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Two dimensions of Student Ownership of Learning during Small-Group Work with Miniprojects and Context Rich Problems in Physics
Mälardalen University, Department of Mathematics and Physics.
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

In this thesis the theoretical framework student ownership of learning (SOL) is developed both theoretically and with qualitative research, based on studies of small-group work in physics with miniprojects and context rich problems. Ownership is finally defined as actions of choice and control, i.e. the realised opportunities to own organisation of the work. The dimension group ownership of learning refers to the groups’ actions of choice and control of the management of the task: how the task is determined, performed and finally reported. The other dimension, the individual student ownership of learning, refers to the individual student's own question/idea that comes from own experiences, interests, or anomalies of understanding; an idea/question that recurs several times and leads to new insights. From literature and from own data, categories are constructed for group and individual student ownership of learning, which have been iteratively sharpened in order to identify ownership in these two dimensions. As a consequence, the use of the framework student ownership of learning is a way to identify an optimal level of ownership for better learning and higher motivation in physics teaching.

The first part of the thesis gives an overview of the theoretical background to the studies made, and summarises the findings. The second part consists of six articles that report case studies with analyses of audio/video-recorded student cooperative work, and student group discussions, from three collections of data: 1) students working with miniprojects in teacher education, 2) upper secondary school students taking a physics course that includes both context rich problems with group discussions and miniprojects, and 3), aeronautical engineering students working with context rich problems in an introductory physics course at university.

The thesis describes in a fine-grained analysis the conversation in the groups based on Barnes discourse moves, and finds that ownership and communication are related. Group discussions are found to be an indicator for group ownership of learning and exploratory talks often promotes individual student ownership of learning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutionen för Matematik och Fysik , 2006.
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 37
Keywords [en]
ownership of learning, exploratory talks, physics learning, context rich problems, miniprojects
National Category
Natural Sciences
Research subject
Naturvetenskapernas och teknikens didaktik
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-169ISBN: 91-85485-31-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-169DiVA, id: diva2:120590
Public defence
2007-01-12, Gamma, Hus U&T, Högskoleplan, Västerås, 10:15
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2006-11-30 Created: 2006-11-30
List of papers
1. Physics learning with exploratory talks during a miniproject - a case study of four girls working with electric circuits
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Physics learning with exploratory talks during a miniproject - a case study of four girls working with electric circuits
2005 (English)In: Journal of Baltic Science Education, ISSN 1648-3898, Vol. 4, no 1, p. 5-11Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

During physics instruction with mini-projects, four upper secondary school girls decide to plan how to teach electric circuits to younger children. Their group discussions result in a conceptual change related to the concepts resistance and current. Their prior conception, built on current consumption, leads them into conceptual conflicts, and by exploratory talks they reach a new view based on current as movement with different speed. Students’ ownership of learning (SOL) is increased by an instructional design with mini-projects. This gives students the opportunity to choose a unique question, to determine their own learning process, to increase their motivation and to enhance development of competence and self-confidence.

Ownership of learning includes factors that connect the students' learning process to the students' learning environment. In this meaning the ownership is an aspect of student influence. With further cases the conceptual relations between ownership, motivation and learning hopefully can be further developed and clarified. In this small group work in physics the students have got possibility for ownership from the instructional design, and two individual have ownership by their possibility to relate to earlier experiences and anomalies of understanding. Their unique question gives them high motivation, and help them to enhance and develop their understanding of the concepts resistance and current by exploratory talks and reflective thinking. They find their old view of resistance to be misleading, and develop a new view where resistance is connected to the current speed (as amount of charges passing per second), a view closer to scientific thinking.

National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-4044 (URN)
Available from: 2006-11-30 Created: 2006-11-30 Last updated: 2015-07-09Bibliographically approved
2. Context Rich Problems in Physics for Upper Secondary School
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Context Rich Problems in Physics for Upper Secondary School
2004 (English)In: Science Education International, ISSN 1450-104X, Vol. 16, no 4, p. 293-302Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper reports observations from one of several case studies of students working with con­ text rich problems (CRP) and mini projects (MP) in an upper secondary school class. This small group work concerns the problem-solving of a context rich problem during an 80-minute lesson of physics. We have videofilmed a group of girls during their work, thereafter we have transcribed and analysed the videotape from how group discussions in physics influence the students' learning. Interactions between students during the group discussion are of different types. When it comes to development of conceptual understanding the girls go into exploratory talks, a kind of talks described by Douglas Barnes in the 1970s. The amount of talk within different categories of talk, how the amount of talk in different cate­ gories is divided amongst the girls, and their steps in the problem-solving  are specified.  The importance of timefor reflective talks in physics to enhance learning is high-lighted by quotations from the girls ' dis­cussions.

