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Nelson, J. & Olander, C. (2024). Meaning-making of arrows in a representation of the greenhouse effect. Journal of Biological Education, 58(1), 4-15
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Meaning-making of arrows in a representation of the greenhouse effect
2024 (English)In: Journal of Biological Education, ISSN 0021-9266, E-ISSN 2157-6009, Vol. 58, no 1, p. 4-15Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study investigated meaning-making of arrows in a representation of the greenhouse effect among 14-year-old secondary school students. Data was generated during Biology lessons where 74 students discussed how they interpreted a representation from the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, which is an NGO that produce school material . The students were divided into 33 groups, who made written notes. In addition 12 groups were videotaped and eleven of these groups were interviewed a week later. The analysis focused on meaning-making of the arrows in the representation with the starting point that the arrows were represented in two distinctive ways, colour (yellow/orange) and shape (straight/curved/wavy). The result show that the colour yellow was strongly connected to the Sun whereas orange was connected to heat. The mode waviness made meaning-making more diverse and the coupling to the colour orange triggered interpretations about heat and different emissions and gases. One implication is that arrows are interpreted in the light of everyday experiences. In order to make sense in a more scientific way the arrows need unpacking and contextualisation. The overall connection between meaning-making and representation was captured by one group as: "It is an easy representation, if you understand it".

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2024
Keywords
Biology education, arrows, representations, greenhouse effect, meaning-making, multimodality
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-49192 (URN)10.1080/00219266.2021.2012229 (DOI)000737642100001 ()2-s2.0-85122271058 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2022-01-10 Created: 2022-01-10 Last updated: 2024-03-06Bibliographically approved
Olander, C. & Johansson, S. (2023). Rendering of Words: Students´ Meaning making. In: : . Paper presented at ECER - European Conference on Educational Research, 22-25 August 2023, Glasgow, UK. , Article ID 55251.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Rendering of Words: Students´ Meaning making
2023 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Several scholars (e.g., Martin & Veel, 1998; Seah et al., 2014) have emphasized that language usage in school science contexts may be characterized by high lexical density, abstraction, and technicality. In addition, the language in science classrooms has, according to Lemke (1990) specific characteristics related to the use of words, grammar, and semantic patterns that may be a particularly challenging issue. At the word-level, following Nation (2013) language use in science can be grouped into three categories: (a) science-exclusive words; concepts (e.g. allopatric, exothermic reaction, and force, (b) words found both in science and elsewhere, but with different meanings; homonyms (e.g. adapt, cycle, and energy), and (c) general academic words (e.g. converted, proceeds, and originates). All types of words are important in meaning making of science in order to appropriate the semantic pattern of how science is communicated in classrooms. In other words, teachers must understand how language influences learning and develop strategies to enhance students’ successful appropriation of scientific language in the continuum between daily and scientific registers and increase the students’ discursive awareness and mobility in relation to content and language (Authors, 2019; Schleppegrell, 2016).

Starting with the triadic idea from, among others, Nation (2013) have Authors (2019) developed a more fine-grained categorization with two main parts with three subcategories each. These are a) content neutral words divided in 1) common words (e.g. talk); 2) unusual words (e.g. disappointment) and 3) general academic words (e.g. consider) and b) content related words divided in 4) homonyms (e.g. pressure); 5) content-typical words (e.g. pollution) and 6) content-specific words (e.g. photosynthesis).

Aim and question

The aim of this project is to investigate language related issues in relation to meaning making of school science in multilanguage settings. This is done through a multidisciplinary and quantitative approach in Swedish secondary schools.

The specific research question focused is: what kind of words are challenging for students with Swedish language background and students with other language backgrounds.

Method

Methodology Meaning making of words was estimated through four different web-based vocabulary tests given to 232 students grade 7-9. Each test had 15 words selected from the textbook that the actual class would study two weeks later. One sentence was chosen, in which one word was made bold and the students were given four alternative suggestions as synonyms. The words belonged to five of the six categories mentioned above (common words was excluded) and academic/official dictionaries was used to categorize the words. Example of words in the textbooks that we chose were: 2) unusual words (e.g. contemplate); 3) general academic words (e.g. process); 4) homonyms (e.g. solution); 5) content-typical words (e.g. indicator) and 6) content-specific words (e.g. symbiosis). In addition, the students were asked about their first language and how long time they studied in Swedish school. This data made it possible to calculate potential significant differences between groups and categories of words.

