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Energi som kunskapsområde: Om praktik och diskurser i skolan
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Technology and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2003 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study concerns how energy is treated as an area of knowledge in the Swedish school. Energy is encountered in traditional subjects such as history, physics and social studies. Energy also has another entry due to its constant relevance in the world outside school, thereby obligating school to address and discuss energy within its curriculum. Energy is thus qualified to cut across subject lines in school and to connect strongly to problem issues outside school.

The purpose of this book is to study how energy is handled as an area of knowledge in school. Viewing school as a practice implies that energy is handled within a specific social and cultural context. All meanings which are created construct and reproduce notions concerning the nature of reality. It is thus important to study the school's assumptions and methods for dealing with this area of knowledge.

The analysis in the book is based on participatory observations, tape recordings of pupils engaged in group projects, educational materials and the pupils' own work. Three different energy-related projects are included in the study: (1) Two social studies classes which worked using energy as a theme. A number of different subjects were involved in this theme. (2) A natural science class which also worked using energy as a theme, although here the only subjects involved were physics and biology. All three of these classes were upper secondary college-preparatory school classes. (3) The study also includes two classes from the ninth grade. As in the case of the social studies classes, their work on energy involved most of the pupils' other subjects. The theme for the nine-year compulsory school pupils was "Man-Energy-Environment".

This analysis has shown that school as practice has created certain forms which govern how energy is treated as an area of knowledge. The forms maintain and legitimise a particular view as to what is considered valid knowledge. The discourses which best live up to requirements regarding what was to be considered "valid" knowledge were the scientific discourse and the supply discourse.

The scientific discourse was accorded high status as a result of its ties to a scientific conceptual world, and to approaches which are associated with the scientific method. The supply discourse must be considered to be the most dominant of the identifiable discourses.

Other discourses were identified but did not nearly have the same bearing on school. The user discourse was most evident in the projects of the nine-year compulsory school pupuls, and was also implicated in goal documents for their assignments. The civilisation-critical discourses made their presence felt mainly during the group work, but otherwise had few points of correlation for school practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2003. , 257 p.
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 277
Keyword [en]
Discourse, knowledge, practice, meaning formation, points of correlation, inclusion and exclusion, meaning relationships, school, energy, supply, user, science, civilisation-critic
Keyword [sv]
Energi, studier, undervisning, grundskolan, gymnasieskolan, Sverige
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-4707ISBN: 91-7373-704-6OAI: diva2:20714
Public defence
2004-09-26, C3, Hus C, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2003-10-07 Created: 2003-10-07 Last updated: 2014-09-01Bibliographically approved

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