Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Teachers' Language of Inquiry: The Conflation Between Methods of Teaching and Scientific Inquiry in Science Education
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics and Science Education.
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The objective of this thesis is to describe and analyse customs of science teaching in secondary schools and teacher education programmes in Sweden in relation to the notion of “inquiry” in science education. The main focus is on customs of language use and the educational goal of learning about scientific inquiry as distinct from the related goals of learning to do inquiry and learning canonical science content. There is also an exploration and description of different teaching approaches associated with “inquiry”. Previous research has noted that a key issue for reaching the goal of learning about scientific inquiry is the extent to which teachers are able to guide students to explicitly reflect upon this topic. A prerequisite is that teachers give students access to relevant categories of language for explicit reflection on the characteristics of scientific inquiry. Because of the situated nature of language use and learning, this also raises the need to address topics of context, culture and customs in science education. This thesis addresses the questions of how existing customs of teaching science are related to the goal of learning about scientific inquiry, how inquiry-related terminology is used in this context, and how relevant distinctions can be made to aid explicit reflection on these issues. Data has been collected in two studies and analysed and presented in four papers. Study 1 is based on interviews with twelve secondary school science teachers, and Study 2 is based on focus group interviews with 32 pre-service teacher students. The results include a description of the existing customs of inquiry-oriented instructional approaches in Swedish secondary schools. They show that these are often not connected with an explicit focus on teaching about the characteristics of scientific inquiry.  Inquiry-related terminology is analysed with a focus on the role and use of the terms “hypothesis” and “experiment”. Based on a theoretical framework of sociocultural and pragmatist views on language and learning, it is shown how the use of these terms, both in secondary schools and teacher education, tend to conflate the two categories methods of teaching and methods of scientific inquiry. Some problematic consequences for reaching the goal of learning about scientific inquiry are discussed, as well as possible origins of the problems and how the results from this thesis can be useful in overcoming these.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Mathematics and Science Education, Stockholm University , 2010. , 61 p.
Keyword [en]
inquiry, secondary school, teacher education, laboratory work, hypothesis, experiment, language, sociocultural, pragmatism, customs, cultural institutions, pivot term, nature of science, focus groups
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Science Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-42694ISBN: 978-91-7447-122-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-42694DiVA: diva2:351018
Public defence
2010-10-15, sal G, Arrheniuslaboratorierna, Svante Arrhenius väg 20 C, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Submitted. Paper 4: Submitted. Available from: 2010-09-23 Created: 2010-09-12 Last updated: 2012-01-03Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Secondary science teachers’ selective traditions and examples of inquiry-oriented approaches
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Secondary science teachers’ selective traditions and examples of inquiry-oriented approaches
2010 (English)In: NorDiNa: Nordic Studies in Science Education, ISSN 1504-4556, E-ISSN 1894-1257, Vol. 6, no 1, 44-60 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper describes aspects of the existing tradition of practical work in secondary science education in Sweden, with a focus on inquiry-oriented teaching approaches. Twelve secondary science teachers were interviewed and asked to describe examples of their own teaching practices that they believed constituted inquiry-oriented teaching. The descriptions are analysed in relation to key components of inquiry as conceptualised in the science education literature. In addition, the teachers’ way of talking about their own teaching in relation to inquiry is described and analysed. The results show a wide variety of teaching approaches that are associated with inquiry in different ways. Although inquiry is valued by many teachers, it is also problematic. We discuss the nature of the problems associated with inquiry by the teachers and the possible consequences of these for teacher education, in-service training and curriculum development.

National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Science Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-41684 (URN)
Available from: 2010-08-02 Created: 2010-08-02 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
2. Teachers' language on scientific inquiry: Methods of teaching or methods of inquiry?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Teachers' language on scientific inquiry: Methods of teaching or methods of inquiry?
2010 (English)In: International Journal of Science Education, ISSN 0950-0693, E-ISSN 1464-5289, Vol. 32, no 9, 1151-1172 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

With a focus on the use of language related to scientific inquiry, this paper explores how 12 secondary school science teachers describe instances of students’ practical work in their science classes. The purpose of the study was to shed light on the culture and traditions of secondary school science teaching related to inquiry as expressed in the use of language. Data consisted of semi-structured interviews about actual inquiry units used by the teachers. These were used to situate the discussion of their teaching in a real context. The theoretical background is sociocultural and pragmatist views on the role of language in science learning. The analysis focuses on two concepts of scientific inquiry: hypothesis and experiment. It is shown that the teachers tend to use these terms with a pedagogical function thus conflating methods of teaching with methods of inquiry as part of an emphasis on teaching the children the correct explanation. The teachers did not prioritise an understanding of scientific inquiry as a knowledge goal. It discusses how learners’ possibilities to learn about the characteristics of scientific inquiry and the nature of science are affected by an unreflective use of everyday discourse.

