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Verbal Interactions in Practical Scientific Inquires Byung-Soon Choi, Suk-Kyoung Seong, Hyun-Young Lee, Sang-Shil Chang Korea National University of Education Paper presented at the 1st EASEF in Seoul, Korea, February 27-28, 2007 Introduction 1970 ’ s ~ Practical Scientific Inquiry :

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Verbal interactions in practical scientific inquires l.jpg

Verbal Interactions in Practical Scientific Inquires

Byung-Soon Choi,

Suk-Kyoung Seong, Hyun-Young Lee, Sang-Shil Chang

Korea National University of Education

Paper presented at the 1st EASEF in Seoul, Korea,

February 27-28, 2007


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Introduction

1970’s ~

Practical Scientific Inquiry :

Central to develop

- An understanding of basic science concepts

  • Inquiry skills


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Introduction

1990’s ~

Knowledge construction through group discussion in science learning has been widely acknowledged.

Knowledge construction has been considered as social process rather than personal instruction with phenomena (Alexopoulou and Driver, 1996).


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Introduction

1990’s ~

Verbal interaction in science learning offer children the opportunity to construct ways of understanding (Driver, Newton & Osborne, 2000).

Talk with peers and teachers is at the center of children’s conceptual understanding(Driver, 1989; Sutton, 1992).


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Purpose

The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which the teacher provide opportunities for students to think and discuss for contribution to the construction of science concepts.

Verbal interactions were analyzed as well to identify the type of student-student interactions and the pattern of group interactions by cognitive level of the students in practical scientific inquires.


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Method

  • Participants

    The participants consisted of a eighth-grade science teacher with 4 years of teaching experience and 64 eighth grade students of 16 small groups from her two science classes.

    A small group is composed of 4 students.


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Method

  • Development of strategies and teaching materials.

    The teaching sequence and its associated strategies were developed on the basis of the studies by Adey and Shayer(1994) and Vygotsky(1981).

    Each practical work proceed through four distinctive teaching phases such as eliciting, familiarizing, constructing and bridging.


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Method

  • Development of strategies and teaching materials.

    • Eliciting phase

    • Familiarizing phase

    • Constructing phase

    • Bridging phase


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Method

  • Development of strategies and teaching materials.

    • Eliciting phase: The stage to elicit students’ concepts and thoughts by showing something. Teacher-student’s interactions occur in this stage.

    • Familiarizing

    • Constructing

    • Bridging


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Method

  • Development of strategies and teaching materials.

    • Eliciting phase

    • Familiarizing phase: The stage to become familiarized with words, apparatus, and experimental situations. Teacher-student’s interactions are more important in this stage, but student-student interaction does occur.

    • Constructing

    • Bridging


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Method

  • Development of strategies and teaching materials.

    • Eliciting phase

    • Familiarizing

    • Constructingphase: The stage to construct meaning through activities stimulating cognition within zone of proximal development(ZPD) and interactions among peers(Vygotsky, 1981). Through the repetition of cognitive conflict and meta-cognition, students contemplate their problems and thoughts of themselves. Both teacher-student’s and student-student’s interactions occur actively.

    • Bridging


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Method

  • Development of strategies and teaching materials.

    • Eliciting phase

    • Familiarizing

    • Constructing

    • Bridging phase: The stage which students’ concepts and thoughts were applied to new contexts. Teacher-student’s interactions occur actively.


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Method

  • Development of strategies and teaching materials.

    ◈ Topics of 10 inquiry experiments


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Method

  • Data collection

    • Audio / video recording

    • Worksheets

    • Observation field notes

    • Interview with students and teacher


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Method

3. Data Collection

  • Teacher-students interactions in small group

    For the analyses of T-Ss interactions, data for the verbal interactions of a teacher with students in 16 small groups in two classes were collected.


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Homogeneous

Heterogeneous

G1

G3

G2

G4

Method

3. Data collection

  • Student-student interactions in small group

2B/3A

3A, 2B/3A, 2B, 2A/2B


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Transcription of A/V recording

  • Analysis of the data

Development of framework

for categorizing verbal interactions

Worksheets

Field notes

Interview

revise

framework

Classify verbal interactions

Final classification of verbal interactions


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Findings

  • Types of T-Ss interactions in small group.

