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  • 1.
    Högström, Per
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden.
    Jonsson, Gunnar
    Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden.
    What can primary school students snowball fighting tell about silent knowledge?2012Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It has been shown that science learning in school is difficult. Science is abstract and stuffed with laws, it has it’s own language and it has not much in common with the learners lives. However, the nature of science implies that scientific language arisen from educated knowledge, can give word to unvoiced knowledge about science. This could be useful in school contexts to make children’s silent knowledge become an incentive for science learning.

    Purpose: This study intended to depict school science learners’ own knowledge and own expressions, i.e. emanating in their life-world, with expressions from the educated knowledge. The research questions are: Which physics knowledge is recognized in children’s snowball fighting? and: What can primary school students snowball fighting tell about silent knowledge?

    Method: The study involved thirty 11-year old primary school children from northern Sweden. Playing with snow is culturally embedded, hence an every day phenomena during winter. Snowball fighting was chosen with the purpose to analyze what children express when they think about and carries out this and if these expressions could be recognized as knowledge about physics. Data was collected from children’s drawings and written explanations. Additionally, a video recording with a stimulated recall group interview was performed. The analysis was carried out step-by-step for each empirical resource and interpreted as life-world representations.

    Results: All children expressed their views both with drawings and in written explanations. One child explained: "You raise your arm backwards when you throw to get more force and what you should think about when you want to hit someone behind a shelter is to aim high". As expressed, with non-scientific as well as scientific words, it is possible to identify this child’s silent knowledge within the explanation. Also, additional information about the children’s silent knowledge was identified in children’s discussions while watching a recording of a playful snowball fight. This knowledge, expressed in several and rich ways, can be recognized as knowledge about physics.ConclusionsPlayful activities, such as snowball fights, can be used to identify what silent knowledge children have. Following this, it is possible to identify what scientific words to add to existing knowledge and what science teaching needed to enrich children’s learning about specific phenomena. The results suggest that teaching physics in primary school is facilitated if children’s silent knowledge is understood. Copyright © 2018 AARE

  • 2.
    Jonsson, Gunnar
    et al.
    Luleå university of technology, Luleå, Sweden.
    Högström, Per
    Luleå university of technology, Luleå, Sweden.
    Silent knowledge in the learners’ world of experience2012Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Learning is always situated in the children’s life-world. The knowledge that the learning give rise to, is in itself a phenomenon with its origins in social contexts. The views and feelings the learner has regarding the context may therefore have impact on the learning that will be enabled. This presentation puts attention to the context of a playful snowball fight as an arena for learning.PurposeThe aim is to give voice to children’s unspoken but nonetheless expressed thoughts and opinions about having a playful snowball fight. How is this particular context expressed by children?MethodChildren in the age of 11-12, in grade five in an ordinary school class in Northern Sweden were taking part in a playful snowball fight. The children had in advance been given the task of making a drawing that depicted a snowball fight. The "fight" was video recorded and the film was afterwards shown for the children. While watching the film, they could simultaneously comment on what they saw on the film.ResultsIn the analysis, three different themes of the context emerged. The first theme could be described as an arena where interactions take place. The second theme as an arena for play and construction, and the third theme as an arena filled with emotions. Short video clips and drawings that illustrate these themes will be shown during the presentation.ConclusionsThe outcome of the study will be discussed in relation to what meaning the context will have for learning and to the importance of really listening to the children, both the pronounced as well as the unspoken sentences. It is a truism that all understanding is contextual. For learning to happen, teaching should proceed from the learner’s full world of experience. Therefore the importance to start in the life-world of the children will be emphasized.

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