scaffolding science - · pdf file 2018-01-15 · scaffolding science: a pedagogy for...

Click here to load reader

Post on 17-Jul-2020

0 views

Category:

Documents

0 download

Embed Size (px)

TRANSCRIPT

  • SCAFFOLDING SCIENCE: A PEDAGOGY FOR MARGINALISED STUDENTS

    Bronwyn Mary Parkin

    THESIS SUBMITTED IN TOTAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE DEGREE OF

    DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

    DISCIPLINE OF LINGUISTICS, UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE

    JULY, 2014

  • Acknowledgements

    I wish to thank the following:

    Leanne Caire, a thorough and dedicated teacher, for her willingness to take the risk and for her perseverance.

    Julie Hayes for agreeing to my involvement in the school and for her commitment to marginalised students.

    My supervisors Dr John Walsh and Dr Brian Gray for their wisdom and stamina.

    My husband Bob and my boys Tom and Jonno, the great encouragers.

    My extended family and friends for their support, despite my partial presence and tedious conversations.

    Editing assistance was provided by Dr William Winser, Visiting Research Fellow, School of Education, University of Adelaide, for completeness and consistency. Dr Winser’s area of specialisation is Linguistics.

  • Thesis declaration

    I certify that this work contains no material which has been accepted for the award of any other

    degree or diploma in my name, in any university or other tertiary institution and, to the best of

    my knowledge and belief, contains no material previously published or written by another

    person, except where due reference has been made in the text. In addition, I certify that no part

    of this work will, in the future, be used in a submission in my name, for any other degree or

    diploma in any university or other tertiary institution without the prior approval of the

    University of Adelaide and where applicable, any partner institution responsible for the joint-

    award of this degree.

    I give consent to this copy of my thesis, when deposited in the University Library, being made

    available for loan and photocopying, subject to the provisions of the Copyright Act 1968.

    I also give permission for the digital version of my thesis to be made available on the web, via

    the University’s digital research repository, the Library Search and also through web search

    engines, unless permission has been granted by the University to restrict access for a period of

    time.

    Bronwyn Parkin

    July 24th, 2014

  • Abstract

    At a time when scientific literacy is recognised as essential for participatory Australian

    citizenship, science education has struggled to find a pedagogy that engages educationally

    marginalised students while at the same time assisting them to them becoming scientifically

    literate. The study reported here, titled Scaffolding science: a pedagogy for marginalised

    students, investigates an alternative pedagogic paradigm, scaffolding pedagogy, based on socio-

    cultural, language-focused principles. It draws on three complementary theories: Vygotsky’s

    sociocultural activity theory, Halliday’s systemic functional linguistics, and Bernstein’s theory

    of pedagogic discourse.

    The methodology is a classroom discourse analysis of a series of lessons around energy

    transformation with 7-8 year-old students in a suburban disadvantaged early primary classroom.

    Its focus is two-fold: firstly it provides a pre- and post-topic analysis of the oral and written

    performance of a number of case study students to ascertain changes in their language use.

    Secondly, it provides a discourse analysis of classroom interactions in the seven lessons in the

    topic. It identifies the changing nature of teacher scaffolding techniques across time as students

    gradually appropriate scientific language, as well as identifying the issues encountered by the

    teacher as she endeavoured to develop a principled scaffolding pedagogy in the teaching of

    science.

    The study argues that student use of scientific language is fundamental to the ongoing learning

    of scientific knowledge. It supports the development of summary texts, called focus texts, to

    assist the teacher in a consistent use of scientific language, increasing the opportunities for its

    appropriation by marginalised students.

    The study identifies the paradox of ‘hands-on’ science which brings about high student

    engagement, but neglects the development of the required language because of its situated

    nature. It proposes pedagogic strategies that may help to ameliorate the current situation in

    primary school science education.

  • Table of contents

    LIST OF FIGURES ......................................................................................................... III

    LIST OF TABLES ........................................................................................................... IV

    CHAPTER 1 .................................................................................................................... 1

    1.1 The place of science in the 21st century ................................................................................................ 1

    1.2 The way forward: finding an effective pedagogy................................................................................... 4

    1.3 Introduction to the study ..................................................................................................................... 10

    CHAPTER 2 .................................................................................................................. 12

    2.1 Pedagogy: the curriculum, the learner and the teacher ...................................................................... 12

    2.2 Pedagogic element 1: the curriculum .................................................................................................. 13

    2.3 Pedagogic element 2: the learner ........................................................................................................ 29

    2.4 Pedagogic element 3: the teacher ....................................................................................................... 50

    2.5 Vygotskian influenced classroom interventions .................................................................................. 70

    CHAPTER 3 .................................................................................................................. 80

    3.1 Research focus ..................................................................................................................................... 80

    3.2 Classroom discourse analysis: previous approaches and issues .......................................................... 81

    3.3 The study context ................................................................................................................................ 99

    3.5 The study design ................................................................................................................................ 103

    3.6 Data analysis ...................................................................................................................................... 109

    3.7 Summary ............................................................................................................................................ 133

    CHAPTER 4 ................................................................................................................ 135

    4.1 Introduction ........................................................................................................................................... 135

    4.2 Students appropriating scientific language ....................................................................................... 137

    4.3 The macrogeneric topic structure ...................................................................................................... 151

    4.4 Building intersubjectivity through classroom dialogue...................................................................... 159

    i

  • CHAPTER 5 ................................................................................................................ 219

    5.1 Summary of the study and its intentions ........................................................................................... 219

    5.2 Findings of the study: affordances and constraints in enacting scaffolded pedagogy ...................... 221

    5.3 Conclusions ........................................................................................................................................ 237

    APPENDICES ............................................................................................................. 239

    Appendix 1: Nature of Science (AAS 2008) .................................................................................................. 239

    Appendix 2: Information for teacher and teacher consent ......................................................................... 240

    Appendix 3: Information for parents and parent consent .......................................................................... 243

    Appendix 4: Analysis of farm-to-table explanation ..................................................................................... 245

    REFERENCES ........................................................................................................... 249

    ii

View more