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What can a teacher do to support students’ interest in science?: A study of the constitution of taste in a 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: Research in science education, ISSN 0157-244X, E-ISSN 1573-1898, Vol. 45, no 5, 749-784 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this study, we examined how a teacher may make a difference to the way interest develops in a science classroom, especially for students from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds. We adopted a methodology based on the concept of taste for science drawing on the work of John Dewey and Pierre Bourdieu. We investigated through transcripts from video recordings how such a taste is socially constituted in a 9th grade (ages 15–16) science classroom, where there was evidence that the teacher was making a positive difference to students’ post-compulsory school choice with regard to science. Salient findings regarding how this teacher supported students’ interest are summarized. For example, the teacher consistently followed up how the students acknowledged and enjoyed purposes, norms, and values of the science practice and so ensuing that they could participate successfully. During these instances, feelings and personal contributions of the students were also acknowledged and made continuous with the scientific practice. The results were compared with earlier research, implications are discussed, and some suggestions are given about how these can be used by teachers in order to support student interest.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 45, no 5, 749-784 p.
Keyword [en]
interest, taste, norms, values, aesthetics, exemplary teaching, science education
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-108070DOI: 10.1007/s11165-014-9448-4ISI: 000368704200006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-108070DiVA: diva2:753657
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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