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


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.

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Correspondence to Margareta Enghag.

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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).

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Key words

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