Situations and artefacts
(English)Conference paper (Refereed)
During the last decades, researchers from a cognitive science tradition respectively a sociocultural perspective on learning have been discussing students’ mental models of the earth. In the study reported here, we elaborate questions discussed in this debate in relation to meaning making in educational settings. The aim is to develop and use an approach for analysing the role of earlier experiences in students’ meaning-making processes. In video recordings of twenty pairs of 8-11 year olds, we study what they discern as relevant questions, information etc. and what they re-actualise when answering questions. In their work, the children had access to various artefacts, as globes or maps. The analyses take point of departure in pragmatism and Ludwig Wittgenstein’s works. The results show that some of the problems that children have according to previous research do not appear as problems in our material. For example, that people can live on the other side of the earth is not problematic. They rather discuss where the other side is located. Also, our analyses illustrate that the meaning of artefacts is constituted within people’s actions. Differences between our and previous findings can be understood as differences between the situations that the children are working in.
physics education, history, philosophy and epistemology, lower secondary school, Teaching sequences, group work
Research subject Education
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-11306OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-11306DiVA: diva2:39074
Contribution to the ESERA Conference in Malmö, Sweden, August 21-25 2007.