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ERIC Number: EJ1039899
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Mar
Pages: 37
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1871-1502
Space, Relations, and the Learning of Science
Roth, Wolff-Michael; Hsu, Pei-Ling
Cultural Studies of Science Education, v9 n1 p77-113 Mar 2014
In the literature on the situated and distributed nature of cognition, the coordination of spatial organization and the structure of human practices and relations is accepted as a fact. To date, science educators have yet to build on such research. Drawing on an ethnographic study of high school students during an internship in a scientific research laboratory, which we understand as a "perspicuous setting" and a "smart setting," in which otherwise invisible dimensions of human practices become evident, we analyze the relationship between spatial configurations of the setting and the nature and temporal organization of knowing and learning in science. Our analyses show that spatial aspects of the laboratory projectively organize how participants act and can serve as resources to help the novices to participate in difficult and unfamiliar tasks. First, existing spatial relations projectively organize the language involving interns and lab members. In particular, spatial relations projectively organize where and when pedagogical language should happen; and there are specific discursive mechanisms that produce cohesion in language across different places in the laboratory. Second, the spatial arrangements "projectively" organize the temporal dimensions of action. These findings allow science educators to think "explicitly" about organizing "smart contexts" that help learners participate in and learn complex scientific laboratory practices.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A