“I call it frost.” Features of scientific social language during inquiry-based learning on the particulate nature of matter
Keywords:Particulate nature of matter, inquiry-based learning, pre-service teachers, video study, scientific social language
The particulate nature of matter (PNM) is central to learning science and is a difficult concept for both children and adults. The purpose of this study is to examine how teaching materials from an integrated science and literacy curriculum on the PNM affects communication between pre-service teachers. We were especially interested in examining communication during an activity phase and whether and how participants used PNM models. The interactions between participants were recorded with headcams and analysed using a framework developed by Mortimer and Scott in 2003. The findings revealed that the participants mainly described what they observed directly using scientific words and concepts, but they did not necessarily use PNM models or theoretical knowledge spontaneously. Research indicates that the ability to use knowledge at a theoretical level is key to understanding chemical concepts, so our study underscores the importance of explicitly asking participants to use models and theoretical knowledge.
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