National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-4045 (URN)
Available from: 2006-11-30 Created: 2006-11-30 Last updated: 2013-10-08Bibliographically approved
3. From everyday life experiences to physics understanding occurring in small group work with context rich problems during introductory physics work at university
Open this publication in new window or tab >>From everyday life experiences to physics understanding occurring in small group work with context rich problems during introductory physics work at university
2007 (English)In: Research in Science Education, ISSN 0157-244X, Vol. 37, no 4, p. 449-467Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

How do students bridge everyday life views into physics understanding? We report from in-depth analysis of one group of four students, video-recorded over 135 min solving a context rich problem (CRP). Through transcripts of the group's conversations and from flow-charts made of thegroup talk we have categorised how students' experiences develop into physics reasoning. The conversations in the cooperative group are sometimes carried out by 'exploratory talks', but there are also parts of the conversation where the students develop their own thoughts without response from the others. Some evidence is given of: 1) how the students use exploratory talks to reach consensus about the boundary conditions of the task; 2) how the students state the problem more precisely by starting to talk about experiences they have had and to use their experiences as arguments, and 3) how individual questions are formulated in a process of meaning making. We find in this case-study that students' personaleveryday life experience develops into physics reasoning during group talk. We argue accordingly for more time in the physics classroom to solve open ended physics problems which promote group discussions taking departure from own experiences and enhance physics understanding.

Keywords
context rich problems; everyday-life experiences; ownership of learning; physics teaching
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-4046 (URN)10.1007/s11165-006-9035-4 (DOI)000248913700006 ()2-s2.0-34548177081 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2006-11-30 Created: 2006-11-30 Last updated: 2016-01-22Bibliographically approved
4. Two Dimensions of Student Ownership of Learning During Small-Group Work in Physics
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Two Dimensions of Student Ownership of Learning During Small-Group Work in Physics
2008 (English)In: International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, ISSN 1571-0068, E-ISSN 1573-1774, Vol. 6, no 4, p. 629-653Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The theoretical framework student ownership of learning is developed both theoretically and with qualitative research. The metaphor "ownership" is related to the process towards meaning making and understanding and is seen as relevant especially to improve physics instruction. The dimension group ownership of learning refers to the groups' actions of choice and control of the management of the task; how the task is determined, performed and finally reported. The other dimension, the individual student ownership of learning, refers to an individual student's own question/idea that comes from own experiences, interests or anomalies of understanding; an idea/question that comes back several times and leads to new insights. From literature and from our own data, we have developed categories for group and individual student ownership of learning, which were iteratively sharpened in order to identify ownership in the two dimensions. As a consequence, we argue for use of the framework student ownership of learning as a way to identify an optimal level of ownership for better learning and higher motivation in physics teaching.

National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-4047 (URN)10.1007/s10763-007-9075-x (DOI)2-s2.0-55849127089 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2006-11-30 Created: 2006-11-30 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
5. Talking physics during small-group work with context-rich problems - Analysed from an ownership perspective
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Talking physics during small-group work with context-rich problems - Analysed from an ownership perspective
2009 (English)In: International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, ISSN 1571-0068, E-ISSN 1573-1774, Vol. 7, no 3, p. 455-472Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study provides analyses of the conversations when university students work in small groups solving context-rich physics problems. We constructed context-rich, open-ended physics problems related to everyday life situations that lack some information required to solve and complete the tasks. The students' ownership of learning, their actions of choice and control, was analyzed in two dimensions: group and individual. Conversation analyses and flowcharts of the conversation were constructed from the complete transcripts of three groups. The theoretical framework for student ownership of learning demonstrated that it was possible to show that even if students have group ownership of the task, the individual student ownership of learning is not self-evident. The study also demonstrates the methodological power and value of the flowchart to identify conversation patterns in the groups that were effective in the search for exploratory talks and individual questions. We discuss implications for teacher development to enhance group work.

National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-4048 (URN)10.1007/s10763-008-9125-z (DOI)000207961500002 ()2-s2.0-67349252829 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2006-11-30 Created: 2006-11-30 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
6. Arbete med en egen frågeställning som ger lärande i fysik –
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Arbete med en egen frågeställning som ger lärande i fysik –
2006 (Swedish)In: Naturfagsdidaktikkens mange facetter.: Proceedings fra Det 8. nordiske forskersymposium om undervisning i naturfag, 2006, p. 541-Chapter in book (Other academic)
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-4049 (URN)8776840875 (ISBN)
Available from: 2006-11-30 Created: 2006-11-30 Last updated: 2015-07-28Bibliographically approved

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