, Volume 42, Issue 6, pp 1121-1145
Date: 22 Jun 2011

‘It’s Her Body’. When Students’ Argumentation Shows Displacement of Content in a Science Classroom

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Abstract

This paper approaches learning as a response instead of the acquisition of something previously expected. More specifically, it describes a process of argumentation on socioscientific issues in a classroom situation in school science amongst 15-year-old students in Sweden. The analysis of an argumentation on abortion in a science classroom highlights how science content becomes relevant to students’ experiences, but also how the students’ unique voices shift focus and cause displacement of the science content. The analysis demonstrates some of the tensions and possible conflicts that may lead to the exclusion of different voices. This paper argues that focusing the research or education on questions that argumentation brings to light creates interesting educational opportunities to identify and incorporate the students’ experiences in the classroom. The results indicate, however, that students’ spontaneous acts lead to some difficulties in finding a point of contact with the rational discourse of science education.