Expected Outcomes

Findings On a general level, significant differences were found between the performance of students with Swedish as mother tongue and those with other mother tongues and within the group that arrived in Sweden later than school start. When focusing types of words, we first found a need to differentiate our previous model for interpretation of homonyms (group 4) into to two subcategories: 4a) colloquial but content related words and 4b) academic and content specific words. We found significant differences between Swedish as mother tongue and not were seen towards two categories: 3) general academic words (e.g. cause and consist of) and 4a) colloquial but content related words (e.g. pass and branch). Difficult word categories for all students were: academic and content-related words (e.g. trait and process) and academic and content-typical words (e.g. occur and indicator). It is not surprising that students with another mother tongue that Swedish score less on a general vocabulary test. It has been shown before but it indicates that the test is reliable.

Conclusion/discussion

The main contribution of this study is that it points towards types of words that are extra hard for the students to make meaning of. We argue that with respect to students with another mother tongue than the language of instruction it is especially important to give attention to the words that belong to the category general academic words. These general academic words are important in the science classroom since they are the “glue”, or connectors (Gibbons, 2003), between the concepts, and a scientific explanation is incomprehensible without the connectors that bind concepts (Silseth, 2018). It is hard to make sense of the important concepts without words like consist of or because. Therefore, science teaching should emphasize these words along with the concepts.

References 

Gibbons, P. (2003). Mediating language learning: Teacher interactions with ESL students in a content-based classroom. Tesol Quarterly, 37, 247–273.

Lemke, J. L. (1990). Talking Science: Language, Learning, and Values. Norwood, NJ: Ablex London: Routledge.

Martin, J. R., & Veel, R. (1998). Reading science: Critical and functional perspectives on discourses of science. London: Routledge.

Nation, I. S. (2013). Learning vocabulary in another language Google eBook. Cambridge University Press.

Seah, L. H., Clarke, D. J., & Hart, C. E. (2014). Understanding the language demands on science students from an integrated science and language perspective. International Journal of Science Education, 36(6), 952–973.

Silseth, K. (2018). Students’ everyday knowledge and experiences as resources in educational dialogues. Instructional Science, 46(2), 291-313

Keywords
adolescence, everyday stressors, mental health, wellbeing
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-64649 (URN)
Conference
ECER - European Conference on Educational Research, 22-25 August 2023, Glasgow, UK
Available from: 2023-12-20 Created: 2023-12-20 Last updated: 2023-12-22Bibliographically approved
Olander, C. & Johansson, S. (2023). Students´ Meaning Making of Words in Science. In: : . Paper presented at The 15th Conference of the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA). Cappadocia, Turkey, August 28 to September 1, 2023.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Students´ Meaning Making of Words in Science
2023 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The language in science classrooms has specific characteristics related to the use of words, grammar, and semantic patterns that may be a particularly challenging issue for students meaning making of science phenomena. The aim of the presented project is to investigate language related issues in relation to meaning making of school science in multilingual settings. This is done through a multidisciplinary (science education and linguistics) and quantitative approach in Swedish secondary schools. The research question is “what kind of words are challenging for students with Swedish language background and students with other language backgrounds”. Meaning making of words was estimated through web-based vocabulary tests given to 232 students in grade 7-9. In addition, the students were asked about their first language and how long time they studied in Swedish school. This data made it possible to calculate potential significant differences between groups of students and categories of words. On a general level, significant differences were found between the performance of students with Swedish as mother tongue and those with other mother tongues and within the group that arrived in Sweden later than school start. When focusing word types, we found differences between the groups in relation to two categories: “general academic words” (e.g. cause and consist of) and “colloquial but content related words” (e.g. pass and branch). On the other hand, difficult word categories for all students were “academic and content-related words” (e.g. trait and process) and “academic and content-typical words” (e.g. occur and indicator). We argue that, especially regarding students with another mother tongue than the language of instruction, it is important to give attention to the words that are general academic words along with the common focus on content-specific words – the concepts. 

