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Title:Ways of working, ways of being: A study of four children working in a setting for learning science
Author(s):Frazier, Richard Alan
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Brown, David E.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Elementary
Education, Teacher Training
Education, Sciences
Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Abstract:An experienced science teacher investigated the unique ways of working and being devised and displayed by children in a summer science camp. The camp served as a component in a teacher education program to promote inquiry science teaching and learning. Video tapes of the children in the science camp provided the raw data for the study, and various methods of interpretive microanalysis helped generate portraits of four children who worked at a common table during the camp. Extensive transcripts were constructed from hours of natural discourse among the children. Transcripts were analyzed from various scales running from a few seconds to several days. The children's activities ranged from the invention and construction of simple electrical devices to explorations of the behavior and characteristics of pond animals. Analysis of the discourse and activity revealed great richness and complexity in the ways students negotiate and invent the various contexts to be found in the science classroom. For example, one student dominated those around her with a constellation of registers while another used a common method of exploration both to build an electrical device and to study a turtle. The portraits of the children challenge the science teacher's simplistic ideas on how students notice phenomena and how they might be drawn more deeply into investigation and inquiry. While much discussion in science education has focused on the acquisition of science concepts and processes by children, this study suggests the importance of students' contexts and purposes for the science classroom. The children in the camp help the teacher reflect on his own experience with children and learning. Inspiration arises from the powerful and complementary transformation for both students and teachers when they practice original investigation and successfully recruit one another into shared worlds.
Issue Date:1996
Rights Information:Copyright 1996 Frazier, Richard Alan
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9712271
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9712271

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