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  • 1.
    Christenson, Nina
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    Chang Rundgren, Shu-Nu
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Engineering and Chemical Sciences.
    Zeidler, Dana
    University of South Florida, USA.
    The Relationship of Discipline Background to Upper Secondary Students´ Argumentation on Socioscientific Issues2014In: Research in science education, ISSN 0157-244X, E-ISSN 1573-1898, Vol. 44, no 4, p. 581-601Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the present STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)-driven society, socioscientific issues (SSI) have become a focus globally and SSI research has grown into an important area of study in science education. Since students attending the social and science programs have a different focus in their studies and research has shown that students attending a science program are less familiar with argumentation practice, we make a comparison of the supporting reasons social science and science majors use in arguing different SSI with the goal to provide important information for pedagogical decisions about curriculum and instruction. As an analytical framework, a model termed SEE-SEP covering three aspects (of knowledge, value, and experiences) and six subject areas (of sociology/culture, economy, environment/ecology, science, ethics/morality, and policy) was adopted to analyze students’ justifications. A total of 208 upper secondary students (105 social science majors and 103 science majors) from Sweden were invited to justify and expound their arguments on four SSI including global warming, genetically modified organisms (GMO), nuclear power, and consumer consumption. The results showed that the social science majors generated more justifications than the science majors, the aspect of value was used most in students’ argumentation regardless of students’ discipline background, and justifications from the subject area of science were most often presented in nuclear power and GMO issues. We conclude by arguing that engaging teachers from different subjects to cooperate when teaching argumentation on SSI could be of great value and provide students from both social science and science programs the best possible conditions in which to develop argumentation skills.

  • 2.
    Drechsler, Michal
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Technology and Science, Department of Chemistry and Biomedical Sciences.
    Van Driel, Jan
    ICLON, Leiden University, Graduate School of Teaching, The Netherlands.
    Experienced teachers' pedagogical content knowledge of teaching acid-base chemistry2008In: Research in science education, ISSN 0157-244X, E-ISSN 1573-1898, Vol. 38, no 5, p. 611-631Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We investigated the pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) of nine experienced chemistry teachers. The teachers took part in a teacher training course on students’ difficulties and the use of models in teaching acid–base chemistry, electrochemistry, and redox reactions. Two years after the course, the teachers were interviewed about their PCK of (1) students’ difficulties in understanding acid–base chemistry and (2) models of acids and bases in their teaching practice. In the interviews, the teachers were asked to comment on authentic student responses collected in a previous study that included student interviews about their understanding of acids and bases. Further, the teachers drew story-lines representing their level of satisfaction with their acid–base teaching. The results show that, although all teachers recognised some of the students’ difficulties as confusion between models, only a few chose to emphasise the different models of acids and bases. Most of the teachers thought it was sufficient to distinguish clearly between the phenomenological level and the particle level. The ways the teachers reflected on their teaching, in order to improve it, also differed. Some teachers reflected more on students’ difficulties; others were more concerned about their own performance. Implications for chemistry (teacher) education are discussed.

  • 3.
    Gericke, Niklas
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Social and Life Sciences, Department of Biology.
    Hagberg, Mariana
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Social and Life Sciences, Department of Biology.
    Conceptual Incoherence as a Result of the use of Multiple Historical Models in School Textbooks2010In: Research in science education, ISSN 0157-244X, E-ISSN 1573-1898, Vol. 40, no 4, p. 605-623Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper explores the occurrence of conceptual incoherence in upper secondary school textbooks resulting from the use of multiple historical models. Swedish biology and chemistry textbooks, as well as a selection of books from English speaking countries, were examined. The purpose of the study was to identify which models are used to represent the phenomenon of gene function in textbooks and to investigate how these models relate to historical scientific models and subject matter contexts. Models constructed for specific use in textbooks were identified using concept mapping. The data were further analyzed by content analysis. The study shows that several different historical models are used in parallel in textbooks to describe gene function. Certain historical models were used more often then others and the most recent scientific views were rarely referred to in the textbooks. Hybrid models were used frequently, i.e. most of the models in the textbooks consisted of a number of components of several historical models. Since the various historical models were developed as part of different scientific frameworks, hybrid models exhibit conceptual incoherence, which may be a source of confusion for students. Furthermore, the use of different historical models was linked to particular subject contexts in the textbooks studied. The results from Swedish and international textbooks were similar, indicating the general applicability of our conclusions.