Keywords
Meaning making of words, multidisciplinary approach, multilingual settings
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Science education; Sustainable studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-64653 (URN)
Conference
The 15th Conference of the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA). Cappadocia, Turkey, August 28 to September 1, 2023
Available from: 2023-12-20 Created: 2023-12-20 Last updated: 2023-12-22Bibliographically approved
Sjöblom, M., Valero, P. & Olander, C. (2023). Teachers’ noticing to promote students’ mathematical dialogue in group work. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 26(4), 509-531
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Teachers’ noticing to promote students’ mathematical dialogue in group work
2023 (English)In: Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, ISSN 1386-4416, E-ISSN 1573-1820, Vol. 26, no 4, p. 509-531Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

How can teachers refne their strategies for purposefully engaging students in mathematicaldiscussions when students are working in groups and the teacher enters an ongoing groupconversation? In three educational design research cycles, four teachers collaborated witha researcher for one year to analyse, design and evaluate strategies for engaging students insmall-group mathematical discussions. The idea of noticing (Mason in Researching yourown practice: the discipline of noticing, RoutledgeFalmer, London, 2002; Sherin et al. inMathematics teacher noticing: seeing through teachers’ eyes, Taylor & Francis, New York,2011) was used to organize the fndings—by paying attention to aspects in the mathematical discussions and interpreting the interactions, teachers could together refne their ownactions/responses to better support students’ work. The Inquiry Co-operation Model ofAlrø and Skovsmose (Dialogue and learning in mathematics education: intention, refection, critique, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 2004) was used as a theoreticalbase for understanding qualities in mathematical discussions. Ehrenfeld and Horn’s (EducStud Math 103(7):251–272, 2020) model of initiation-entry-focus-exit and participationwas for interpreting and organizing the fndings on teachers’ actions. The results show thatteachers became more aware of the importance of explicit instructions and their own role asfacilitators of mathematical questions to students, by directing specifc mathematical questions to all students within the groups. In this article, by going back and forth between whathappened in the teachers’ professional development group and in the classrooms, it waspossible to simultaneously follow the teachers’ development processes and what changedin students’ mathematical discussions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Nature, 2023
Keywords
Group work, Inquiry co-operation model, Noticing, Promoting mathematical dialogue, Student interaction, Questions in mathematics
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-49345 (URN)10.1007/s10857-022-09540-9 (DOI)000807340400001 ()2-s2.0-85131576411 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2022-01-14 Created: 2022-01-14 Last updated: 2023-07-06Bibliographically approved
Olander, C. & Turmo, A. (2022). Editorial 1/2022. NorDiNa: Nordic Studies in Science Education, 18(1), 2-5
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Editorial 1/2022
2022 (English)In: NorDiNa: Nordic Studies in Science Education, ISSN 1504-4556, E-ISSN 1894-1257, Vol. 18, no 1, p. 2-5Article in journal, Editorial material (Other academic) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
University of Oslo Library, 2022
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-54049 (URN)10.5617/nordina.9448 (DOI)2-s2.0-85124468088 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2022-08-01 Created: 2022-08-01 Last updated: 2024-04-04Bibliographically approved
Olander, C. (2022). I am writing a research proposal, do you want to join?. In: Karim Hamza; Britt Jakobson; Iann Lundegård (Ed.), Nature, Teaching of Nature, and the Nature of Teaching: A Festschrift for Per-Olof Wickman (pp. 72-78). Department of Teaching and Learning, Stockholm University
Open this publication in new window or tab >>I am writing a research proposal, do you want to join?
2022 (English)In: Nature, Teaching of Nature, and the Nature of Teaching: A Festschrift for Per-Olof Wickman / [ed] Karim Hamza; Britt Jakobson; Iann Lundegård, Department of Teaching and Learning, Stockholm University , 2022, p. 72-78Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Department of Teaching and Learning, Stockholm University, 2022
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-56505 (URN)978-91-89107-29-8 (ISBN)
Available from: 2022-12-07 Created: 2022-12-07 Last updated: 2023-08-23Bibliographically approved
Olander, C. & Nelson, J. (2022). Meningsskapande av en representation av växthuseffekten. In: : . Paper presented at Svensk Förening för Forskning i Naturvetenskapernas Didaktik (FND).
