Skip to main content

Two Dimensions of Student Ownership of Learning During Small-Group Work in Physics

Abstract

The theoretical framework student ownership of learning is developed both theoretically and with qualitative research. The metaphor “ownership” is related to the process towards meaning making and understanding and is seen as relevant especially to improve physics instruction. The dimension group ownership of learning refers to the groups’ actions of choice and control of the management of the task; how the task is determined, performed and finally reported. The other dimension, the individual student ownership of learning, refers to an individual student’s own question/idea that comes from own experiences, interests or anomalies of understanding; an idea/question that comes back several times and leads to new insights. From literature and from our own data, we have developed categories for group and individual student ownership of learning, which were iteratively sharpened in order to identify ownership in the two dimensions. As a consequence, we argue for use of the framework student ownership of learning as a way to identify an optimal level of ownership for better learning and higher motivation in physics teaching.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Barnes, D. & Todd, F. (1977). Communication and learning in small groups. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

    Google Scholar 

  • Barnes, D. & Todd, F. (1995). Communication and learning revisited: making meaning through talk. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  • Benckert, S. (1997). Är fysiken könlös? Reflexioner kring ett universitetsämne. Stockholm: Symposion (in Swedish).

    Google Scholar 

  • Crawford, B., Marx, R. & Krajcik, J. (1999). Developing collaboration in a middle school project-based science classroom. Sci Educ 83(6), 701–723.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Deci, E.L., Vallerand, R.J. Ryan, R.M. (1991). Motivation and education: the self-determination perspective. Educ Psychol 26(3&4), 325–346.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dudley-Marling, C. & Searle, D. (1995). Who owns learning? Questions of autonomy, choice, and control. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Educational Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • Enghag, M. (2004). Miniprojects and context rich problems : case studies with qualitative analysis and motivation, learner ownership and competence in small group work in physics. Swedish national graduate school in science and technology. Department of Thematic Studies, Linköping Univiversity, Norrköping, and Department of Mathematics and Physics, Mälardalen University, Västerås. Licentiate thesis.

  • Enghag, M. & Niedderer, H. (2005). Physics learning with exploratory talks during a miniproject-a case study of four girls working with electric circuits. J Baltic Sci Educ 1(7):5–11.

    Google Scholar 

  • Enghag, M., Gustafsson, P. & Jonsson, G. (2007). From everyday life experiences to physics understanding occurring in small group work with context rich problems during introductory physics work at university. Published on Line in Reseach in Science Education. Available at: http://springerlink.metapress.com/content/1573–1898/?k=Enghag.

  • Jenkins, E.E. (1994). Public understanding of science and science education for action. J Curric Studies 26, 601–612.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Johnson, D.W. & Johnson, R.T. (1991). Learning together and alone: cooperation, competition, and individualization, 3rd edn. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kentish, B.J. (1995). Hypotheticals - deepening the understanding of environmental issues through ownership of learning. Austr Sci Teach J 41(1):21–25.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lindahl, B. (2003). Lust att lära naturvetenskap och teknik? En longitudinell studie om vägen till gymnasiet. Göteborg: Göteborgs universitet PhD Thesis (in Swedish).

  • Milner-Bolotin, M. (2001). The effects of topic choice in project-based instruction on undergraduate physical science students interest, ownership, and motivation. PhD Thesis, Austin TX.

  • Mortimer, E.F. & Scott, PH. (2003). Meaning making in secondary science classrooms. Buckingham, UK: Open University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Niedderer, H. (2001). Analyse von lehr-lern-prozessen beim elektrischen stromkreis aus videodaten. In Stefan von Aufschnaiter und Manuela Welzel (Hrsg). Nutzung von Videodaten zur Untersuchung von Lehr-Lern-Prozessen -Aktuelle Methoden empirischer pädagogischer Forschung. Waxmann, Münster.

  • Niedderer, H., Buty, C. Haller, K. Hucke, L. Sander, F. Fischer, H.E. von Aufschnaiter, S. & Tiberghien, A. (2002). Talking physics in labwork contexts - a category based analysis of videotapes. In D. Psillos & H. Niedderer (Eds.) Teaching and learning in the science laboratory. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, pp. 31–40.

    Google Scholar 

  • O’Neill, T. & Barton, A.C. (2005). Uncovering student ownership in science learning: the making of a student created mini-documentary. School Science and Math Journal 105(6), 292–301.

    Google Scholar 

  • OECD (2005). Evolution of student interest in science and technology studies 2006, from http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/16/30/36645825.pdf.

  • Osborne, J. (2003). Attitudes towards science: a review of the literature and its implications. Int J Sci Educ 25(9), 1049–1079.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Osborne, J. & Collins, S. (2000). Pupils’ and parents’ views of the school science curriculum. London: King’s College.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rainer, J.D. & Matthews, M.W. (2002). Ownership of learning in teacher education. Action in Teacher Educ 24(1), 22–30.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ricoeur, P. (1984). Time and narrative, vol 1. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rudduck, J., Chaplain, R. & Wallace, G. (1996). Conclusion. In J. Rudduck (Ed.) School improvement: What can pupils tell us? London: David Fulton.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ryan, M.R. & Deci, E.L. (2000). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations: classic definitions and new directions. Contemp Educ Psychol 25:54–67.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Savery, J.R. (1996). Fostering student ownership for learning. Bloomington IN: PhD Thesis, Indiana University.

  • Savery, J.R. & Duffy, T.M. (1995). Problem-based learning: an instructional model and its constructivist framework. Educ Technol 35(5),31–38.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sjøberg, S. (1998). Naturvetenskap som allmänbildning. Lund: Studentlitteratur (in Swedish).

    Google Scholar 

  • Slavin, R. (1988). Cooperative learning. New York: Longman.

    Google Scholar 

  • SOU (1996). Inflytande på riktigt - Om elevers rätt till inflytande, delaktighet och ansvar: Statens Offentliga Utredningar Utbildningsdepartementet1996:22 (in Swedish)

  • Stemler, S.E. (2004). A comparison of consensus, consistency, and measurement approaches to estimating interrater reliability. Prac Assess Res Eval 9(4).

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Margareta Enghag.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Enghag, M., Niedderer, H. Two Dimensions of Student Ownership of Learning During Small-Group Work in Physics. Int J of Sci and Math Educ 6, 629–653 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-007-9075-x

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-007-9075-x

Key words

  • group work
  • miniprojects
  • physics teaching
  • student ownership of learning