  • 4.
    Gericke, Niklas
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences.
    Hagberg, Mariana
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences.
    Jorde, Doris
    University of Oslo, Faculty of Education, Norway.
    Upper secondary students’ understanding of the use of multiple models in biology textbooks: The importance of conceptual variation and incommensurability2013In: Research in science education, ISSN 0157-244X, E-ISSN 1573-1898, Vol. 43, no 2, p. 755-780Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this study we investigate students' ability to discern conceptual variation and the use of multiple models in genetics when reading content-specific excerpts from biology textbooks. Using the history and philosophy of science as our reference, we were able to develop a research instrument allowing students themselves to investigate the occurrence of multiple models and conceptual variation in Swedish uppersecondary textbooks. Two excerpts using different models of gene function were selected from authentic textbooks. Students were given the same questionnaire-instrument after reading the two texts, and the results were compared. In this way the students themselves made a classification of the texts which could then be compared with the researchers' classification of the texts. Forty-one upper secondary students aged 18-19 participated in the study. Nine of the students also participated in semi-structured interviews. Students recognized the existence of multiple models in a general way, but had difficulty discerning the different models and the conceptual variation that occurs between them in the texts. Further they did not recognize the occurrence of incommensurability between multiple models. Students had difficulty in transforming their general knowledge of multiple models into an understanding of content specific models of gene function in the textbooks. These findings may have implications for students'understanding of conceptual knowledge because research has established textbooks as one of the most influential aspects in the planning and execution of biology lessons, and teachers commonly assign reading passages to their students without further explanation.

  • 5.
    Gregorcic, Bor
    et al.
    Uppsala University.
    Haglund, Jesper
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Engineering and Physics (from 2013).
    Conceptual Blending as an Interpretive Lens for Student Engagement with Technology: Exploring Celestial Motion on an Interactive Whiteboard2018In: Research in science education, ISSN 0157-244X, E-ISSN 1573-1898, p. 1-41Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We present and analyze video data of upper secondary school students’ engagement with a computer-supported collaborative learning environment that enables them to explore astronomical phenomena (Keplerian motion). The students’ activities have an immersive and exploratory character, as students engage in open-ended inquiry and interact physically with the virtual environment displayed on an interactive whiteboard. The interplay of students’ playful exploration through physical engagement with the simulation environment, their attention to physics concepts and laws, and knowledge about the real planets orbiting the Sun presents an analytical challenge for the researcher and instructor encountering such complex learning environments. We argue that the framework of conceptual blending is particularly apt for dealing with the learning environment at hand, because it allows us to take into account the many diverse mental inputs that seem to shape the student activities described in the paper. We show how conceptual blending can be brought together with theoretical ideas concerned with embodied cognition and epistemology of physics, in order to provide researchers and instructors with a powerful lens for looking critically at immersive technology-supported learning environments. 

  • 6.
    Rundgren, Carl-Johan
    et al.
    Stockholm Univ, Dept Math & Sci Educ MND, S-10691 Stockholm, Sweden..
    Hirsch, Richard
    Linkoping Univ, Dept Culture & Commun, S-58183 Linkoping, Sweden..
    Rundgren, Shu-Nu Chang
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Engineering and Chemical Sciences (from 2013).
    Tibell, Lena A. E.
    Linkoping Univ, ITN, Dept Sci & Technol, S-60174 Norrkoping, Sweden..
    Students' Communicative Resources in Relation to Their Conceptual Understanding: The Role of Non-Conventionalized Expressions in Making Sense of Visualizations of Protein Function2012In: Research in science education, ISSN 0157-244X, E-ISSN 1573-1898, Vol. 42, no 5, p. 891-913Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study examines how students explain their conceptual understanding of protein function using visualizations. Thirteen upper secondary students, four tertiary students (studying chemical biology), and two experts were interviewed in semi-structured interviews. The interviews were structured around 2D illustrations of proteins and an animated representation of water transport through a channel in the cell membrane. In the analysis of the transcripts, a score, based on the SOLO-taxonomy, was given to each student to indicate the conceptual depth achieved in their explanations. The use of scientific terms and non-conventionalized expressions in the students' explanations were investigated based upon a semiotic approach. The results indicated that there was a positive relationship between use of scientific terms and level of education. However, there was no correlation between students' use of scientific terms and conceptual depth. In the interviews, we found that non-conventionalized expressions were used by several participants to express conceptual understanding and played a role in making sense of the visualizations of protein function. Interestingly, also the experts made use of non-conventionalized expressions. The results of our study imply that more attention should be drawn to students' use of scientific and non-conventionalized terms in relation to their conceptual understanding.

