27 SES 06 A, Parallel Paper Session
Parallel Paper Session
What the main contents of teaching in different subjects should be is a question that could and ought to be problematized. Different policies for what contents teaching should include and how it should be conducted shapes different presuppositions for teaching and for what the pupils have opportunity learn (cf. Fensham, 2009). That every pupil should be scientific literate to be able to take part in society have in many countries become a prominent goal in Science Education (Roberts, 2007). At the same time, there are goals in Science Education stating that pupils should be prepared for future studies in science, something that is relevant only for a minority of the pupils (Roberts, 1988). The difference between these goals for a teacher in Science Education could either be to put emphasis on the contents of the traditional academic subjects physics, chemistry and biology (to give the pupils a solid foundation for future education) or to focus more on the role of science in questions of ethical, social and political character in connection to questions about for example air pollution or global warming. These different purposes in science education create tensions concerning the subjects character (Ryder & Banner, 2011). Even though teachers are working to meet the same goals in the Science syllabuses, emphasis can be made differently, forming different manners of teaching (Munby & Roberts, 1998) that can be connected to different teaching traditions (Lundqvist, Almqvist & Östman, in press).
The purpose of this study is to survey different manners of teaching practiced in Swedish Science Education in upper secondary schools and to qualify what features are characteristic in these manners, connected to teaching traditions.
Teachers develop different manners of teaching that characterise their actions in the classroom (Munby & Roberts, 1998). The concept “manner of teaching” describes teachers’ actions in relation to epistemology since teachers are in a position to show privileged knowledge and values within the practice. The concept of curriculum emphases (Roberts, 1982) was invented to identify and describe the regularity within the epistemological dimension in teaching. Analysing Science syllabuses and Science textbooks, Roberts (in North America) and Östman (in Sweden) found different patterns concerning curriculum emphases in Science Education: correct explanation, structure of science, solid foundation, scientific skill development, self as explainer, everyday coping and science, technology and decisions (Roberts 1982, Östman, 1996). The curriculum emphases can in turn be connected to Roberts’ (2007) two main visions (I & II) in western societies of how science education should be formed in order to make the pupils scientific literate. Vision I is describes as science reproducing its own products of concepts, laws, theories and methods. In Vision II it is accentuated that education must include facts of the subject but it must also include knowledge and skills that make the pupils able to use scientific knowledge in practical, existential, moral and political contexts (e.g. Zeidler, 2003,Wickman et al., forthcoming).
Fensham, P. J. (2009). The link between policy and practice in Science Education: The role of research. Science Education, 93, 1076-1095. Lundqvist, E. Almqvist, J. & Östman, L. (in press). Institutional traditions in teachers’ manners of teaching Cultural studies of Science Education, DOI 10.1007/s11422-011-9375-x. Munby, H. & Roberts, D., A. (1998). Intellectual independence: A potential link between science teaching and responsible citizenship. In D.s Roberts & L. Östman (Eds.), Problems of meaning in science curriculum. New York: Teachers College Press. Roberts, D. A. (1982). Developing the concept of “curriculum emphases” in science education. Science Education, 62, 243-260. Roberts, D.A. (1988). What counts as science education? I P.J. Fensham (Ed.), Development and dilemmas in science education. New York: Falmer Press, pp. 27-54. Roberts, D. A. (2007). Scientific literacy/science literacy. I S. K. Abell & N. G. Lederman (Eds.). Handbook of research on science education (pp. 729-780). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Ryder, J & Banner, I. (2011). Multiple aims in the development of a major reform of the national curriculum for science in England. International Journal of Science Education, 33, 709-725. Wickman, P.-O., Liberg, C. & Östman, L. (forthcoming). Transcending science: Scientific literacy and bildung for the 21st century. In D. Jorde & J. Dillon (Eds.). Science education research in Europe. Volume 4 of The World of Science Education (Series Eds. K. Tobin & W.-M. Roth) Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. Zeidler, D. (Ed.) (2003). The role of moral reasoning on socioscientific issues and discourse in science education. London: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Östman, Leif (1996). Discourse, discursive meanings and socialization in chemistry education. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 28, 37-55.
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