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Upper secondary students in group discussions about physics and our presuppositions of the world
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
Kristianstad University, Kristianstad, , Sweden.
2007 (English)In: Science & Education, ISSN 0926-7220, Vol. 16, no 9-10, 1007-1025 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article we report on a group activity, based on previous work [Hansson & Redfors: 2006b, Science & Education (accepted)], in an upper secondary physics class in Sweden. The aim was to engage students in a discussion about which presuppositions that are really necessary for physics. During the activity the students were to decide about the physics’ view concerning a number of statements. The overall aims of the study were to gain more knowledge about what kind of presuppositions the students associate with physics, and to identify possible ways to address this with students in class. The study shows that it is common for students to associate ‚scientism’ with physics. This is only to some extent problematised and questioned during the discussions. Furthermore we can see that presuppositions necessary for physics are not immediately recognized by the students.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 16, no 9-10, 1007-1025 p.
Keyword [en]
presuppositions, physics, upper secondary students
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-12885DOI: 10.1007/s11191-006-9035-9OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-12885DiVA: diva2:17292
Available from: 2008-01-16 Created: 2008-01-16 Last updated: 2010-06-07
In thesis
1. Enligt fysiken eller enligt mig själv?: Gymnasieelever, fysiken och grundantaganden om världen
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Enligt fysiken eller enligt mig själv?: Gymnasieelever, fysiken och grundantaganden om världen
2007 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

I avhandlingen studeras elevers grundantaganden om världen, samt de grundantaganden som eleverna förknippar med fysiken. Det är utifrån de grundantaganden vi gör om hur världen är beskaffad som vi försöker tolka och förstå nya fenomen och företeelser vi möter, t.ex. i den naturvetenskapliga undervisningen. I avhandlingen ligger intresset primärt på grundantaganden som vanligtvis tas för givna i naturvetenskapen samt sådana som är av intresse för relationen mellan naturvetenskap och religion. För de empiriska studierna har ett specifikt område, nämligen universums uppkomst och utveckling samt existentiella frågor relaterade till detta, valts som ram för elevernas resonemang. Avhandlingen bygger på två studier. I den första studeras elevers skriftliga svar och uttalanden under intervjuer och i den andra studeras elevers gruppdiskussioner. Eleverna som deltar i de båda studierna går alla det tredje året på gymnasiet och läser kursen Fysik B.

Resultaten visar att det finns elever som beskriver sin egen och fysikens syn på olika sätt. Detta gäller såväl frågor om universums uppkomst och utveckling som frågor om t.ex. relationen mellan naturvetenskap och religion. Resultaten visar vidare att de grundantaganden som vanligtvis underförstås i fysiken inte med självklarhet associeras med fysiken av eleverna. Detta kan göra det svårt för dem att förstå resonemang och modeller i fysiken. Resultaten visar vidare att det är vanligt att elever associerar scientistiska synsätt med fysiken. Scientism innebär att man menar att ingenting utom det som är åtkomligt för naturvetenskapen existerar. Detta uteslutet möjligheten att andra möjliga dimensioner av verkligheten än

den materiella existerar. Att förknippa fysiken med antaganden som inte av nödvändighet måste förknippas med fysiken (t.ex. scientistiska synsätt) kan göra att elever, som inte själva delar dessa antaganden, får svårare att identifiera sig med fysiken och kanske t.o.m. väljer bort studier i fysik när möjlighet ges.

Abstract [en]

Students’ presuppositions about the world are studied, together with the presuppositions the students associate with physics. It is from the starting point of our presuppositions about what the world is like that we try to interpret and understand new phenomena that we meet, for example in science class. The thesis primarily focus on presuppositions usually taken for granted in science, and presuppositions that are of interest for the relationship between science and religion. A specific content area was chosen for the students reasoning in the empirical studies: the origin and development of the universe and existential questions related to that. The thesis builds upon two studies. In the first one students’ written answers and statements during interviews have been studied, and in the second one students’ groupdiscussions were studied. Students in both studies are in their last year of upper secondary school, and all of them study the course Physics B.

The results show that there are students that describe their own view and the view of physics in different ways. This is valid both for questions about the origin and development of the universe, and for questions for example about the relationship between science and religion. The results also show that presuppositions that are usually taken for granted in physics, not necessarily are easily associated with physics by the students. This can make it hard for them to understand reasoning and models in physics. In addition to this the results also show that the students associate scientistic views with physics. Scientism states that nothing more than things that are in the realm of science exists. This exclude the possiblity that other dimensions than the material one exist. Associating physics with presuppositions that are not necessary for physics (for example scientistic views) can have consequences for students not sharing those views, i.e. they will have a harder time identifing themselves with physics. Perhaps they will choose not to study physics when given a choice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutionen för samhälls- och välfärdsstudier, 2007
Series
Studies in Science and Technology Education, ISSN 1652-5051 ; 14
Keyword
Science education, worldview, phttps://www.diva-portal.org/liu/webform/form.jspresuppositions, science, physics, nature of science, upper secondary students, Världsbild, grundantaganden, naturvetenskap, fysik, naturvetenskapens natur, gymnasieelever
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-10561 (URN)978-91-85895-39-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-12-07, 318, Hus 7, Högskolan Kristianstad, 291 88 Kristianstad, Kristianstad, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-01-16 Created: 2008-01-16 Last updated: 2009-05-13

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