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  • 1.
    De Loof, Haydee
    et al.
    University of Antwerp, Belgien.
    Walan, Susanne
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences (from 2013).
    Boeve-de Pauw, Jelle
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences (from 2013). University of Antwerp, Belgien.
    Gericke, Niklas
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences (from 2013). Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Engineering and Physics (from 2013), Science, Mathematics and Engineering Education Research.
    High tech learning environments – Are teachers ready for the future?2019Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 2.
    Walan, Susanne
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences.
    From doing to learning: Inquiry- and context-based science education in primary school2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this thesis is to develop an understanding of primary school teachers’ knowledge of Inquiry- and Context-Based Science Education (IC-BaSE) from different perspectives: what it is, how to use it and why these strategies are used. There are at least two reasons for performing research in this field. First, there is a need for professional development in teaching science among primary school teachers. Second, IC-BaSE has been suggested to provide useful instructional strategies for stimulating students’ interests in learning science. The thesis contains four papers with the overall research question: How do primary school teachers reflect on Inquiry- and Context-based Science Education as a framework for teaching and learning in the primary school classroom? Both quantitative and qualitative research methods have been used. The main participants in the studies were twelve primary school teachers working with 10-12 year old students. The results are discussed with reference to theories mainly based on pragmatism, but also from a sociocultural perspective. Primary school teachers found IC-BaSE to provide useful instructional strategies in the primary school classroom, as it engaged their students and developed their skills in planning inquiries. The teachers developed their knowledge about IC-BaSE, what it is and how to use it.  Furthermore, the primary purpose of using IC-BaSE seemed to be that students should have fun. Students also responded positive to the use of IC-BaSE. However when teachers were informed about their students’ responses to IC-BaSE, they became more aware of the importance of informing the students about the purposes of the activities. The findings presented show that teachers need to move forward, not only be “doing”, but also knowing why they are doing the activities and how to do them. Students’ experiences can contribute to this awareness among teachers and develop the teaching practice.

  • 3.
    Walan, Susanne
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Mathematics and Computer Science.
    Mellanstadieelevers syn på naturvetenskap som en del av vardagen utanför skolan2014In: FND 2014, Karlstad, 5-6 november, 2014., 2014Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 4.
    Walan, Susanne
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences (from 2013). Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Mathematics and Computer Science (from 2013).
    Star Wars Irl2017Conference paper (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Rymdmusik, finns det? Finns det ljud i rymden överhuvudtaget? Rymdfilmer, vad är sant och vad är falskt? Vilken roll spelar musiken i rymdfilmerna? Vi kombinerar fantastiska IRL rymdbilder med spännande musik.

  • 5.
    Walan, Susanne
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences.
    Students' responses to visits at some researchers' night events2017In: NFSUN 2017 Synopsis Book, 2017, p. 26-29Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Several activities around the world aim to stimulate students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The European Researchers' Nights are one example. In this study it was investigated how seven students in the age 15-19 years responded to a visit at Researchers' Nights events. The students were interviewed and answers were analysed based on content. The results showed that the students were all positive to the visit and in most cases it was better than they had expected. The results were organised into the main themes: expectations versus experiences, interest in research context and relevance of research. Most of the students were positive about being a scientist and could even imagine a future science career. The contexts presented at the events were catching the interest of the students and were relating to the daily life of the students, or found to be of relevance for society. The study is a pilot and will be followed by a future study with more students included.

  • 6.
    Walan, Susanne
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences (from 2013).
    Teaching children science through storytelling combined with hands-on activities – a successful instructional strategy?2017In: Education 3-13, ISSN 0300-4279, E-ISSN 1475-7575, Vol. 47, no 1, p. 34-46Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Earlier studies have discussed the usefulness of storytelling and hands-on activities when teaching young children science. However, few studies have investigated the use of the two methods in combination. This study reports on five pre-school teachers’ experience of combining storytelling and hands-on activities in teaching science and their perceived effects of the combination. Interviews with the teachers and a supplementary observation served as the data material, which was transformed into narratives and member-checked by the participating teachers. Some found the combination of methods important while others argued that hands-on activities were effective without the use of stories. The teachers’ enjoyment in adopting the combinatory method and their appreciation of the stories also made a difference.

