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Lab work in science education: Instruction, inscription, and the practical achievement of understanding
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Communications Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Interaktivitet, instruktion och förståelse i naturvetenskapliga laborationer (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Taking an analytical perspective founded on ethnomethodology and conversation analysis, the four studies presented in this thesis provide detailed analyses of video recorded lab work in mechanics at secondary and university level. The investigated activities all build on educational design afforded by a technology called probeware. The aim of the thesis is to investigate how teachers, task formulations, and technology make mechanics visible and learnable, and how students and teachers witnessably orient towards the practical achievement of understanding in the setting. The first study investigates how students use the technology in the interpretation and production of graphs: how they produce increasingly precise interpretations, how they fluently switch between different modes of meaning, and how the interpretations are both prospectively and retrospectively oriented. With a starting point in the analysis, the relevance of technology and task structure for the students’ interaction and learning are discussed. In the second study, the use of probeware is contrasted with the use of a simulation software. The study shows that some important differences between the local enactment of the two technologies are to be found in the practical work of the students; more specifically, in the ways that students orient to the subject matter content. The third study demonstrates an intimate interplay between how students display their problems and understandings and how instructors try to make the subject matter content visible and learnable. The analyzed episodes are illuminating with regard to the analytical notion of disciplined perception as applied to graph interpretation, the cognitive and practical competencies involved in producing, recognizing, and understanding graphs in mechanics, and the interactive work by which these competencies are made into objects of learning and instruction. The fourth study investigates episodes where explicit references to students’ understanding are made through formulations such as, “I don’t understand” or “do you get it?” The analysis focuses on the use, reference, interactional significance, and positioning of these formulations, and is followed by a discussion on the relation between the many and varied ways references to understanding are used and the concrete conditions of lab work. In sum, all four studies contribute to a detailed understanding of lab work as an educational practice and how learning and instruction are practically achieved.

Abstract [sv]

Avhandlingen baseras på fyra empiriska studier av laborationsarbete i mekanik. Den analytiska utgångspunkten hämtas från etnometodologi och angränsande ansatser. Materialet består av videoinspelad interaktion från en tematisk lärarutbildning, en teknisk gymnasieutbildning samt en högskoleingenjörsutbildning. I laborationerna använder studenterna en specifik teknologi kallad probeware, som består av kraft- och rörelsedetektorer kopplade till en dator. Gemensamt för laborationerna är också att uppgifterna bygger på ett likartat pedagogiskt upplägg, vilket i korthet innebär att studenterna först ska ställa upp en hypotes, sedan genomföra ett experiment och slutligen diskutera relationen mellan hypotes och resultat. Avhandlingens övergripande syfte är att undersöka lärandets konkreta villkor i laborationsarbetet: hur studenternas arbete, tillsammans med teknologi, uppgiftsformuleringar och lärarstöd, skapar vissa möjligheter för lärande och förståelse. Detta syfte specificeras i de fyra delstudierna. I den första studien undersöks hur två studenter, genom verbala tolkningar, gester och rörelser, gradvis får en större förståelse av en graf som representerar tid och hastighet. I artikeln diskuteras teknologins och uppgiftsformuleringens roll för sättet som studenterna interagerar och lär. Den andra studien jämför studenters användning av probeware med användningen av en simulering. Ett syfte med studien är att visa hur två aktiviteter som vid första anblick kan verka vara lika, samtidigt kan vara väldigt olika om man i detalj studerar vad studenterna gör och hur de angriper ämnesinnehållet. I den tredje studien analyseras interaktionen mellan två studenter och en lärare. Artikeln fokuserar på det täta samspelet mellan de sätt studenterna visar sina problem, i detta fall oförmågan att se något relevant i en graf, och de sätt som läraren försöker lösa dessa problem genom att visa vad och hur man kan se något i grafen. I den avslutande artikeln analyseras ett större antal sekvenser som innehåller explicita referenser till studenternas förståelse, såsom ”vi fattar inte”, ”förstår du?” och ”jag förstår den men inte den”. Analysen används sedan som utgångspunkt för en diskussion av relationen mellan de många och varierade sätt som förståelse refereras och laborationens praktiska villkor.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2008. , 110 + studies 1-4 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 426
Keyword [en]
Lab work, science education, educational technology, classroom interaction, ethnomethodology
Keyword [sv]
naturvetenskapliga laborationer, IT i utbildning, klassrumsstudier, etnometodologi
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-11419ISBN: 978-91-7393-941-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-11419DiVA: diva2:17834
Public defence
2008-04-04, Elysion, Hus T, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-03-28 Created: 2008-03-28 Last updated: 2014-09-22Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Organizing time and space: Technology, task structure, and embodied inquiry in a kinematics lab
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Organizing time and space: Technology, task structure, and embodied inquiry in a kinematics lab
2002 (English)In: Utm@ningar och e-frestelser : IT och skolans lärkultur / [ed] Roger Säljö, Jonas Linderoth, 2002, 1, 119-144 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

