Building a Common Platform on Students’ Participation

Lundin, Mattias
October 2007
Journal of Science Education & Technology;Oct2007, Vol. 16 Issue 5, p369
Academic Journal
This article sets out to examine how school science activities can encourage students’ participation while supporting a specific science content. One ordinary class with 12-year-old students was chosen and their regular classroom work was studied without intervention and with a minimum of interference. Lessons were video filmed, transcribed and analyzed focussing on the participants’ speech acts. It was found that students’ initiatives and experiences were important parts of their participation. The results show how students’ participation was orchestrated with a science content by means of four different kinds of activities. The activities are called ‘individual inventory of experiences’, ‘building a common platform of experiences’, ‘sharing new experiences’ and ‘concluding a common platform’. The activities form a foundation for participation in human biology topics. For example, to ‘build a common platform of experiences’ seems to level out students’ different prerequisites for participating in subsequent tasks. Furthermore, to ‘conclude a common platform’ implied a checkpoint of the shared new experiences. The activities support students’ tentative use of scientific words as well as their learning of what counts as knowledge in the school science setting. However, it can be questioned if the time spent on each separate activity is necessary or if similar achievements could be made even if some activities were integrated. The question is open for further research.


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