  • 7.
    Walan, Susanne
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences (from 2013).
    The dream performance - a case study of young girls' development of interest in STEM and 21st century skills, when activities in a makerspace were combined with drama2019In: Research in Science & Technological Education, ISSN 0263-5143, E-ISSN 1470-1138, p. 1-21Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: There is a shortage of people in the STEM sector, and it has been argued that more needs to be done, especially to attract girls. Furthermore, there is a need to develop twenty-first-century skills. No studies seem to have explored the combination of activities in makerspaces and the use of drama to stimulate interest in STEM and development of 21st century skills.Purpose: This study focused on a project with a unique combination of makerspace activities and the use of drama. The research questions investigated the outcomes that could be identified from combining drama and activities in a makerspace, with regard to the development of interest in STEM and twenty-first-century skills.Sample: Ten girls aged 7-11 years participated. A project leader, a drama teacher and three female engineering students supported the activities.Design and methods: The project lasted 3 months. Data were collected in the form of interviews and observations with video-recordings and field-notes, as well as documentation of props made by the girls. Analyses were conducted using thematic coding and discussed through the lens of Activity Theory.Results: The results showed that some of the girls developed an interest in science and technology. The girls also developed twenty-first-century skills, in terms of creativity, problem-solving and cooperation.Conclusions: Positive outcomes were found in this project, blending drama and making in a makerspace learning environment. Future studies could investigate how other skills and knowledge in different STEM subjects can be developed in similar projects.

  • 8.
    Walan, Susanne
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Mathematics and Computer Science.
    Upplysande naturvetenskapligt lärande2015Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 9.
    Walan, Susanne
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences.
    Chang Rundgren, Shu-Nu
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Engineering and Chemical Sciences.
    Investigating preschool and primary school teachers´ self-efficacy and needs in teaching science: A pilot study2014In: CEPS Journal, ISSN 1855-9719, Vol. 4, no 1, p. 51-67Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 10.
    Walan, Susanne
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Mathematics and Computer Science.
    Chang Rundgren, Shu-Nu
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Engineering and Chemical Sciences.
    Student responses to a context- and inquiry-based three-step teaching model2015In: Teaching science, ISSN 1449-6313, Vol. 61, no 2, p. 33-39Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research has indicated that both context- and inquiry-based approaches could increase student interest in learning sciences. This case study aims to present a context- and inquiry-based combined teaching approach, using a three-step teaching model developed by the PROFILES project, and investigates Swedish students' responses to the activity. A Likert scale questionnaire was used for the data collection. The results of a total of 105 15-year-old students showed that, overall, the students were highly positive about this science teaching module.

  • 11.
    Walan, Susanne
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013).
    Chang-Rundgren, Shu-Nu
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Engineering and Chemical Sciences.
    Mc Ewen, Birgitta
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Technology and Science, Department of Chemistry and Biomedical Sciences.
    Student's responses to an inquiry- and context-based science teaching module2014Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 12.
    Walan, Susanne
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013).
    Chang-Rundgren, Shu-Nu
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Engineering and Chemical Sciences.
    Mc Ewen, Birgitta
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Technology and Science, Department of Chemistry and Biomedical Sciences.
    The indicators to evaluate teachers' professional development in context-based science teaching2014Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 13.
    Walan, Susanne
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences (from 2013).
    Enochsson, Ann-Britt
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies (from 2013).
    The potential of using a combination of storytelling and drama, when teaching young children science2019In: European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, ISSN 1350-293X, E-ISSN 1752-1807, Vol. 27, no 6, p. 821-836Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Based on a sociocultural perspective, this study explores the outcome of using a model that combines storytelling and drama to teach young children science. The research question is: How is children’s learning affected when using a combination of storytelling and drama to explain a complex scientific concept?. Two preschools and one primary school were visited. Altogether 25 children aged 4–8 years participated. Each group listened to a story about The Rhinovirus Rita. No pictures were shown during storytelling. After the story was told, a play was performed with the children, telling the same story they just had listened to, and the children also made drawings. At a second visit to the schools, each child was interviewed individually and their drawings were used to stimulate recall. The results show that many of the children had learnt the names of immune system cells and how they work when someone has a cold. Moreover, they had also learnt that viruses cause colds. There were also a small number of children who did not show any learning development related to this specific content. Still, we argue that the combination of storytelling and drama is an instructional strategy that has positive potential when it comes to teaching children science.