Vi minns alla hur det var när de nyfrälsta visionärerna ropade halleluja för datorn i skolan samtidigt som andra mullrade om att barn blir feta och aggressiva av att sitta för mycket vid sina apparater. Den vågen är (nästan) förbi idag. I stället håller något mer eftertänksamt och kunnigt på att växa fram. Många är de lärare som insett att påståenden som "när barn sitter vid datorn samarbetar de bättre" eller att "IT kommer att spränga skolan inifrån" inte hjälper dem det minsta i den pedagogiska vardagen. Inte heller finner de svar på sina frågor i böcker och rapporter som behandlar barn och datorer i skolan. Dessa böcker tar inte tag i den nya tekniken så som lärare möter den i skolan. Lärares växande behov kan snarare beskrivas i frågor och påståenden som "men vi måste veta hur det egentligen går till när eleverna lär sig med detta nya verktyg", "hur ska informationstekniken bidra till att utveckla undervisning och lärande?”

National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13098 (URN)91-518-4028-6 (ISBN)978-9-1518-4028-4 (ISBN)
Available from: 2008-03-28 Created: 2008-03-28 Last updated: 2013-11-25Bibliographically approved
2. Differences that make a difference: Contrasting the local enactments of two technologies in a kinematics lab
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Differences that make a difference: Contrasting the local enactments of two technologies in a kinematics lab
2008 (English)In: Learning across sites: New tools, infrastructures and practicies / [ed] Sten Ludvigsen, Andreas Lund and Ingvill Rasmussen, Routledge, 2008, 400- p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The ever evolving, technology-intensive nature of the twenty-first century workplace has caused an acceleration in the division of labour, whereby work practices are becoming highly specialised and learning and the communication of knowledge is in a constant state of flux. This poses a challenge for education and learning: as knowledge and expertise increasingly evolve, how can individuals be prepared through education to participate in specific industries and organisations, both as newcomers and throughout their careers? "Learning Across Sites" brings together a diverse range of contributions from leading international researchers, to examine the impacts and roles which evolving digital technologies have on our navigation of education and professional work environments. Viewing learning as a socially organised activity, the contributors explore the evolution of learning technologies and knowledge acquisition in networked societies through empirical research in a range of industries and workplaces. The areas of study include public administration, engineering, production, and healthcare and the contributions address the following questions: How are learning activities organised?How are tools and infrastructures used? What competences are needed to participate in specialised activities? What counts as knowledge in multiple and diverse settings? Where can parallels be drawn between workplaces? Addressing an emerging problem of adaptation in contemporary education, this book is essential reading for all those undertaking postgraduate study and research in the fields of educational psychology, informatics and applied information technology.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2008
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13099 (URN)978-0-415-58175-2 (ISBN)0-415-58175-3 (ISBN)
Available from: 2008-03-28 Created: 2008-03-28 Last updated: 2013-06-27Bibliographically approved
3. The dark matter of lab work: Illuminating the negotiation of disciplined perception in mechanics
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The dark matter of lab work: Illuminating the negotiation of disciplined perception in mechanics
2008 (English)In: The Journal of the learning sciences, ISSN 1050-8406, E-ISSN 1532-7809, Vol. 17, no 2, 180-224 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study examines the practical work of a pair of students and an instructor using probeware in a mechanics lab. The aim of the study is to describe and discuss a type of interactional sequence that we refer to as dark matter, the ordinary backdrop to the extraordinary sequences that are easily recognizable as clear-cut instances of learning. Although this work is downplayed in the research literature, describing it is critical to properly understanding lab work as an educational practice. With a focus on the negotiation of disciplined perception, we analyze a number of episodes wherein a pair of students and an instructor struggle with the construction and interpretation of a graph depicting a linear relationship between force and acceleration. We demonstrate an intimate interplay between how the students display their problems and understandings and how the instructor tries to make the subject matter content visible and thus learnable. The analyzed episodes are illuminating with regard to the analytical notion of disciplined perception as applied to graph interpretation; the cognitive and practical competencies involved in producing, recognizing, and understanding graphs in mechanics; and the interactive work by which these competencies are made into objects of learning and instruction.

National Category
Communication Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13100 (URN)10.1080/10508400801986082 (DOI)
Available from: 2008-03-28 Created: 2008-03-28 Last updated: 2017-12-13
4. Topicalizations of understanding in science education
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Topicalizations of understanding in science education
Manuscript (Other academic)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13101 (URN)
Available from: 2008-03-28 Created: 2008-03-28 Last updated: 2010-01-13

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Lindwall, Oskar

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