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Discerning selective traditions in science education – A qualitative study of teachers’ responses to what is important in science teaching
Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3386-3411
2016 (English)In: Cultural Studies of Science Education, ISSN 1871-1502, E-ISSN 1871-1510, Vol. 11, no 2, 387-409 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Science teachers have differing views about what students should learn. Their teaching experience often leads them to develop habitual answers to students’ questions, such as – why should I learn this? Some teachers argue that students need to learn more ‘canonical’ science knowledge so that they can become scientists, while others tell students to apply scientific knowledge in order to make their everyday lives easier. If a group of teachers argue and act in similar ways in similar situations, they can be described as working in a similar collective habit. In this study these are called selective traditions in science teaching. In practical terms they work well in everyday, multifaceted, hectic teaching situations. However, the traditions can obstruct the inclusion of socio-scientific issues (SSI) in national science education tests. Some research has been conducted on selective traditions in written curriculum material, although little is known about how they can be discerned in teachers’ descriptions of their science teaching. This study draws on Dewey’s discussion of the interplay between individual and collective habits to discern teaching traditions by regarding them as institutionalized teaching habits. A firmly developed analytical tool is applied to the extensive data consisting of twenty-nine Swedish science teachers’ responses in semi-structured interviews. The methodology used in this study is inspired by earlier environmental and sustainability education (ESE) research. The results are discussed in relation to earlier research on ‘scientific literacy’ and how research can support teachers’ changes of practice to encourage students to perform better in large-scale tests.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 11, no 2, 387-409 p.
Keyword [en]
science education, socio-scientific issues, sustainability, selective traditions, socialization content
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Didactics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-28809DOI: 10.1007/s11422-015-9666-8ISI: 000387959400012Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84966716015OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-28809DiVA: diva2:850342
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2015-09-01 Created: 2015-09-01 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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  • apa
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  • de-DE
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