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Kemiämnets normer och värden: Diskursanalytiska studier av nationella prov i kemi och tillhörande elevtexter
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
2016 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis was to examine the conditions for democratic bildung-oriented education for students in the school science discourse. This is something that the Swedish curriculum is based on and thereby the education should develop students' capacity for social, political and cultural awareness. The theoretical framework used is grounded in critical didactics and feminist theories which assume that students should feel involved and get their voices heard. The Swedish national test in chemistry (2009-2012) and student answers (198n) from one of the items in the 2009 test have been analyzed using discourse analysis.

The first study explored the norms and values present in the national tests in chemistry, in relation to people, society and nature. The second study focused on student’s evaluative language in their free-text answers to one of the items. Thereby attitudes in student answers were projected in relation to the norms and values found in the first study. Finally, the student answers were used once more in a third study, where students’ positioning in relation to the scientific discourse in the chemistry test (2009) was explored, as well as which feminist figurations these subject positions express.

The results show that the national tests harbor an elitist image and anandrocentric bias.The normative message is that students should adopt an objective, rational, non-judgmental and non-emotional role. Topics connected to young people’s everyday life, that might interest students, are rare. Contrary to the normative messages mediated by the tests, students use evaluative and embodied language to a high extent in their answers. They choose to write about topics that are close to their everyday life and they show that they are emotionally engaged. Through feminist figurations theories used in the third study one can see how the student-subject positions offer resistance in different ways. This is shown in their criticism of science and technology, human society and nature. The students' responses have embraced an embodied chemistry that can be interpreted as teaching based on bildung and deliberative discussions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2016. , p. 111
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Educational Sciences ; 8
Keywords [en]
Apparatus of bodily production, bildung, Cartesian thoughts, critical didactics perspective, democracy, deliberative communication, embodied science teaching, emotions, empowering, engagement, epistemological community, evaluative language resources, feminist theories, feminist figurations, involvement, subject positions, performativity theory, semantic framework Appraisal, stereotyped dichotomies, students’ attitudes
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Curriculum Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-281449ISBN: 978-91-554-9525-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-281449DiVA, id: diva2:914430
Public defence
2016-05-13, Eva Netzeliussalen, von Kraemers Allé 1A, Uppsala, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-04-22 Created: 2016-03-24 Last updated: 2016-04-29
List of papers
1. Chemistry inside an Epistemological Community Box!: Discursive Exclusions and Inclusions in Swedish National Assessments in Chemistry
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Chemistry inside an Epistemological Community Box!: Discursive Exclusions and Inclusions in Swedish National Assessments in Chemistry
2017 (English)In: Cultural Studies of Science Education, ISSN 1871-1502, E-ISSN 1871-1510, Vol. 12, no 2, p. 395-423Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study examined the Swedish national tests in chemistry for implicit and explicit values. The chemistry subject is understudied compared to biology and physics and students view chemistry as their least interesting science subject. The Swedish national science assessments aim to support equitable and fair evaluation of students, to concretize the goals in the chemistry syllabus and to increase student achievement. Discourse and multimodal analyses, based on feminist and critical didactic theories, were used to examine the test’s norms and values. The results revealed that the chemistry discourse presented in the tests showed a traditional view of science from the topics discussed (for example, oil and metal), in the way women, men and youth are portrayed, and how their science interests are highlighted or neglected. An elitist view of science emerges from the test, with distinct gender and age biases. Students could interpret these biases as a message that only “the right type” of person may come into the chemistry epistemological community, that is, into this special sociocultural group that harbours a common view about this knowledge. This perspective may have an impact on students’ achievement and thereby prevent support for an equitable and fair evaluation. Understanding the underlying evaluative meanings that come with science teaching is a question of democracy since it may affect students’ feelings of inclusion or exclusion. The norms and values harboured in the tests will also affect teaching since the teachers are given examples of how the goals in the syllabus can be concretized.

