ERIC Number: EJ1090401
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Feb
Abstractor: As Provided
Engaging Elementary Students in Learning Science: An Analysis of Classroom Dialogue
Watters, James J.; Diezmann, Carmel M.
Instructional Science: An International Journal of the Learning Sciences, v44 n1 p25-44 Feb 2016
Research over a long period of time has continued to demonstrate problems in the teaching of science in school. In addition, declining levels of participation and interest in science and related fields have been reported from many particularly western countries. Among the strategies suggested is the recruitment of professional scientists and technologists either at the graduate level or advanced career level to change career and teach. In this study, we analysed how one beginning middle primary teacher engaged with students to support their science learning by establishing rich classroom discussions. We followed his evolving teaching expertise over three years focussing on his communicative practices informed by socio-cultural theory. His practices exemplified a non-interactive dialogical communicative approach where ideas were readily discussed but were concentrated on the class acquiring acceptable scientific understandings. His focus on the language of science was a significant aspect of his practice and one that emerged from his professional background. The study affirms the theoretical frameworks proposed by Mortimer and Scott (Meaning making in secondary science classrooms, 2003) highlighting how dialogue contributes to heightened student interest in science.
Descriptors: Elementary School Students, Elementary School Science, Science Instruction, Classroom Communication, Discussion (Teaching Technique), Case Studies, Educational Practices, Student Interests, Science Interests, Learner Engagement
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A