Research in Science Education

, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 465–498 | Cite as

‘You Actually Feel like You’re Actually Doing Some Science’: Primary Students’ Perspectives of Their Involvement in the MyScience Initiative

  • Anne ForbesEmail author
  • Keith Skamp


MyScience is a primary science education initiative in which being in a community of practice (CoP) is integral to the learning process. Stakeholder groups—primary teachers, primary students and scientist mentors—interact around the CoP domainof investigating scientifically and learn from each other through participation. This paper is the fifth in a series and reports 27 year 5/6 students’ (from three schools) perceptions of how their views were influenced through their involvement in a MyScience CoP. Semi-structured interviews, guided by a phenomenographic framework, were the substantive data source. Primary students’ perceptions about science, science learning and science teaching were analysed using attributes associated with both communities of practice and the nature of science. Findings reveal that students’ perceptions of what it means to be doing science’ were transformed through their participation and students were able to identify some of the contributing factors. Where appropriate, students’ views were compared with the published views of their participating scientist mentors and teachers from earlier papers. Implications for science teaching and learning in primary school community of practice settings are discussed.


Community of practice Primary/elementary school Primary/elementary student Nature of science 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational Studies, Faculty of Human SciencesMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Faculty of Human SciencesMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.School of EducationSouthern Cross UniversityLismoreAustralia

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