ERIC Number: EJ850251
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Creating Survival Strategies: What Can Be Learned from a Science Class?
Goulart, Maria Ines Mafra; Soares, Eduardo Sarquis
Cultural Studies of Science Education, v4 n3 p587-594 Sep 2009
Elementary science teaching has been considered by recent researchers as a process in which students should be engaged in a variety of activities to develop science concepts, science process skills and scientific attitudes. From this perspective, hands-on activities are prominent in this approach because it leads the students to both reflect on the natural and physical world, and understand the social role of science in society. In Upadhyay's article we follow an elementary teacher who struggles to implement a participatory method of science teaching in an environment that prioritizes high-stakes tests as the benchmarks for teachers' and students' success. In so doing, the teacher negotiates her identities in order to engage the students in the process of learning science even though the environment requires a teaching methodology that is against her beliefs. In our commentary on Upadhyay's article we argue that (a) the tensions experienced by teachers create the core of the process of fluidity identity; (b) the different forms of external control over the teaching are inherent in educational systems and also a demand of parents and society; and (c) the possibility for social mobility of minority students is a complex process that goes beyond the dichotomy identified in Upadhyay's article, namely that either the students learn to think scientifically, or the students learn tricks that enable them to succeed in the tests.
Descriptors: Elementary School Science, Scientific Attitudes, High Stakes Tests, Learning Processes, Science Process Skills, Social Mobility, Minority Groups, Science Instruction, Teaching Methods, Science Curriculum, Scientific Concepts, Hands on Science, Role, Academic Achievement
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A