27 SES 06 A, Meaning-Making in Teaching and Learning
This paper addresses the issue of teaching-learning concepts in a case study on earthquakes. Earth Sciences describe geological phenomena by the means of investigating earth events: how has the phenomenon been conceptualized throughout the history of seismology? How can it be conceptualized throughout the unfolding of classroom sequences? Which didactic transposition (Chevallard, 1989) occurs between the two processes? Which efficiency of the teaching practices? We study these research questions by analyzing historical primary sources of the creation of the modern conceptualization of earthquakes. We compare with analyses of 5th grade classroom sequences in order to characterize what students might learn on the elaboration of the seismic phenomenon in situation, and how they can manage it.
To do so, we use the framework of the Joint Action Theory in Didactics (JATD; Sensevy, 2011a, 2011b, 2012). The JATD investigates learning and teaching from a grammatical point of view (Wittgenstein, 1997). This means we favor describing the internal logic of didactic actions to grasp their significance. We use the notion of game and its language game (winning, rules, strategies, stakes, etc.) to do so. Thus, we account for didactic actions by modeling them as games.
In our approach, we model the processes of teaching and learning as learning games, since students have to learn certain pieces of knowledge and teachers have to make the students learn these pieces of knowledge. On the one hand, we characterize each learning game as subject-matter specific;on the other hand, we consider them as sharing a generic grammar, namely that of the didactic game. Then, in a bottom-up way, our model relies, on learning games falling under the rules of the didactic game. In a top-down way, it can be seen as actualizations of the didactic game in learning games. Last but not least, the JATD sees knowledge as a power of acting in a given situation. The theory models knowledge as enacted in epistemic games.
Under such a description, students and teachers take part together to educational activities modeled as learning games embedded in a more general didactic game. The main purpose of learning games is to make oneself gaining new capabilities. These new capabilities are described against the background of an epistemic game or a system of elementary epistemic games.
Our conclusion deals with the comparison of epistemic games crystallized within primary scientific sources and epistemic games enacted from the unfolding of learning games in the classroom.
Agnew, D. C. (2002). History of seismology. International Geophysics, 81, 3–11. Chevallard, Y. (1989). On Didactic Transposition Theory: Some Introductory Notes. In Proceedings of the International Symposium on Selected Domains of Research and Development in Mathematics Education (Bratislava, August 3-7 , 1988) (H. - G. Steiner & M. Hejny., p. 51‑62). University of Bielefeld, Germany, and University of Bratislava, Slovakia. Detienne, M. (2008). Comparing the incomparable. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and Education. New York: Collier Books. Ercikan, K., & Roth, W. M. (2006). What good is polarizing research into qualitative and quantitative? Educational Researcher, 35(5), 14‑23. Guidoboni, E., & Poirier, J.-P. (2004). Quand la Terre tremblait. Paris: Odile Jacob. Kotô, B. (1893). On the cause of the great earthquake in central Japan, 1891. The Journal of the College of Science, Imperial University, Japan, 5, 295–353. Mallet, R. (1846). On the dynamics of earthquakes; being an attempt to reduce their observed phenomena to the known laws of wave motion in solids and fluids. The Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy, 21, 51–105. Mercier, A., Schubauer-Leoni, M., & Sensevy, G. (2002). Vers une didactique comparée. Revue française de pédagogie, 141, 5–16. Reid, H. F. (1910). Permanent displacements of the grounds. In The Mechanics of the Earthquake, The California Earthquake of April 18, 1906, Report of the State Investigation Commission, Vol. 2 (p. 16‑28). Washington, DC: Carnegie Institution of Washington. Schubauer-Leoni, M. L., & Leutenegger, F. (2002). Expliquer et comprendre dans une approche clinique/expérimentale du didactique ordinaire. In Expliquer, comprendre en sciences de l’éducation (F. Leutenegger & M. Saada-Robert., p. 227–251). Bruxelles: De Boeck. Sensevy, G. (2011a). Le Sens du Savoir. Eléments pour une Théorie de l’Action Conjointe en Didactique. Bruxelles: De Boeck. Sensevy, G. (2011b). Overcoming Fragmentation: Towards a Joint Action Theory in Didactics. In Beyond Fragmentation: Didactics, Learning and Teaching in Europe (B. Hudson & A. Meinert., p. 60‑76). Portland, OR: Barbara Budrich. Sensevy, G. (2012). About the Joint Action Theory in Didactics. Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft, 15(3), 503–516. Shaffer, D. W., & Serlin, R. C. (2004). What Good are Statistics that Don’t Generalize? Educational Researcher, 33(9), 14‑25. Tiberghien, A., Malkoun, L., Buty, C., Souassy, N., & Mortimer, E. (2007). Analyse des savoirs en jeu en classe de physique à différentes échelles de temps. In Agir ensemble (G. Sensevy & A. Mercier., p. 93–122). Rennes: PUR. Wittgenstein, L. (1997). Philosophical Investigations. Oxford: Blackwell.
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