När läroplan och tradition möts – hur högstadielärare bemöter yttre förväntningar på undersökande arbete i naturämnesundervisningen
How lower secondary science teachers meet external expectations on inquiry-based science teaching
The current Swedish curricula for compulsory school (Lgr11) emphasize inquiry-based science teaching to develop pupils’ critical thinking while the Swedish laboratory teaching tradition emphasize laboratory work to promote students’ conceptual understanding. The aim of this study is to illuminate how a group of teachers within the Swedish teaching tradition, based on the prevailing condition, met the external expectations of involving pupils in inquiry-based science teaching. During a teacher professional development program, the entire group of lower secondary science teachers within a school district, twelve in total, participated in group reflections about own inquiry activities. The results indicated that teachers, despite shortage of activities, wanted to involve pupils in inquiry-based science teaching to meet the curricula’s and national tests’ request for such activities. The teachers did this through hybridization, in which the teachers opened up and transformed existing laboratory activities; and by imitation, in which they imitated how investigative inquiry is carried out on national tests. Inquiry-based science teaching, as it emerges in this study, possessed several characteristics might limiting the potential for pupils to develop an understanding functional for critical thinking in private- and public lives.
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