Teachers’ activities for structuring students’ knowledge after autonomous chemistry laboratory work
Jean François Le MaréchalUMR 5191, ICAR (Université Lyon 2, Université de Lyon), ENS de Lyon
We focussed on understanding the moment in teaching sequences when teachers structure the knowledge developed during laboratory work. We named these moments «debriefing ». To study debriefing, our theoretical framework brought into plays altogether conversational analysis and knowledge analysis. Knowledge was revealed during class interactions and its analysis involved facets of knowledge.
Three types of debriefing were observed. The first type took place as if the teacher would review all questions of the laboratory work and provide their answers during a class discussion. The class discussion could be viewed as a conversation based on ternary exchanges (question, answer, evaluation). Most of the teacher’s questions were based on the assignments for the laboratory work or on the context of the students’ observations. The teacher’s evaluations appeared to be the interventions that introduced and structured knowledge. The second kind of debriefing involved a document provided by the teacher. This document summarised knowledge, either linking several units of laboratory work or one unit with other phases of teaching. During such a debriefing, the class discussion was still based on a ternary exchange. More knowledge was developed than during the first kind of debriefing. Last, the third kind of debriefing was based on a lecture that cannot be modelled as a ternary exchange. The structure of such a lecture could either follow the organisation of the laboratory work or not. When it did not, the link with the laboratory work was limited to few experimental works that had been given as examples during the lecture. We also observed a teacher who failed in debriefing a laboratory work. In such a situation, many connections between the debriefing and the laboratory work missed. Several key concepts of the debriefing were given meanings that were not those used during the laboratory work. In addition, the context of their uses was different.
Key Words: Chemical education, labwork, postlab session, teaching sequences, teacher activity, structure of knowledge, interaction teacher-student, learning, teacher training.
Thesis full reference:
Khanfour-Armalé, R. (2008). Teachers’ activities for structuring students’ knowledge after autonomous chemistry laboratory work. Doctoral dissertation in Educational Sciences. University Lumière-Lyon 2 : Lyon.
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