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  • 1.
    Ekborg, Margareta
    Malmö högskola, School of Teacher Education (LUT), Nature-Environment-Society (NMS).
    How student teachers use scientific conceptions to discuss a complex environmental issue2003In: Journal of Biological Education, ISSN 0021-9266, E-ISSN 2157-6009, Vol. 37, no 3, p. 126-132Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper focuses upon the extent to which student teachers develop conceptual understanding about key scientific principles through their training, and the extent to which they can deploy this knowledge in discussions of complex environmental issues. All students involved in the teacher-training programme answered a questionnaire -- before and after their first term of the programme -- in which their conceptions of respiration and photosynthesis were tested. 15 students were also interviewed about a newspaper article that discusses the ethicality of using surplus heat from a crematorium in the far heating system. They were asked to comment on the article, to pose questions about the issue and explicitly asked what happens to the bodies if either combusted or buried. The first results show that some students, though not the majority, develop their ability to answer conceptual questions about scientific content as a result of their first science course. However, even among these students, the task of deploying this conceptual understanding in discussions of complex, socially relevant questions proved very difficult. Most students expressed personal opinions without using scientific arguments. It may be that the students have not developed the ability to recognise and distinguish different contexts or that the learning situation has not been challenging enough.

  • 2.
    Ekborg, Margareta
    Malmö högskola, School of Teacher Education (LUT), Nature-Environment-Society (NMS).
    Opinion building in a socio-scientific issue: the case of genetically modified plants2008In: Journal of Biological Education, ISSN 0021-9266, E-ISSN 2157-6009, Vol. 42, no 2, p. 60-65Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper presents results from a study with the following research questions: (a) are pupils’ opinions on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) influenced by biology teaching; and (b) what is important for the opinion pupils hold and how does knowledge work together with other parameters such as values? 64 pupils in an upper secondary school answered questionnaires, in which they expressed opinions and gave arguments on applications of GMOs, before and after biology courses. The pupils’ knowledge of genetics and GMOs was also investigated. Eleven pupils were then interviewed to examine their reasoning in more depth. More pupils were positive about genetically modified tomatoes after the courses. Males were more positive than females. No correlation was found between knowledge of basic genetics and opinion. Most of the pupils could express arguments for and against the applications but they built their personal opinion on different arguments. An important concern was potential risks. Depending on risk judgement and/or how they trusted scientists, the pupils came to different conclusions. Few had any idea of how the different applications are risk assessed or how scientists work. Other important factors for decision-making were the purpose of the application, the time perspective and feelings.

  • 3.
    Granklint Enochson, Pernilla
    Malmö University, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Natural Science, Mathematics and Society (NMS).
    Pre-service teachers’ ideas about the path of water through the body and their intentions about explaining it to preschool children2022In: Journal of Biological Education, ISSN 0021-9266, E-ISSN 2157-6009, p. 1-10Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study aims to determine what pre-service teachers know about the path of water through the body, and how they intend to explain this knowledge to five-year-old preschool children. This study aims to see the opportunities young children in preschool can obtain from an explanation of the nature of science related to an everyday life activity. A questionnaire was distributed to 42 pre-service teachers participating in the study. They study part time at the university (75% studying and 25% working), and most of the students are or have been working in preschools. All the students have passed the mandatory science courses. Data were collected through a questionnaire where the students explained their knowledge using drawings, and explaining pedagogic standpoints in open-ended questions. The results concluded that four pre-service teachers could sufficiently explain the workings of three organ systems. However, only one of the four intended to mention the three systems necessary for providing a coherent explanation of the body to a five-year-old child. Even the pre-service teachers who could describe more than one system did not intend to explain what they knew to the children. A typical response from the students was that they would seek facts together with the child.

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  • 4. Holmqvist Olander, Mona
    et al.
    Olander, Clas
    Understandings of climate change articulated by Swedish secondary school students2017In: Journal of Biological Education, ISSN 0021-9266, E-ISSN 2157-6009, Vol. 51, no 4Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study investigated beliefs about climate change among Swedish secondary school students at the end of their K-12 education. An embedded mixed method approach was used to analyse 51 secondary school students’ written responses to two questions: (1) What implies climate change? (2) What affects climate? A quantitative analysis of the responses revealed that ‘Earth’, ‘human’ and ‘greenhouse effect’ were frequent topics regarding the first question, and ‘pollution’, ‘atmosphere’ and ‘Earth’ were frequent regarding the second. A qualitative analysis, based on a ‘conceptual elements’ framework, focused on three elements within responses: atmosphere (causes and/or consequences), Earth (causes and consequences) and living beings (humans and/or animals and their impacts on climate change). It revealed a predominantly general or societal, rather than individual, perspective underlying students’ responses to the second question. The ability to connect general/societal issues with individual issues relating to climate change could prompt students to reflect on the contributions of individuals towards climate change mitigation, thereby constituting a basis for decision-making to promote a sustainable environment. Although the students did not discuss climate changes from an individual perspective, their statements revealed their understanding of climate change as a system comprising various components affecting the overall situation. They also revealed an understanding of the difference between weather and climate.

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  • 5.
    Nelson, Johan
    et al.
    Malmö University, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Natural Science, Mathematics and Society (NMS). Malmö University, Disciplinary literacy and inclusive teaching.
    Olander, Clas
    Malmö University, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Natural Science, Mathematics and Society (NMS). Malmö University, Disciplinary literacy and inclusive teaching.
    Meaning-making of arrows in a representation of the greenhouse effect2024In: Journal of Biological Education, ISSN 0021-9266, E-ISSN 2157-6009, Vol. 58, no 1, p. 4-15Article in journal (Refereed)
    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".

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