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Seeing the Wood for the Trees: Applying the dual-memory system model to investigate expert teachers’ observational skills in natural ecological learning environments
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6859-1420
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
2012 (English)In: International Journal of Science Education, ISSN 0950-0693, E-ISSN 1464-5289, Vol. 34, no 1, 101-125 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study aims to investigate two expert ecology teachers’ ability to attend to essential details in a complex environment during a field excursion, as well as how they teach this ability to their students. In applying a cognitive dual-memory system model for learning, we also suggest a rationale for their behaviour. The model implies two separate memory systems: the implicit, non-conscious, non-declarative system and the explicit, conscious, declarative system. This model provided the starting point for the research design. However, it was revised from the empirical findings supported by new theoretical insights. The teachers were video and audio recorded during their excursion and interviewed in a stimulated recall setting afterwards. The data were qualitatively analysed using the dual-memory system model. The results show that the teachers used holistic pattern recognition in their own identification of natural objects. However, teachers’ main strategy to teach this ability is to give the students explicit rules or specific characteristics. According to the dual-memory system model the holistic pattern recognition is processed in the implicit memory system as a non-conscious match with earlier experienced situations. We suggest that this implicit pattern matching serves as an explanation for teachers’ ecological and teaching observational skills. Another function of the implicit memory system is its ability to control automatic behaviour and non-conscious decision-making. The teachers offer the students firsthand sensory experiences which provide a prerequisite for the formation of implicit memories that provides a foundation for expertise.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2012. Vol. 34, no 1, 101-125 p.
Keyword [en]
Ecology education; Teacher actions; Classification; Pattern recognition; Dualmemory system
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-67890DOI: 10.1080/09500693.2011.561505ISI: 000300301400005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-67890DiVA: diva2:414101
Available from: 2011-05-02 Created: 2011-05-02 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Att uppmärksamma det väsentliga: Lärares ämnesdidaktiska förmågor ur ett interaktionskognitivt perspektiv
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Att uppmärksamma det väsentliga: Lärares ämnesdidaktiska förmågor ur ett interaktionskognitivt perspektiv
2011 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

Den här avhandlingen syftar till att belysa lärares ämnesdidaktiska förmågor i naturvetenskap. Jag fokuserar på tre olika förmågor som är centrala för lärare, nämligen lärares professionella seende, deras automatiska agerande samt deras förmåga att berätta narrativ. Den teoretiska utgångspunkten för avhandlingen är det som jag kallar för det interaktionskognitiva perspektivet. Tre olika aspekter av interaktion behandlas, interaktion mellan individen och hennes omgivning, interaktion mellan individen och andra individer samt interaktion mellan två olika kunskapsformer – den deklarerbara och den intuitiva kunskapen – som bearbetas i det explicita respektive det implicita minnessystemet. Modellen om de två minnessystemen är således central i den här avhandlingen och jag behandlar hur dessa båda minnessystem samverkar så att deklarerbara och intuitiva kunskaper tar sig i uttryck i form av förmågor.

Informanterna i de ingående studierna utgörs av såväl lärarstudenter som erfarna lärare som undervisar om, berättar om eller löser problem med ett naturvetenskapligt innehåll, med särskild tyngdpunkt på ekologi. Datainsamlingen har främst bestått i intervjuer, såväl semistrukturerade som stimulated recall-intervjuer. Dessutom har data samlats in genom att undervisning har videofilmats och att informanter har beskrivit sin undervisning i loggböcker.

Resultaten visar att vi kan urskilja tre olika aspekter av lärares professionella seende: uppmärksamma, identifiera och känna igen. Förmågan att uppmärksamma det väsentliga i en komplex miljö, exempelvis att finna en viss typ av gräs bland andra gräs, är starkt förknippad med förmågan att känna igen. Dessa förmågor bygger på intuitiv kunskap och är därmed en långlivad förmåga. Att identifiera, dvs. att kunna sätta ett namn på gräset, är däremot en deklarerbar kunskap som är snabbt avklingande relativt lärtillfället.

Vidare visar resultaten att förmågan att agera automatiskt är starkt situerad och därmed sammanlänkad med lärandemiljön, elevgruppen och det specifika innehållet. Automatiskt agerande bygger på erfarenhet (igenkänning) av en specifik situation vartill ett beteende är kopplat. En lärare behöver inte själv vara medveten om sitt agerande eftersom detta är en intuitiv kunskap.

Den intuitiva kunskapen verkar dessutom vara en viktig del av berättelser. Studenterna kunde upp till ett år efter lärtillfället återberätta grunddragen i en historia. Däremot visade det sig att de exakta vetenskapliga termerna, dvs. den deklarerbara kunskapen, till stor del hade bytts ut mot mer vanligt förekommande termer.

Jag vill poängtera värdet av både intuitiv och deklarerbar kunskap i lärarutbildningen.

Abstract [en]

This thesis aims to investigate the engagement of teachers’ skills in teaching of science. Three different skills are presented, namely teachers’ professional vision, automatic action and the use of narratives. I introduce an interactive cognitive perspective to investigate teachers’ skills as they appear in the interaction between the teacher, the pupils and the learning environment. Furthermore, the interaction between two different forms of knowledge is also a central part of this thesis. These two forms are the declarable and the intuitive knowledge. The declarable knowledge is processed in the explicit memory system and the intuitive knowledge is connected to the implicit memory system. The dual-memory system model is an important starting point for this thesis, in particular, the interaction between the intuitive and declarable knowledge.

Both pre-service student teachers and experienced teachers participated in the studies. They taught, told narratives or solved problems in science. A variety of data collection methods have been used. Among these were interviews, both semi-structured and stimulated recall settings, video recordings from teaching and logbooks about teaching written by the student teachers.

Three different categories of teachers’ professional vision were identified: to discern, to identify and to recognize. To be able to discern critical features in complex environments, the teacher needs to recognize the feature, for example a grass among other types of grass. To discern and to recognize have the same underlying cognitive mechanisms and could be described as intuitive knowledge. The intuitive knowledge is long-lasting. To identify, that is, to be able to label the grass, is a declarable knowledge that is fast degrading.

The ability to act automatically is based on the same cognitive mechanisms as those involved when teacher discern critical features. Automatic action could hence be described as intuitive knowledge. Furthermore, automatic action strongly depends on the situation. A teacher could act without being conscious of his/her own behavior.

The intuitive knowledge seems to be important for the ability to tell narratives. The research suggests that narratives could represent long-lasting knowledge structures (intuitive knowledge), even though the specific scientific terms may degrade fast.

The pupils, the learning environment and the scientific content together form a whole which the teacher needs to constantly react to during teaching situations. In doing so, both intuitive and declarable knowledge are important.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2011. 116 p.
Series
Studies in Science and Technology Education, ISSN 1652-5051 ; 40
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-67895 (URN)978-91-7393-169-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-06-01, K1, Kåkenhus, Campus Norrköping, Linköpings universitet, Norrköping, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-05-02 Created: 2011-05-02 Last updated: 2016-08-31Bibliographically approved

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Stolpe, KarinBjörklund, Lars-Erik

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