The use of examples in school science: Developing an analytical tool to enable a discussion in science teacher education

Authors

  • Gerd Johansen Norwegian University of Life Sciences
  • Miranda Rocksén University of Gothenburg
  • Birgitte Bjønness Norwegian University of Life Sciences

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5617/nordina.6194

Keywords:

examples, science teacher education, biology, epistemic affordance, genre

Abstract

Examples play important roles in science teaching as vehicles for both conceptual learning and affective engagement. In this article, we develop an analytical tool that deconstructs and deliberates on the use of examples in school science. This analytical tool approaches examples as part of social interactions in the classroom. The tool can be used to deconstruct the use of examples by identifying the relations among the actors, the types of knowledge and how knowledge is communicated. The tool then facilitates a deliberation on examples’ epistemic affordance – their potential for pupils’ learning. We apply the analytical tool on empirical materials from two classrooms where teachers and pupils (aged 15–16) work with examples connected to evolution, genes and traits. We presume that if this analytical tool is applied on authentic classroom materials in pre-service training, student teachers will benefit when they design or re-use examples in their own future teaching practices.

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Published

2018-05-04

Issue

Section

Articles
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