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Physics learning with exploratory talks during a miniproject - a case study of four girls working with electric circuits
Mälardalen University, Department of Mathematics and Physics.
2005 (English)In: Journal of Baltic Science Education, ISSN 1648-3898, Vol. 4, no 1, 5-11 p.Article 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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 4, no 1, 5-11 p.
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-4044OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-4044DiVA: diva2:120584
Available from: 2006-11-30 Created: 2006-11-30 Last updated: 2015-07-09Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Two dimensions of Student Ownership of Learning during Small-Group Work with Miniprojects and Context Rich Problems in Physics
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Two dimensions of Student Ownership of Learning during Small-Group Work with Miniprojects and Context Rich Problems in 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
Keyword
ownership of learning, exploratory talks, physics learning, context rich problems, miniprojects
National Category
Natural Sciences
Research subject
Naturvetenskapernas och teknikens didaktik
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-169 (URN)91-85485-31-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-01-12, Gamma, Hus U&T, Högskoleplan, Västerås, 10:15
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2006-11-30 Created: 2006-11-30

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