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Chemistry inside an epistemological community box!: Discursive exclusions and inclusions in Swedish National tests in Chemistry
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Centre for Gender Research.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Centre for Gender Research.
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 andexplicit values. The chemistry subject is understudied compared to biology and physics andstudents view chemistry as their least interesting science subject. The Swedish nationalscience assessments aim to support equitable and fair evaluation of students, to concretizethe goals in the chemistry syllabus and to increase student achievement. Discourse andmultimodal analyses, based on feminist and critical didactic theories, were used to examinethe test’s norms and values. The results revealed that the chemistry discourse presented inthe tests showed a traditional view of science from the topics discussed (for example, oiland metal), in the way women, men and youth are portrayed, and how their scienceinterests are highlighted or neglected. An elitist view of science emerges from the test, withdistinct 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, thatis, 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 supportfor an equitable and fair evaluation. Understanding the underlying evaluative meaningsthat come with science teaching is a question of democracy since it may affectstudents’ feelings of inclusion or exclusion. The norms and values harboured in the testswill also affect teaching since the teachers are given examples of how the goals in thesyllabus can be concretized.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Netherlands, 2017. Vol. 12, no 2, p. 395-423
Keywords [en]
Chemistry national tests, Discourse analysis, Norms and values, Gender stereotypes, Chemistry epistemological community
National Category
Other Natural Sciences Didactics Gender Studies
Research subject
Curriculum Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-287584DOI: 10.1007/s11422-016-9730-zISI: 000405854300011OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-287584DiVA, id: diva2:922956
Projects
Ämnesspråk i matematiska och naturvetenskapliga praktiker
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilAvailable from: 2016-04-25 Created: 2016-04-25 Last updated: 2017-11-16Bibliographically approved

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Ståhl, MarieHussenius, Anita

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