Research in Science Education

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 25–49

Intermingling and bumpiness: Exploring meaning making in the discourse of a science classroom


    • College of Education, M/C 147University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Edgar Pineda
    • Inter-American Magnet School

DOI: 10.1007/BF02461179

Cite this article as:
Varelas, M. & Pineda, E. Research in Science Education (1999) 29: 25. doi:10.1007/BF02461179


In this study we capture and analyse in qualitative terms the conversational rhythm—the ebb and the flow of meaning making—in a Year 5 class in order to understand when and how teacher and students succeed in developing shared understandings, and when and how they encounter difficulties. We use the two contrasting concepts of intermingling and bumpiness to catch the phenomenological aspect of time in the science class, which is constituted by the voices of the teacher and the students as they come together to construct disciplinary knowledge. It is a collaborative action research that sheds light on the struggles and possibilities that arise in a science class as a teacher enacts a socio-cultural perspective and engages his students in collecting and analysing experimental data and reasoning through a particular model.

Copyright information

© Australasian Science Education Research Association 1999