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Meningsskapande av en representation av växthuseffekten
2022 (Swedish)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Science education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-56590 (URN)
Conference
Svensk Förening för Forskning i Naturvetenskapernas Didaktik (FND)
Available from: 2022-12-12 Created: 2022-12-12 Last updated: 2022-12-13Bibliographically approved
Olander, C. & Nelson, J. (2022). Students meaning-making of a representation of the greenhouse effect: ‘It is an easy representation, if you understand it’. In: : . Paper presented at ERIDOB 2022 (European Researchers in Biology Didactics).
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Students meaning-making of a representation of the greenhouse effect: ‘It is an easy representation, if you understand it’
2022 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-56589 (URN)
Conference
ERIDOB 2022 (European Researchers in Biology Didactics)
Available from: 2022-12-12 Created: 2022-12-12 Last updated: 2022-12-13Bibliographically approved
Johansson, S. & Olander, C. (2022). Ämneslitteracitet i skolans naturvetenskap: Tolkning av ord för att förstå helheter. In: Jakobsson, Anders; Nygård Larsson, Pia; Bergman, Lotta (Ed.), Ämneslitteracitet och inkluderande undervisning: (pp. 179-212). Lund: Studentlitteratur AB
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ämneslitteracitet i skolans naturvetenskap: Tolkning av ord för att förstå helheter
2022 (Swedish)In: Ämneslitteracitet och inkluderande undervisning / [ed] Jakobsson, Anders; Nygård Larsson, Pia; Bergman, Lotta, Lund: Studentlitteratur AB, 2022, p. 179-212Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund: Studentlitteratur AB, 2022
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Science education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-56487 (URN)978-91-44-15241-7 (ISBN)
Available from: 2022-12-06 Created: 2022-12-06 Last updated: 2023-08-23Bibliographically approved
Karlsson, A., Olander, C., Jakobsson, A., Johansson, S. & Nygård Larsson, P. (2021). Challenges and Possibilities in Multilingual Swedish Classrooms. In: : . Paper presented at The 14th Conference of the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA 2021).
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Challenges and Possibilities in Multilingual Swedish Classrooms
Show others...
2021 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In recent years, the increased globalization has led to Swedish science classrooms, just as in the rest of Europe, involving a variety of languages and cultures, which places particular demands on science education. The use of the functionally scientific language is characterized by complexity, which often hinders students’ learning in science. For students whose first language is different than the language of instruction, this can be a great challenge. In this presentation, we relate to two studies – (1) a web-based vocabulary test, and (2) an ethnographic study of a translanguaging science classroom – to illustrate how multilingual students’ use of translanguaging can constitute a resource for science learning. The studies reveal that multilingual students move in loops between discursive and national languages in their conversations about the scientific content. The students commonly use their first language (Arabic) when moving toward an everyday discourse and use their second language (Swedish) when approaching the scientific discourse. Moreover, analyses show how the students often use both Swedish and Arabic to clarify semantic relationships between scientific words and concepts in translanguaging science classrooms (TSC). The students commonly express the subject-specific words in Swedish, while the descriptive, clarifying, interconnecting words and phrases describing the semantic relationships often are expressed in Arabic. In this way, both Arabic and Swedish become linguistic and cognitive tools when students learn science. With increased awareness of the complex subject-specific language and multilingual students’ use of their entire linguistic repertoires in a TSC, increased conditions for the development of significant pedagogical tool can be created that can help science educators frame learning in linguistically and culturally diverse classrooms and give students greater opportunities to participate in the science instruction contexts, to influence their learning situation and to put students in a position as co-constructors of their own learning.

Keywords
Multilingualism, The role of Language in Science Education
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Science education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-45658 (URN)
Conference
The 14th Conference of the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA 2021)
Available from: 2021-09-06 Created: 2021-09-06 Last updated: 2022-04-26Bibliographically approved
Projects
SALT (Science and Literacy Teaching); Malmö University
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0003-4463-2707

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