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Developing a relevant science education together with students and their teachers
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Water and Environmental Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköpings kommun.
2012 (English)In: Inquiry Based Science & Mathematics Education: Bridging the gap between education research and practice / [ed] Tina Jarvis, Janet Ainley and Frankie McKeon, Leicester: UK: School of Education, University of Leicester , 2012Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

It is well documented that many students experience trouble in finding science in school relevant (Lyons, 2006; Osborne & Collins, 2001). Studies have used different methodologies and the results are sometimes hard to interpret and implement in schools (Jenkins, 2006). Several studies point to the quality of teaching and ways that students are being involved (Osborne, Simon & Collins, 2003). One way is to start discussions of relevance from the perspective of the students and their teachers where they are seen as part of the solution instead of part of the problem (Watts, Alsop, Gould and Walsh, 1997; Maskill & Pedrosa de Jesus, 1997). To become learner sensitive is also a critical aspect in inquiry-based instruction (Brown & Melear, 2005).

In Linköping there was a desire to develop science instruction. Project groups were organized with people from one school district, the university, municipal employees and politicians. The work started from students’ and their teachers’ perspectives and was supported in different ways and by different people during the process. The results indicate that if teachers are supposed to change and develop their science teaching it is important that the challenges originate in classroom realities. We report on ways that this was done. Attention was also paid to learners ’and teachers’needs, experiences and expressed problems with science using focus group methodology. The results indicate that both students and teachers were positive to develop science education. Teachers were mainly aware of students’ interest but indicated problems relating to lack of leadership, content that must be covered, working conditions and teaching methods. Students pointed more to the importance of connections with society, nature and working life. They wanted attention on ways they experience science outside school and asked for more learning opportunities with reflection, discussion, real problems and challenging work. The results are discussed in relation to the general problems with establishing a modern science education.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Leicester: UK: School of Education, University of Leicester , 2012.
National Category
Other Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-76143OAI: diva2:512720
The Fibonacci Project – Second European Conference 26 - 27th April 2012 University of Leicester, UK

The ambition of the Fibonacci Project is to contribute to the dissemination of inquiry-based science and mathematics education throughout the European Union, in ways that fit with national or local practice. It has developed a process of dissemination and sharing expertise between 12 Reference Centres and 25 Twin Centres, based on quality and a global approach. This is done through the pairing of Reference Centres selected for their expertise, extensive school coverage and capacities for transfer of inquiry-based science and mathematics education (IBSME) with 12 Twin Centres 1 and 13 Twin Centres 2, considered as Reference Centres-in-progress.

Started on 1st January 2010 for a duration of 3 years, the project is coordinated by the French La main à la pâte programme, with a shared scientific coordination with the University of Bayreuth (Germany).

Available from: 2012-03-28 Created: 2012-03-28 Last updated: 2012-04-04

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Jidesjö, Anders
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Department of Water and Environmental StudiesFaculty of Arts and Sciences
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