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Grappling With Issues Of Learning Science From Everyday Experience: An Illustrative Case Study

Abstract

"There are different perceptions among researchers with regard to the infusion of everyday experience in the teaching of science: 1) it hinders the learning of science concepts; or, 2) it increases the participation and motivation of students in science learning. This article attempts to contemplate those different perspectives of everyday knowledge in science classrooms by using everyday contexts to teach grade 3 science in Singapore. In this study, two groups of grade 3 students were presented with a scenario that required them to apply the concept of properties of materials to design a shoe. Subsequently, the transcripts of classroom discussions and interactions were analyzed using the framework of sociocultural learning and an interpretative analytic lens. Our analysis suggests that providing an authentic everyday context is insufficient to move young learners of science from their everyday knowledge to scientific knowledge. Further, group interactions among young learners of science to solve an everyday issue need to be scaffolded to ensure meaningful, focused, and sustained learning. Implications for research in science learning among younger students are discussed."

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