ERIC Number: EJ1113044
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 71
Secondary Science Students' Beliefs about Class Discussions: A Case Study Comparing and Contrasting Academic Tracks
Pimentel, Diane Silva; McNeill, Katherine L.
International Journal of Science Education, v38 n12 p2047-2068 2016
The dialogue that occurs in science classrooms has been the subject of research for many decades. Most studies have focused on the actual discourse that occurs and the role of the teacher in guiding the discourse. This case study explored the neglected perspective of secondary science students and their beliefs about their role in class discussions. The study participants (N = 45) were students in one of the three differentially tracked chemistry classes taught by the same teacher. Findings about the differences that exist among students from different academic tracks are reported. While it seems that epistemological beliefs focusing on content are common for the students in this study, the students' social framing in the different tracks is important to consider when teachers attempt to transition to more dialogic forms of discourse. Some key findings of this study are (a) students' beliefs that science is a body of facts to be learned influenced the factors they deemed important for whole-class discussion, (b) students from the lower-level track who typically were associated with lower socioeconomic status were more likely to view their role as passive, and (c) students' comfort level with the members of the class seemed to influence their decisions to participate in class discussions.
Descriptors: Secondary School Students, Science Instruction, Student Attitudes, Epistemology, Chemistry, Discourse Analysis, Classroom Communication, Case Studies, Track System (Education), Socioeconomic Status, Correlation, Student Role, Questionnaires, Likert Scales, Science Teachers, Statistical Analysis, Discussion, Comparative Analysis, Semi Structured Interviews
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A