ERIC Number: EJ810484
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 31
Tensions in the Biology Laboratory: What Are They?
International Journal of Science Education, v30 n12 p1661-1676 Oct 2008
The purpose of this paper is to identify tensions in teacher-student interaction in a high school biology laboratory. Using micro-analytic analysis of classroom talk, the interaction between the students and a teacher working in the biology laboratory session on "Reproduction in Plants" is studied. The two tensions highlighted here are tension with textbooks as authority and tension with the teacher as authority. Tension with textbooks as authority originates from an over-reliance on generalizations expressed in textbooks resulting in the inability of learners to appreciate alternatives and exceptions. Tension with the teacher as authority stems from the task design and varying levels of control that a teacher has over the learner and the learning process. The genesis of the two forms of tensions in the laboratory is different and they are tackled differently by the participants to yield different outcomes. While science educators have conducted intensive research over the past two decades on the effects of school science laboratory work on students' learning of science, more can be done in the specific area of teacher-student interaction. This paper offers some insights into the interaction between a teacher and her students in a laboratory as they learn biology. An increased understanding of the impact of the tensions in a science laboratory might help to bring about realization of the true spirit and intent of school science laboratory experiences.
Descriptors: Teacher Student Relationship, Foreign Countries, Classroom Communication, Textbooks, Science Laboratories, Interaction, Biology, Teaching Methods, Science Teachers, Secondary School Science, High School Students, Teacher Role
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Singapore