27 SES 12 B, Comparative Didactic Analyses of Science Education and Physical Education and Health in Sweden, Switzerland and France Part 2
Symposium continued from 27 SES 11 B
The Europeanisation of educational research goes along with an increasing interest for comparing teaching practices in different countries to explain differences in students’ scores in international assessments and outline certain “best practices”. The research in this paper takes a different perspective. We use a comparatist stance to study what meanings are offered to the students in science classrooms through the progression that is designed by the teacher and the manners he/she manage them. Inspired by a Swedish perspective, this question relates to the discussion of the selective traditions and curriculum emphases (Roberts, 1982) that are embedded in the curriculum texts, and the consequences for the formation of the citizens (Englund, 1998; Östman, 1996). In a French-speaking perspective, the epistemological dimensions of the content taught in the classroom are conceptualized as the result of the didactic transposition at work in any institutionalized process of teaching (Chevallard & Bosch, 2014). Combining these perspectives, the question addressed in this paper is how the teachers reflect certain traditions in the teaching units that they build, and what the consequence are in terms of meanings offered to the students. We compare two teaching units about the properties of matter operated at lower secondary school in Sweden and in Geneva. In both units, the teachers have chosen a similar experiment (e.g. the combustion of iron wool) that is used as the starting point of our comparison. As suggested by Lemke (2000) and Tiberghien and Malkoun (2010), we use a multi-scale analysis to describe the function of the experiment of the combustion of the iron wool, in both classrooms. This analysis is supported by the combination of the practical epistemology analysis of classroom actions (Wickman & Östman, 2002) and the mesogenesis-chronogenesis articulation in the Joint Action framework in Didactics (Ligozat et.al, 2018). It appears that the iron wool experiment has different functions: i) a sample of oxidization as it occurs in ores, as natural products transformed by humans (in Sweden); ii) a sample of combustion, as a category of chemical reaction (in Western Switzerland). We can decipher distinctive sets of curriculum emphases that are enacted in the units: a blending of the academic, applied and moral traditions in the Swedish classroom, whereas the Geneva classroom is focused on the academic tradition. This result is consistent with the comparison of the curriculum texts made by Marty et al. (2018) about science contents in Sweden and Western Switzerland.
Chevallard, Y., & Bosch, M. (2014). Didactic Transposition in Mathematics Education. In S. Lerman (Éd.), Encyclopedia of Mathematics Education (p. 170 174). Springer Netherlands. Lemke, J. L. (2000). Across the scales of time: Artifacts, activities, and meanings in ecosocial systems. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 7(4). Ligozat, F., Lundqvist, E., & Amade-Escot, C. (2018). Analysing the continuity of teaching and learning in classroom actions: When the joint action framework in didactics meets the pragmatist approach to classroom discourses. European Educational Research Journal, 17(1). Marty, L., Venturini, P., & Almqvist, J. (2018). Teaching traditions in science education in Switzerland, Sweden and France: A comparative analysis of three curricula. European Educational Research Journal, 17(1). Östman, L. (1996). Discourses, discursive meanings and socialization in chemistry education. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 28(1)5. Roberts, D. A. (1982). Developing the concept of “curriculum emphases” in science education. Science Education, 66(2). Tiberghien, A., & Malkoun, L. (2010). Analysis of classroom practices from the knowledge point of view: how to characterize them and relate them to students’ performances. Revista Brasileira de Pesquisa em Educação em Ciências, 10(1). Wickman, P.-O., & Östman, L. (2002). Learning as discourse change: A sociocultural mechanism. Science Education, 86(5).
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