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Cultural Studies of Science Education

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 339–368 | Cite as

Signs of taste for science: a methodology for studying the constitution of interest in the science classroom

  • P. AnderhagEmail author
  • P.-O. Wickman
  • K. M. Hamza
Article

Abstract

In this paper we present a methodological approach for analyzing the transformation of interest in science through classroom talk and action. To this end, we use the construct of taste for science as a social and communicative operationalization, or proxy, to the more psychologically oriented construct of interest. To gain a taste for science as part of school science activities means developing habits of performing and valuing certain distinctions about ways to talk, act and be that are jointly construed as belonging in the school science classroom. In this view, to learn science is not only about learning the curriculum content, but also about learning a normative and aesthetic content in terms of habits of distinguishing and valuing. The approach thus complements previous studies on students’ interest in science, by making it possible to analyze how taste for science is constituted, moment-by-moment, through talk and action in the science classroom. In developing the method, we supplement theoretical constructs coming from pragmatism and Pierre Bourdieu with empirical data from a lower secondary science classroom. The application of the method to this classroom demonstrates the potential that the approach has for analyzing how conceptual, normative, and aesthetic distinctions within the science classroom interact in the constitution of taste for, and thereby potentially also in the development of interest in science among students.

Keywords

Interest Taste Aesthetics Science education Situated learning Norms Values Methodology 

Svensk sammanfattning

I denna artikel presenterar vi en metod för att studera hur intresse för naturvetenskap utvecklas i klassrumssituationer. Vanligtvis har man förstått och även studerat intresse för naturvetenskap som en personlig egenskap med stor betydelse för hur elever uppfattar och lär sig saker i klassrummet. Elevens intresse för ämnet kan i sin tur påverkas positivt eller negativt av undervisning. Intresse för naturvetenskap handlar inte enbart om attityder till ett ämnesinnehåll, utan även om hur eleven uppfattar de värden och normer som verksamheten uttrycker; är detta någonting jag kan identifiera mig med och vill vara del i? Intresse har därmed också en normativ dimension som handlar om huruvida eleven kan och vill delta i praktiken, dels i den aktuella klassrumssituationen men också i framtida naturvetenskapliga sammanhang. Även om ovanstående är välkänt vet vi förvånansvärt lite om sammanhangets betydelse för hur ett intresse för naturvetenskap skapas och utvecklas. Metoden som presenteras i artikeln är ett svar på ovanstående. Vi visar här hur smak kan användas för att studera hur intresse konstitueras genom tal och handlingar i sociala interaktioner. Att ha smak för någonting, till exempel klassisk musik eller korpfotboll, innebär inte enbart att man på en direkt fråga svarar att man tycker om eller är intresserad av fotboll, man kan även delta i sammanhang där kunskap om fotboll uttrycks och värderas. Att få smak för skolans naturvetenskap innebär därmed att utveckla vanor för att uttrycka och värdera distinktioner gällande hur man talar, handlar och är i naturvetenskapsklassrummet. Då smak uttrycks genom hur vi i sociala interaktioner urskiljer vad som är rätt och fel, fint och fult och så vidare, är smaken därför också möjlig att observera i handling. Vid utvecklandet av metoden använder vi oss av teori från Pierre Bourdieu och pragmatism för att analysera hur smak urskiljs i ett högstadieklassrum. Genom det empiriska materialet visar vi hur metoden kan användas för att synliggöra hur kognitiva, normativa och estetiska urskiljningar interagerar när smak konstitueras i klassrummet. Vi visar även hur detta har betydelse för utvecklandet av ett intresse.

Svenska Nyckelord

Intresse Smak Estetik Normer Värden Naturevetenskap Metodologi 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mathematics and Science EducationStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

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