Om ljuset i tillvaron : ett undervisningsexperiment inom optik
The main purposes of this thesis were to study the students’ learning outcome and the teachers’ response to a proposed new way of teaching based on research in science education, in the field of optics. The theoretical frameworks for this work draw on Piaget and his genetic epistemology. According to this knowledge cannot be regarded as an object possible to acquire or to possess in a static sense. Neither can knowledge be transferred from books to a person or from one person to another. Instead knowledge is seen as something constructed by the subject in an indissociable subject-object relation and when studying learning it is therefore impossible to think about knowledge as something solely outside or inside a person. This theoretical platform together with the extensive research on pupils’ ideas in the field of optics published served as the starting point for the proposal of a new way of teaching optics. Eleven teachers were interviewed about their prior experience of teaching optics and five of them were actually trying the newly developed teaching sequence. These five teachers were also interviewed later on about their experiences of trying the teaching sequence. The pupils taught by these teachers performed a pre-test before the teaching sequence started and an unknown post-test at least six months after the end of the teaching period. The pupils’ answers to the test items were categorised and the categorisation from the pre-test was compared with the post-test. The categorisations were also compared with other investigations, e.g. national assessments (UG- 95), when possible. Most pupils answered the delayed post-test in a qualitatively better way than compared to their pre-test results. They also answered the questions significantly better than the "control-groups" of e.g. UG-95 (after “ordinary” teaching). This is a strong indication that the use of this teaching sequence stimulated the conceptual development of these pupils in a positive way. The interviews with the teachers showed some interesting results. Some teachers interpreted the teaching guide of the sequence as a proposal for pupils’ to work by themselves individually or in groups, and after a while the pupils should learn from their experiences and cooperation with their peers. On the other hand two teachers interpreted the teacher’s guide in almost the opposite way. For them, the main idea was to introduce a theory or model of light and after that the pupils should try to use it in various new situations.
University of Gothenburg. Faculty of Education
Date of defence
Göteborg : Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis
Göteborg studies in educational sciences