It is commonly believed that science teachers rely on language that allows only minor flexibility when it comes to taking into account contrasting views and pupil thoughts. Too frequently science teachers either pose questions that target predefined answers or simply lecture through lessons, a major concern from a sociocultural perspective. This study reports the experiences of science student teachers when introduced to the Communicative Approach to science education drawing on dialogic teacher-talk in addition to authoritative teacher-talk. This approach was introduced to the students in an interventional teaching program running parallel to the student teachers’ field practice. The practical implications of this approach during initial teacher education are the central focus of this study. The data consisting of videos of lessons and interviews indicate that the student teacher awareness of teacher-talk and alternative communicative options did increase. Student teachers reported greater awareness of the different functions of teacher-talk as well as the challenges when trying to implement dialogic teaching.
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Lehesvuori gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Finnish Cultural Foundation. Rasku-Puttonen was funded by the Academy of Finland, No. 130707. The work was also funded by the project of Academy of Finland, No. 132316. With thanks to Josephine Moate for her language support.
Appendix: David’s and Paul’s Lesson Plans
Appendix: David’s and Paul’s Lesson Plans
David: Lesson plan Tue 4.12.2007, Mrs. Hill, Secondary school’s electric course
Introduction (of David) (5 min)
Check homework (10 min) (workbook, p. 73, task 9 and textbook p. 213, tasks 4 and 5) (Note: Data extract)
Theory (15 min)
Experimental group work 1 (15 min) Notice proper explanations and reviewing (End of first lesson/Recess)
Experimental group work 2 (15 min)
Demonstration (20 min)
Skip if necessary
Tasks (workbook p.81 tasks 1 and 3)
Magnet has north- and south pole
Similar poles reject each other and different poles attract each other
Magnet creates a magnet field
This field can be modeled with field vectors
Magnets and magnetic matters interact via magnetic field
For example Earth has a magnetic field that protects us from harmful particles coming from the Sun
Magnetizing means that for instance iron nail is turned to permanent magnet by using another
Experimental group works and demonstrations
Experimental group work 1: Workbook p. 74, task 1
Experimental group work 2: Workbook p. 75, task 2
Demonstration: Workbook p. 77, task 4
Experimental group work 3: Workbook p. 79, task 5
Paul: Lesson plan Wed 12.12.2007, Mr. James, Upper Secondary Course nr. 2, duration 9:50–11:25
- Checking of the homework
- A brief introduction
- Review the content of the previous lesson
- Pupils present their tasks in the front
- Discussions about tasks and problems
Teacher presentation (NI/A) and authoritative discussion (I/A)
- Teaching new topic: Entropy
- Teach the concept of entropy
- Discussions about everyday phenomena involving entropy
- Figure out together what entropy is
Dialogic discussion (I/D)
Teacher presentation (NI/A)
- Illustrate the previous
- A drop of color ingredient spreads to a water tank
- Discuss about phenomena
Dialogic discussion (I/D) and teacher presentation (NI/A)
- Teaching new topic: energy conversion and the third law of thermodynamics
- Teach the concept of the energy conversion and the third law of thermodynamics
- Demonstration with a rubber ball to initiate thoughts
- Figure out the new topics with the assistance from the pupils
Dialogic discussion (I/D)
(Note: Data extract)
and teacher presentation (NI/A)
- Energy in society
(2nd half of the double lesson, not in the lesson figure)
- To get pupils motivated to seek the information
- Getting familiar with greenhouse effect via slideshow
- A group work
- Reviewing together
Teacher presentation (NI/A)
Dialogic discussions (I/D)
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Lehesvuori, S., Viiri, J. & Rasku-Puttonen, H. Introducing Dialogic Teaching to Science Student Teachers. J Sci Teacher Educ 22, 705–727 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10972-011-9253-0
- Science teacher education
- Dialogic teaching
- Communicative approach