Teaching and learning through scientific practices in the laboratory in biology education
Exploring modelling through representation construction as scientific practice
The overall aim of this thesis is to explore challenges and opportunities with teaching and learning through scientific practices in the laboratory in biology education. This thesis is based on three articles that are introduced and discussed in an extended abstract. My focus is on practice in the laboratory, and in the thesis, I have investigated practice in two different ways. First, I have investigated upper secondary biology teachers’ practices as reported in a survey and group interview (Article I). Secondly, I have analyzed undergraduate biology students’ practices through microscale analysis of their reasoning when constructing representations in the laboratory (Article II and III). The findings from Article I show that the biology teachers’ primarily report that they implement teacher-directed laboratory work with the aim of illustrating content knowledge. The findings from Article II and III shows how different representations, such as drawings and gestures, support students’ model-based reasoning. Based on these findings, I argue for the fruitfulness of a focus on modelling through representation construction as a scientific practice in the laboratory.
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