Classroom meaning making with text: Practical epistemology analysis of lab work instructions
2011 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
In this article, a method for investigating the role of texts in student meaning making is developed. A central methodological standpoint in the article is that texts get their meaning in encounters with the users and it is shown how this can be studied by using the pragmatist approach practical epistemology analysis. The practical epistemology approach is combined with a transactional theory of reading, a theory that puts emphasis on the contributions of both text and the reader in the two-way, dynamic process of reading. The texts analyzed in this study are laboratory instructions. The empirical material is made up of video recordings from a science education class in year 7 and 8, doing laboratory work from written instructions. On many occasions in practical work, the laboratory guide plays an important role for the students’ activities and the opportunities for learning they get. Instructional texts are often supposed to be easy to understand and unproblematic to use. However, by focusing on different problematic situations that may arise when students are expected to follow laboratory instructions it is possible to discuss the different meanings that can arise in the encounter between student and text. In laboratory work, many more actions than those comprised in the instructional text are necessarily performed. Consequently, the way students are able to make the instructions intelligible will direct their further meaning making. With analyses of practical epistemology we can show that students need to know procedures, a certain attentiveness and to re-actualize relevant knowledge to be able to follow the instruction in a way that leads to the expected and relevant results in terms of learning.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
meaning making, lab work, instructions, reading, epistemology
Research subject Curriculum Studies
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-160426OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-160426DiVA: diva2:450914
ESERA, European Science Education Research Association