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Language Games and Meaning as Used in Student Encounters With Scientific Literacy Test Items
Malmö University, Malmö, Sweden.
Malmö University, Malmö, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1438-3607
2016 (English)In: Science Education, ISSN 0036-8326, E-ISSN 1098-237X, Vol. 100, no 2, 321-343 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Previous research in science education has suggested that difficulties among students learning science relate to challenges in framing its discourse. This article examines the role that language plays in a scientific literacy test for which everyday life is an augmented aspect. Video-recorded data was collected in four ninth-grade science classes in a Swedish compulsory school as small groups of students discussed and collaboratively solved Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) science test items. The theoretical framework assumes sociocultural perspectives as well as that of Wittgenstein's later works on language. The study involves an analysis of students’ meaning making of specific words that occur in the test and the various language games to which these words contribute. Specifically, we analyzed the students’ use of four different words: reference, constant, pattern, and factor. We found that the students use these words in everyday or mathematical language games; for example, understanding the word “pattern” as a mathematical regularity rather than a result of a scientific experiment. The results were analyzed in relation to the specific illustrations and wording that contextualize the items. We argue that a crucial part of being scientifically literate is privileging science content over other possible disciplines and contexts and ignoring the everyday perspective. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2016. Vol. 100, no 2, 321-343 p.
Keyword [en]
language in science
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-29991DOI: 10.1002/sce.21199OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-29991DiVA: diva2:878493
Projects
SONAT projektet Wallenberg
Funder
Swedish Research Council, Dnr 721-2008-4717
Note

This research has been funded by The Swedish Research Council (Dnr 721-2008-4717) and the Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation (MAW 2012.0094).

Available from: 2015-12-09 Created: 2015-12-09 Last updated: 2016-02-16Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf