Explaining Science in the Classroom

Explaining Science in the Classroom

Explaining Science in the Classroom

Explaining Science in the Classroom

Synopsis

"Is explaining science just an art, or can it be described, taught and learned? That is the question posed by this book. From extensive classroom observations, the authors give vivid descriptions of how teachers explain science to students, and provide their account with a sound theoretical basis. Attention is given to the ways in which needs for explanation are generated, how the strange new entities of science - from genes to electrons - are created through talk and action, how knowledge is transformed to become explainable, and how demonstrations link explanation and reality. Different styles of explanation are illustrated, from the 'teller of tales' to those who ask students to 'say it my way.'" "Explaining Science in the Classroom is a new and exciting departure in science education. It brings together science educators and specialists in discourse and communication, to reach a new synthesis of ideas. The book offers science teachers very practical help and insight." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

This book is one of the products of collaborative research between science education and semiotics and discourse analysis at the University of London Institute of Education. It is addressed to all those concerned with the teaching of science - to science teachers and to those who train or advise them.

We started this work in the belief that science education had much to learn from those who study language, meaning and communication, an area which may be subsumed under the label ‘semiotics’ - the study of the making of meaning. We also hoped that the teaching of science would prove to be a fruitful field for investigation by semioticians, offering them new challenges and requiring new insights. In the event, we believe that both of these hopes have been realized, at least, they have for us. Not only has the collaboration led to the results described here, but it has also led us to further collaboration, currently on the use of images in science. And we will want to follow up the implications of the work which was started here.

The book is based on video-tapes of a number of secondary school teachers explaining science. The argument of the book is copiously illustrated with transcripts taken from these recordings. This generates two problems of which the reader should be made aware. One is that language - ‘the words’ - is thereby given prominence over other modes of communication, because there are no easy ways of representing all the non-verbal communication which is present. We have tried to offset this partially by including in the transcripts commentary on actions, gestures, writing, pointing and doing things with apparatus, etc. The second problem is that speech does not transcribe in any simple way into the normal forms of written language. Nothing, for example, corresponds in speech to the full stop in writing (just as nothing in writing . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.