Den laborativa klassrumsverksamhetens interaktioner : En studie om vilket meningsskapande år 7-elever kan erbjudas i möten med den laborativa verksamhetens instruktioner, artefakter och språk inom elementär ellära, samt om lärares didaktiska handlingsmöns

Sammanfattning: This thesis studies students’ encounters with school science language games within the framework of laboratory classroom activities in Elementary Electricity. The focus is on students’ interaction with the teacher and with other students as well as with artefacts. The aim is to describe ongoing  activities and instructions as well as student focusing in relation to the teacher’s aims and also to elucidate the interactions appearing in students’ encounters with a new language game in the form of new artefacts and new language usage, as well as the way the teacher can assist the students in their learning process during these encounters. Three student groups from the Swedish comprehensive school year 7 and their teachers have been studied by observation in situ. The gathering of data has been done via field notes and video recordings made during approximately three weeks per group. One of the teachers was interviewed about the aims of the laboratory sessions. Classroom interactions in the form of talk and action have been analyzed as qualitative data. The result shows that the aim of the laboratory sessions as expressed by the teacher in the interview – what the students were expected to learn from the various laboratory sessions – remained implicit to the students. Explicit to them, were, however, the descriptions in the laboratory instructions – the doing that was supposed to take place. The students followed the instructions very carefully which made them focus primarily on what should be done and how this should be presented. From the instruction can be seen that the students are supposed to learn inductively. In other words, by doing and observing they are supposed to understand why the result turns out the way it does. The lab instruction can be viewed as an interaction affordance by which the students act, which gives the instruction a great impact on what students focus on and actually learn. The study looks upon the laboratory equipment, i.e., the artefacts, as participants in the activity. The artefacts are theory-dependent, offering several different interaction affordances, depending both on their design and on the students’ earlier experiences. This means that the interaction with artefacts creates learning differences for different students in different situations. It turns out that artefacts mediate in a more channelled and correct manner in the school science language game when students cooperate or obtain support from a more experienced person (student or teacher). Cooperation and talk, in other words, benefit the desired learning. The choice of artefacts together with their design has an impact on what students make meaning about. The encounter with scientific language usage and everyday language often leads to so-called language game clashes, the result of which may be that distracting gaps in the communication are noticed by one of the parties involved. These gaps may then distract students in their continued learning unless they are filled. Terms that are well know to students in the everyday language game but which obtain another meaning in the new scientific language game may, since the discrepancy is unclear to the student, be viewed as gaps unnoticed so far. In the thesis these gaps are interpreted as a lack of experience in a specific situation or even as a lack of support from a person who is more experienced in the situation; i.e., they are not looked upon as static misconceptions. Teacher support is required in various ways in student encounters with the school science language game. Teacher aid may either be described as indirect, when the teacher helps students to notice problems or gaps, i.e., desirable gaps in the situation, or as direct, when the teacher helps them to solve the problems they have noticed and thus to fill the gap with relevant relations. What is described is, in other words, the action pattern as an expression of the teacher’s didaktik finger-tip sensitivity or as part of the teacher’s Pedagogical Content Knowledge, PCK, or Pedagogical Context Knowledge, PCxK. Work with the analysis has developed the analysis method further. This had led to new analysis concepts (desirable gaps, distracting gaps, so far unnoticed gaps) for analyzing classroom talk, which may be regarded as a contribution to method development but also as a possibility to develop professional teacher language. The analysis concepts may, for example, be applied by teachers in didaktik self-analysis and in studies of didaktik action patterns among teachers as well as among peers.