  • 14.
    Walan, Susanne
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences (from 2013).
    Gericke, Niklas
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences (from 2013).
    Barnens universitet - Intresseskapande STEM-aktivitet?2016Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 15.
    Walan, Susanne
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences (from 2013).
    Gericke, Niklas
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences (from 2013).
    Factors from informal learning contributing to the children’s interest in STEM – experiences from the out-of-schoolactivity called Children’s University2019In: Research in Science & Technological Education, ISSN 0263-5143, E-ISSN 1470-1138, p. 1-21, article id doi.org/10.1080/02635143.2019.1667321Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Previous studies have investigated effects of out-ofschoolSTEM activities aimed at stimulating children’s interest inscience with positive results. However, research has not discussedthe reasons why such activities are successful.

    Purpose: In this study, we address this gap by investigating whichfactors children themselves identified as interesting when they visitedevents at an out-of-school activity named The Children’s University.

    Sample: Children aged 8–12 participated in the study. Altogether,there were 353 children involved in the data collection.

    Design and methods: A mixed method design was used, includinga questionnaire and semi-structured interviews inwhich children’s selfreportedexperiences were collected. Likert scale questions in thequestionnairewere analysed based on descriptive statistics. The openendedquestions and data from the interviews were categorized bycontent analysis and analytically interpreted through ‘the Ecologicalframework for understanding learning across places and pursuits’.

    Results: The children were positive about their visit, and these utterancescould mainly be related to the development of the individuals’interest and knowledge according to the Ecological framework. Weidentified two new factors influencing student’s interest in STEM inout-of-school activities: appreciating the spectacular and learning;verifying two factors of importance previously suggested in the literature:appreciating the content and the learning environment.

    Conclusions: The study highlights the specific factors the childrenactually appreciated from their visits to out-of-school activities,which could be of interest for stakeholders arranging differentkinds of STEM events promoting informal learning. The contentin the activities is important as well as spectacular features. Tohave the opportunity to learn something new in an environmentthat is conducive to learning is also of importance for children.

  • 16.
    Walan, Susanne
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences (from 2013).
    Gericke, Niklas
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences (from 2013).
    Factors from informal learning contributing to the children's interest in STEM: experiences from the out-of-school activity called Children's University2019In: Research in Science & Technological Education, ISSN 0263-5143, E-ISSN 1470-1138, p. 1-21Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Previous studies have investigated effects of out-of-school STEM activities aimed at stimulating children's interest in science with positive results. However, research has not discussed the reasons why such activities are successful. Purpose: In this study, we address this gap by investigating which factors children themselves identified as interesting when they visited events at an out-of-school activity named The Children's University. Sample: Children aged 8-12 participated in the study. Altogether, there were 353 children involved in the data collection. Design and methods: A mixed method design was used, including a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews in which children's self-reported experiences were collected. Likert scale questions in the questionnaire were analysed based on descriptive statistics. The open-ended questions and data from the interviews were categorized by content analysis and analytically interpreted through 'the Ecological framework for understanding learning across places and pursuits'. Results: The children were positive about their visit, and these utterances could mainly be related to the development of the individuals' interest and knowledge according to the Ecological framework. We identified two new factors influencing student's interest in STEM in out-of-school activities: appreciating the spectacular and learning; verifying two factors of importance previously suggested in the literature: appreciating the content and the learning environment. Conclusions: The study highlights the specific factors the children actually appreciated from their visits to out-of-school activities, which could be of interest for stakeholders arranging different kinds of STEM events promoting informal learning. The content in the activities is important as well as spectacular features. To have the opportunity to learn something new in an environment that is conducive to learning is also of importance for children.

