Advertisement

Cultural Studies of Science Education

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 729–753 | Cite as

From authoritative discourse to internally persuasive discourse: discursive evolution in teaching and learning the language of science

  • Pei-Ling Hsu
  • Wolff-Michael Roth
Article

Abstract

Learning science interpreted in existing theoretical frameworks often means that students are assimilated, accommodated or enculturated from the entity of the vernacular world to the entity of the scientific world. However, there are some unsolved questions as to how students can best learn purely a new language or new knowledge of science. The purpose of this study is to conduct microanalysis of moment-to-moment interactions in order to understand how science language is taught and learned in details. Informed by Bakhtin’s dialogism, the analysis indicates that learning science is a process of appropriating authoritative discourse into internally persuasive discourse. Based on our analysis and findings, we propose the framework of discursive evolution to describe the process of teaching and learning the language of science. Four different stages of discursive evolution are identified to demonstrate the discursive changes during the course of science teaching and learning discourse: (a) using deictic references to connect scientific terminologies, (b) understanding science terminologies through its derivatives, (c) communicating science practices conventionally through science terminologies, and (d) communicating science practices innovatively through mutated science terminologies. The findings suggest that science teaching and learning comprise a heterogeneous process which draws on both science and non-science language and is a constantly evolving process. Understanding teaching and learning as a heterogeneous and constantly evolving process allows us to reunite the roles of teachers and students as mutually responsible collaborators rather than science knowledge givers and consumers.

Keywords

Bakhtin Dialogism Discursive evolution Learning science 

References

  1. Aikenhead, G. S. (1996). Science education: Border crossing into the subculture of science. Studies in Science Education, 27, 1–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aikenhead, G. S. (2001). Students’ ease in crossing cultural borders into school science. Science Education, 85, 180–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Atkinson, J. M., & Heritage, J. (Eds.). (1984). Structures of social action: Studies in conversation analysis. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bakhtin, M. (1981). The dialogic imagination. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bakhtin, M. (1984). Problems of Dostoevsky’s poetics. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  6. Bakhtin, M. (1986). Speech genres and other late essays. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  7. Duit, R. (1999). Conceptual change approaches in science education. In W. Schnotz, S. Vosniadou, & M. Carretero (Eds.), New perspectives on conceptual change (pp. 263–282). Amesterdam, NL: Pergamon.Google Scholar
  8. Hanks, W. F. (1992). The indexical ground of deictic references. In A. Duranti & C. Goodwin (Eds.), Rethinking context: Language as an interactive phenomenon (pp. 43–76). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Husserl, E. (2008). Husserliana Band XXXIX. Die Lebenswelt: Auslegungen der vorgegebenen Welt und ihrer Konstitution. Texte aus dem Nachlass (19161937) [Husserliana vol. 39. The lifeworld: Interpretations of the given world and its constitutions. Texts from the estate (1916–1937)]. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.Google Scholar
  10. Newman, D., Griffin, P., & Cole, M. (1989). The construction zone: Working for cognitive change in school. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Pintrich, P. R., Marx, R. W., & Boyle, R. A. (1993). Beyond cold conceptual change: The role of motivational beliefs and classroom contextual factors in the process of conceptual change. Review of Educational Research, 63, 167–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Posner, G. J., Strike, K. A., Hewson, P. W., & Gertzog, W. A. (1982). Accommodation of a scientific conception: Towards a theory of conceptual change. Science Education, 66, 211–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Roth, W.-M. (1996). The co-evolution of situated language and physics knowing. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 5, 171–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Roth, W.-M. (2005). Talking science: Language and learning in science. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  15. Roth, W.-M. (2008). Bricolage, métissage, hybridity, heterogeneity, diaspora: Concepts for thinking science education in the 21st century. Cultural Studies in Science Education, 3, 891–916.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Roth, W.-M. (2009). Dialogism: A Bakhtinian perspective on science and learning. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers.Google Scholar
  17. Roth, W.-M. (2012). Technology and science in classroom and interview talk with Swiss lower secondary students: A Marxist sociological approach. Cultural Studies in Science Education. doi: 10.1007/s11422-012-9473-4.
  18. Roth, W.-M., & Duit, R. (2003). Emergence, flexibility, and stabilization of language in a physics classroom. Journal for Research in Science Teaching, 40, 869–897.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. van Eijck, M., & Roth, W.-M. (2011). Cultural diversity in science education through novelization: Against the epicization of science and cultural centralization. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 48, 824–847.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Vološinov, V. N. (1973). Marxism and the philosophy of language. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Vosniadou, S. (1994). Capturing and modeling the process of conceptual change. Learning and Instruction, 4, 45–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Vosniadou, S., & Brewer, W. F. (1992). Mental models of the Earth: A study of conceptual change in childhood. Cognitive Psychology, 24, 535–585.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Vygotsky, L. S. (1986). Thought and language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Teacher Education, College of EducationUniversity of Texas at El PasoEl PasoUSA
  2. 2.University of VictoriaVictoriaCanada

Personalised recommendations