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Signs of taste for science: a methodology for studying the constitution of interest in the science classroom
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics and Science Education.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics and Science Education.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics and Science Education.
2015 (English)In: Cultural Studies of Science Education, ISSN 1871-1502, E-ISSN 1871-1510, Vol. 10, no 2, 339-368 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this paper we present a methodological approach for analyzing the transformation of interest in science through classroom talk and action. To this end, we use the construct of taste for scienceas a social and communicative operationalization, or proxy, to the more psychologically oriented construct of interest. To gain a taste for science as part of school science activities means developing habits of performing and valuing certain distinctions about ways to talk, act and be that are jointly construed as belonging in the school science classroom. In this view, to learn science is not only about learning the curriculum content, but also about learning a normative and aesthetic content in terms of habits of distinguishing and valuing. The approach thus complements previous studies on students’ interest in science, by making it possible to analyze how taste for science is constituted, moment-by-moment, through talk and action in the science classroom. In developing the method, we supplement theoretical constructs coming from pragmatism and Pierre Bourdieu with empirical data from a lower secondary science classroom. The application of the method to this classroom demonstrates the potential that the approach has for analyzing how conceptual, normative, and aesthetic distinctions within the science classroom interact in the constitution of taste for, and thereby potentially also in the development of interest in science among students.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 10, no 2, 339-368 p.
Keyword [en]
interest, taste, aesthetics, science education, situated learning, norms, values, methodology
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Science Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-108069DOI: 10.1007/s11422-014-9641-9OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-108069DiVA: diva2:753652
Available from: 2014-10-08 Created: 2014-10-08 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Taste for Science: How can teaching make a difference for students’ interest in science?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Taste for Science: How can teaching make a difference for students’ interest in science?
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The objective of the thesis is to describe and analyse aspects of home background and teaching that may be important for students’ capability and will to participate in science. The purpose is to make explicit how teaching can support students in developing an interest in science and so counter-balance the restricted opportunities some students may have due to upbringing. In study 1 population data is used to make evident what associations there are between home background variables and the students’ choice of applying for the Swedish post-compulsory Natural Science Programme (NSP). The findings show that home background is important for Swedish students’ choice of the NSP but also that some lower secondary schools can make a difference. Students’ interest in science has usually been examined through questionnaires and rarely studied as constituted in classroom action as a result of teaching. In study 2 therefore an action-oriented methodology is developed based on the concept of taste to study what difference a teacher can make for the constitution of interest in the science classroom. The concept of taste is grounded in pragmatism and the works of Pierre Bourdieu and acknowledges the affective, normative, and cognitive dimensions of situated science learning. In study 3 this methodology is used to examine how a teacher located through Study 1 supports his students in developing an interest in science. The results of study 3 suggest how teaching can make the object of science the focus of students’ interest and so showing that science, with its aims, norms, and values, can be enjoyed in itself. Study 4 draws on the findings of studies 1-3 to discuss the possibility of an overlooked field in studying interest in science; namely whether primary, secondary, tertiary students in effect have different objects of interest. The findings of studies 1-4 are used to discuss how teaching may make a difference to a continued student interest in science.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Mathematics and Science Education, Stockholm University, 2014. 90 p.
Series
Doctoral thesis from the department of mathematics and science education, 9
Keyword
interest in science, taste for science, norms, values, aesthetics, secondary school, home background, teaching, learning, equity, pragmatism, Bourdieu
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Science Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-108074 (URN)978-91-7649-001-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-11-14, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: In press. Paper 3: In press. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2014-10-23 Created: 2014-10-08 Last updated: 2014-11-21Bibliographically approved

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