  • 17.
    Walan, Susanne
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences (from 2013).
    Jeannie, Flognman
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Engineering and Physics (from 2013).
    Kilbrink, Nina
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies (from 2013).
    Building with focus on stability and construction: Using a story as inspiration when teaching technology and design in preschool2019In: Education 3-13, ISSN 0300-4279, E-ISSN 1475-7575Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this study children's learning of the concept, stability, during some building activities were investigated. It was also examined how a story can create meaning, having the children build for some animals in the story. Two preschool teachers and 10 children participated. Data consisted of video-recordings from activities with the children and was analysed through thematic coding. The findings showed that the children enjoyed to build and showed an understanding of how to build stable constructions, however without using the word stable. There were connections to the story and new stories were also made by the children during building activities.

  • 18.
    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), Department of Health Sciences.
    Possible solutions to the teaching challenges of inquiry- and context-based science education in primary school.2015Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 19.
    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.

  • 20.
    Walan, Susanne
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences (from 2013).
    Mc Ewen, Birgitta
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Health Sciences (from 2013).
    Students' reflections on participation in a science and technology school competition2018In: Electronic Proceedings of the ESERA 2017 Conference: Research, Practice and Collaboration in Science Education / [ed] Odilla Finlayson, Eilish McLoughlin, Sibel Erduran, Peter Childs, Dublin, Ireland, 2018, Vol. Part 2, p. 273-282Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Different kinds of efforts have been made in many countries to stimulate students' interest in science and technology, for example through school competitions. Few studies, however,have investigated the effect of school competitions in science and technology. This study centres onhow students participatingin the science and technology school competition The Technology Eightexperienced the outcomesof taking part inthe competition. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with seventeen 15-year-old students. Transcripts of the interviews were analysed based on contentand resulted in four categories: Social effects, Attitude to competitions, Stimulated interest in science and technology and Gained knowledge. The students enjoyed participating in the competition and found that it had a positive effect on the social situationin the classroom. Competitions were also appreciated and seen to encourage students to work harder. However, the competition didnot have much effect in changing interest in science and technology. Finally, the students found it difficult to express how the competition had contributed to gainingmore content knowledge in the subjects, but they emphasised the practical aspects of learning.

  • 21.
    Walan, Susanne
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences (from 2013).
    Mc Ewen, Birgitta
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Health Sciences (from 2013).
    Teachers’ and principals’ reflections on student participation in a school science and technology competition2018In: Research in Science & Technological Education, ISSN 0263-5143, E-ISSN 1470-1138, Vol. 36, no 4, p. 391-412Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: The European Union asks for renewed pedagogies in schools according to teaching strategies and necessary competences for the twenty-first century, instead of the often-used transmissive pedagogies. The national Swedish competition in science and technology for grade eight, The Technology Eight, provides an opportunity for teachers to work with instructional strategies in line with suggested pedagogies.

    Purpose: To investigate teachers’ and principals’ reflections on the competition in schools.

  • 22.
    Walan, Susanne
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Mathematics and Computer Science.
    Mc Ewen, Birgitta
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Health Sciences.
    Gericke, Niklas
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Social and Life Sciences.
    Enhancing primary science: An exploration of teachers' own ideas of solutions to challenges in inquiry- and context-based teaching2016In: Education 3-13, ISSN 0300-4279, E-ISSN 1475-7575, Vol. 44, no 1, p. 81-92Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Studies of inquiry- and context-based science education (IC-BaSE) have shown that teachers find these approaches problematic. In this study, 12 primary school teachers’ reflections on challenges related to IC-BaSE are explored. The aim of the study was to investigate which challenges primary teachers experience when working with IC-BaSE and how these may be solved. Group discussions and individual portfolios were used for data collection. Content analysis showed that the challenges teachers experienced were mainly practical relating to: how to find contexts, lack of time, handling big classes, students working at different paces, handling materials, and the teachers' need of control. The teachers also presented their own ideas of solutions to the challenges.

  • 23.
    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.

  • 24.
    Åberg, Magnus
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Education, Centrum för genusforskning.
    Mc Ewen, Birgitta
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Education, Centrum för genusforskning.
    Walan, Susanne
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Technology and Science.
    Boys, girls and the world of engineering: Gender issues in technology and technology education2010Conference paper (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
1 - 24 of 24
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