Master Alfredo Jornet Gil
Avhandlingens tittel er:
The Bodily and Contextual Foundations of Conceptual Coherence and Continuity. Case studies from the teaching and learning of science inquiry.
Facilitating that students make sense of natural phenomena in scientific conceptual terms, both in the school and through everyday life, is an important but challenging goal in science education. This thesis investigates how relations of conceptual coherence and continuity emerge as practical and embodied achievements during joint social activity. The thesis investigates this question in the context of a design-based research project concerned with developing and testing a computer-supported inquirybased learning curriculum on the topic of “energy of the future.” Through the thesis, a transactional analytical framework is elaborated that builds on ideas from pragmatism and cultural-historical theory, and most notably from the works of Dewey and Vygotsky. Throughout three empirical studies, ethnographic and interaction analysis techniques are used to analyze video recordings and other ethnographic materials collected during three iterative implementations of the inquiry curriculum. The analyses examine how teachers and students together draw connections of significance between events, the digital and analogical teaching materials, and the core conceptual topics of the science curriculum in and through joint participation in knowledgeable everyday engagement with materials. The analyses reveal how cognitive processes that are considered central to establish conceptual connections across events and artifacts, such as recognition, analogical inference, and applying theoretical knowledge, take place as bodily achievements of social coordination. Findings suggest that drawing conceptual connections between different aspects of the material setting and across different curricular activities involves as much perceiving similarities as it does being uncertain about how the perceived similarities may be articulated in conceptual (i.e. linguistic) terms. It is through the practical and communicational work that such uncertainty motivates that immediate aspects of the learning situations come to be accounted for in conceptual terms and, thereby, further mediate learning of scientific subject matters. The findings have implications for the ways we conceptualize bodily engagement with materials as an aspect of learning of scientific concepts, and may inform further design of inquiry-based education.