  • Characteristics of interactions among T-Ss in small group.

  • Types of interactions among students in small group.

  • Comparison of verbal interactions in homo-geneous and heterogeneous group by cognitive level.




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2. Characteristics of interactions among T-Ss in small group

  • The frequency of ‘receiving opinion’(58%) was much higher than that of ‘giving help’(32%). It meant that the teacher tried to proceed the lesson based on the understanding and thinking of the students.

  • But it’s notable here that simple agreement of the teacher to students’ response reaches to 43% of the receiving opinions


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2. Characteristics of interactions among T-Ss in small group group

  • Through the observation of the interactions, it was found that the teacher neglected frequently student’s opinion which was different from his own.

  • He tended to interact with the students whose response was close to the right answer to question.

  • These may partly be the reasons the frequency of the ‘correction’ of student’s response or ‘hint’ to the question is very low compared with the frequency of ‘agreement’ and ‘objection’ to the response of the students.



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2. Characteristics of interactions among T-Ss in small group group

  • Closed questions appeared twice as many as open questions in ‘receiving opinions’ as well as ‘giving help’. It implied that verbal interactions of a teacher with the student may not be so effective in encouraging the students to think.




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5. Characteristics of interactions among S-Ss in small group heterogeneous group by cognitive level

  • The frequencies of Q1 and R1 were much higher than those of any other sub-categories in both homogeneous and heterogeneous group. It meant that simple questions and answers were dominant in S-Ss interactions regardless of the homogeneity of the group.


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5. Characteristics of interactions among S-Ss in small group heterogeneous group by cognitive level

  • The frequencies of Q3, R3, MS3, RO2 and RO3 were higher in homogeneous group than in heterogeneous group, while the frequencies of Q1, Q2, MS1 and MS2 were higher in heterogeneous group than in homogeneous group. It revealed that high level interactions took place more frequently in homogeneous group than in heterogeneous group.


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Comparison of the quality of interaction heterogeneous group by cognitive level

in both homogeneous and heterogeneous group


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5. Characteristics of interactions among S-Ss in small group heterogeneous group by cognitive level

  • The frequencies of B3, B4, B5, B6, C1 and C2 were much higher in homogeneous group than in heterogeneous group. This indicated that students in homogeneous group showed such negative attitude as lack of confidence and dissatisfaction, on the other hand showed acceptable mood as well which willingly accept or reject peer’s opinion.


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5. Characteristics of interactions among S-Ss in small group heterogeneous group by cognitive level

  • The frequencies of A1 and B2 were higher in heterogeneous group than in homogeneous group. This indicated that group leader of high cognitive level willingly participate in discussion actively and help peer’s learning.


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5. Characteristics of interactions among S-Ss in small group heterogeneous group by cognitive level

  • Actually from the observation of classroom activities, it was found that the students in homogeneous group couldn’t satisfied with the competency of peers within the group and tended to depend upon the teacher for right answer. On the other hand, activities in heterogeneous group was led by the group leader without resistance by the rest of group members.


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Conclusions and heterogeneous group by cognitive levelEducational Implications

Teacher - Students interactions in practical scientific Inquires consisted mainly of questions by the teacher and responses of the students. Nature of the question seemed to search for the right answer rather than to help students think so that they can explore and interrelate their ideas and enhance their learning outcomes from group discussion.


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Conclusions and heterogeneous group by cognitive levelEducational Implications

The teacher tended to interact with the student whose response was close to the right answer he intended. So it seemed difficult to negotiate the meaning of the data and draw the conclusion through the T-Ss interactions.

Therefore, understanding on the nature of knowledge construction should be emphasized in pre- and in-service education for the prospective science teachers.


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Conclusions and heterogeneous group by cognitive levelEducational Implications

Analyses of S-Ss interactions in small group showed that students in homogeneous group participated in group discussion actively and exerted high level interactions each other compared with those in heterogeneous group. On the other hand, verbal interactions in heterogeneous group were led by group leader and hence group discussion was not so active.

However, students in homogeneous group couldn’t satisfied with the competency of peers within group and tended to depend upon science teacher for the right answer. Therefore, the research on the way of group organization and on the strategies for enhancing group discussion effectively should be carried out further.


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