Abstract [sv]

Syftet med den här studien har varit att lyfta fram och utforska de implicita och ibland explicita normer och värden som åtföljer undervisningen i naturvetenskap. De årliga svenska nationella proven i kemi för årskurs nio, från 2009 till 2012, har undersökts i enlighet med detta syfte. I all undervisning finns normer och värden som erbjuds elever och som påverkar elevernas intresse för skolämnena, liksom synen på t.ex. samhälle, människor och natur. Diskursiva och multimodala analyser, baserade på feministiska och kritiska didaktiska teorier, har använts för att undersöka de 103 provuppgifterna som sammanlagt ingår i de fyra undersökta proven. Sju olika uppgiftsdiskurser har hittats varav den mest framträdande är den”normgränsdragande” uppgiftsdiskursen. I dessa uppgifter testas elevernas kunskaper om hur man ska tala, tänka och agera som naturvetare, eller mer specifikt som kemist. En slutsats är att gränserna för hur man ska argumentera och agera inom den naturvetenskapliga gemenskapen är snäv.

Det är en elitistisk syn som framträder i text, bilder och innehållsval, vilket bland annat visar sig i stereotypa bilder av kvinnor/flickor och genom de val av innehåll som gjorts och som hänför sig till traditionellt manliga arbetsområden. Med andra ord är de androcentriska drag som tidigare feministisk forskning påvisat redan på 1970- och 80-talet fortfarande närvarande i den naturvetenskapliga skoldiskursen liksom dess elitistiska framtoning som gör den otillgänglig för många, även för pojkar.

De underliggande implicita och explicita normer och värden som erbjuds eleverna genom uppgifterna i kemiproven berättar något om vilken syn på naturvetenskap, naturvetenskaplig utbildning, samhälle, människor och natur som influerat provens utformning, samt vad som anses viktigt för eleverna att tillägna sig. Att påvisa och förstå vilka dessa normer och värden är, är en demokratisk fråga eftersom det kan påverka elevernas känsla av delaktighet eller utanförskap. Det kan förstås som en konsekvens av att den naturvetenskapliga”världen” fungerar som en epistemologisk gemenskap, en diskurs där människor talar, agerar och tänker enligt gemensamma normer och värden och som därmed omfamnar eller stänger ute. Eftersom dessa normer och värden är en del av diskursen, vilken oftast betraktas som självklar, är man inte alltid medveten om dess existens. Syftet med de svenska nationella proven är visserligen att stödja en rättvis och likvärdig bedömning och betygssättning, men har konstruerats av människor med egna åsikter om vad som är viktigt för elever att lära sig utifrån olika epistemologiska ställningstaganden.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Dordrecht: Springer, 2017
Keywords
Chemistry national tests, Discourse analysis, Norms and values, Gender stereotypes, Chemistry epistemological community
National Category
Didactics Other Natural Sciences Gender Studies
Research subject
Curriculum Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-281432 (URN)10.1007/s11422-016-9730-z (DOI)000405854300011 ()
Projects
Ämnesspråk i matematiska och naturvetenskapliga praktiker
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2016-03-23 Created: 2016-03-23 Last updated: 2019-12-17Bibliographically approved
2. Exploring Scientific Norms and Students' Evaluative Language Use in Swedish National Test in Chemistry
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring Scientific Norms and Students' Evaluative Language Use in Swedish National Test in Chemistry
(English)Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-281435 (URN)
Available from: 2016-03-23 Created: 2016-03-23 Last updated: 2016-04-29
3. Elevers subjektspositioner och alternativa feministiska positioner inom en kemidiskurs
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Elevers subjektspositioner och alternativa feministiska positioner inom en kemidiskurs
2016 (Swedish)In: Troubling Science Education: A Nordic Prespective, Springer, 2016Chapter in book (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2016
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-281436 (URN)
Available from: 2016-03-23 Created: 2016-03-23 Last updated: 2022-01-29

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