Keyword
inquiry-based teaching, laboratory work, language, teacher knowledge, science education
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Science Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-41682 (URN)10.1080/09500690902977457 (DOI)000277828700002 ()
Available from: 2010-08-02 Created: 2010-08-02 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
3. The Uses of the Term Hypothesis and the Inquiry Emphasis Conflation in Science Teacher Education
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Uses of the Term Hypothesis and the Inquiry Emphasis Conflation in Science Teacher Education
2011 (English)In: International Journal of Science Education, ISSN 0950-0693, E-ISSN 1464-5289, Vol. 33, no 14, 1993-2015 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper examines the use and role of the term ‘hypothesis’ in science teacher education as described by teacher students. Data were collected through focus group interviews conducted at seven occasions with 32 students from six well‐known Swedish universities. The theoretical framework is a sociocultural and pragmatist perspective on language and learning, introducing the notion of pivot terms to operationalise language use as a habit and mediated action. We describe three different customs of using the term ‘hypothesis’ within four cultural institutions that can be said to constitute science teacher education in Sweden. Students were found to habitually use the term hypothesis as meaning a guess about an outcome. This is contrasted to the function of this term in scientific research as a tentative explanation. We also found differences in how this term was used between the pure science courses given by the science departments of universities and science education courses taken only by teacher students. Findings also included further support for school students hypothesis fear reported in an earlier study. It is discussed how these findings can obstruct learning and teaching about the nature of scientific inquiry. Constructivist theories of learning are suggested as a possible origin of these problems. The findings are also related to curricular reform and development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2011
Keyword
Teacher education, Hypothesis, Focus groups, Laboratory work, Language, Inquiry
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Science Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-41685 (URN)10.1080/09500693.2010.538938 (DOI)
Available from: 2010-08-02 Created: 2010-08-02 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
4. Experiments" and the Inquiry Emphasis Conflation in Science Teacher Education
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Experiments" and the Inquiry Emphasis Conflation in Science Teacher Education
2011 (English)In: Science Education, ISSN 0036-8326, E-ISSN 1098-237X, Vol. 95, no 5, 908-926 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article examines the use and role of the term experiment in science teacher education as described by teacher students. Data were collected through focus group interviews conducted at seven occasions with 32 students from six well-known Swedish universities. The theoretical framework is a sociocultural and pragmatist perspective on language and learning with the analysis based on the notion of pivot terms, introduced in an earlier article, to operationalize language use as habit and mediated action. The term experiment was found to be conflated with laboratory task and referred to as primarily a pedagogical activity in contrast to a research methodology, in line with the previously described inquiry emphasis conflation. The notion of controlled experiment was unfamiliar to most students and had not been explicitly discussed in terms of research methodology during their teacher education. The pedagogical meaning given to the term experiment is discussed in contrast to its use and function in scientific research. The possible problems of this conflation of terms are discussed in relation to the educational goal of teaching students about the nature of scientific inquiry. Recommendations for teacher education are discussed, and a heuristic model to use pivot terms to facilitate explicit reflection on unexamined customs of science education is introduced.

National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Mathematics Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-68005 (URN)10.1002/sce.20446 (DOI)000293844300006 ()
Note
authorCount :2Available from: 2012-01-03 Created: 2012-01-02 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(236 kB)5376 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 236 kBChecksum SHA-512
e2fd64066d57f8fb8de4f9898feaa42917eb9088f2b91ec6fabdc629e4a29d972ace8ff56ad1c340d9818b70cad3128bffba636f75077cbb0f38f907590b78c5
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Gyllenpalm, Jakob
By organisation
Department of Mathematics and Science Education
Didactics

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 5376 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

isbn
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

isbn
urn-nbn
Total: 2364 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf