachers and materials. The pupil, the teacher and the material are not components, which can be described separately. They are variables, which affect each other and at the same time form a whole, which is affected by the surrounding milieu.

Refereed DesignationRefereed