  • 7.
    Thörne, Karin
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences.
    Gericke, Niklas
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences.
    Teaching genetics in secondary classrooms: a linguistic analysis of teachers’ talk about proteins2014In: Research in science education, ISSN 0157-244X, E-ISSN 1573-1898, Vol. 44, no 1, p. 81-108Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study investigates Swedish biology teachers’ inclusion of proteins when teaching genetics in grade nine (students 15-16 years old). For some years there has been a call for the attention of proteins in teaching genetics as a mean of linking the concepts gene and trait. Students are known to have problems with this relation because the concepts belong to different organizational levels. However, we know little about how the topic is taught in the classroom and therefore this case study focus on how four teachers talk about proteins while teaching genetics, and if they use protein as a link between micro and macro level. The four teachers were observed and audio recorded during entire genetics teaching sequences, 45 lessons in total. The teachers’ verbal communication was then analyzed using thematic pattern analysis, which is based in systemic functional linguistics (SFL). The linguistic analysis of teachers’ talk in action revealed great variations in both the extent to which they used proteins in explanations of genetics and the ways they included proteins in the linkage between genes and traits. Two of the teachers used protein as a link between gene and trait, while two did not. Three of the four teachers included instruction about protein synthesis. The common message for all teachers was that proteins are built, but none of the teachers talked about genes as exclusively encoding proteins. Our results show some possible examples of how proteins could be used in teaching genetics at this age level. However, they also suggest that students’ common lack of understanding of proteins as an intermediate link between gene and trait could be explained by shortcomings in the way the subject is taught.

  • 8.
    Walan, Susanne
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013).
    Mc Ewen, Birgitta
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013).
    Primary Teachers’ Reflections on Inquiry- and Context-Based Science Education2017In: Research in science education, ISSN 0157-244X, E-ISSN 1573-1898, Vol. 47, no 2, p. 407-426Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Inquiry- and context-based teaching strategies have been proven to stimulate and motivate students’ interests in learning science. In this study, 12 teachers reflected on these strategies after using them in primary schools. The teachers participated in a continuous professional development (CPD) programme. During the programme, they were also introduced to a teaching model from a European project, where inquiry- and context-based education (IC-BaSE) strategies were fused. The research question related to teachers’ reflections on these teaching strategies, and whether they found the model to be useful in primary schools after testing it with their students. Data collection was performed during the CPD programme and consisted of audio-recorded group discussions, individual portfolios and field notes collected by researchers. Results showed that compared with using only one instructional strategy, teachers found the new teaching model to be a useful complement. However, their discussions also showed that they did not reflect on choices of strategies or purposes and aims relating to students’ understanding, or the content to be taught. Before the CPD programme, teachers discussed the use of inquiry mainly from the aspect that students enjoy practical work. After the programme, they identified additional reasons for using inquiry and discussed the importance of knowing why inquiry is performed. However, to develop teachers’ knowledge of instructional strategies as well as purposes for using certain strategies, there is need for further investigations among primary school teachers.

  • 9.
    Walan, Susanne
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences (from 2013).
    Nilsson, Pernilla
    Halmstad University.
    Mc Ewen, Birgitta
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Health Sciences (from 2013).
    Why Inquiry?: Primary Teachers' Objectives in Choosing Inquiry- and Context-Based Instructional Strategies to Stimulate Students' Science Learning2017In: Research in science education, ISSN 0157-244X, E-ISSN 1573-1898, Vol. 47, no 5, p. 1055-1074Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Studies have shown that there is a need for pedagogical content knowledge among science teachers. This study investigates two primary teachers and their objectives in choosing inquiry- and context-based instructional strategies as well as the relation between the choice of instructional strategies and the teachers' knowledge about of students' understanding and intended learning outcomes. Content representations created by the teachers and students' experiences of the enacted teaching served as foundations for the teachers' reflections during interviews. Data from the interviews were analyzed in terms of the intended, enacted, and experienced purposes of the teaching and, finally, as the relation between intended, enacted, and experienced purposes. Students' experiences of the teaching were captured through a questionnaire, which was analyzed inductively, using content analysis. The results show that the teachers' intended teaching objectives were that students would learn about water. During the enacted teaching, it seemed as if the inquiry process was in focus and this was also how many of the students experienced the objectives of the activities. There was a gap between the intended and experienced objectives. Hardly any relation was found between the teachers' choice of instructional strategies and their knowledge about students' understanding, with the exception that the teacher who also added drama wanted to support her students' understanding of the states of water.

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