It's not rocket science: Developing pupils’ science talent in out-of-school science education for Primary Schools

Catherina Geveke

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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Out-of-school science educational activities, such as school visits to a science center, aim at stimulating pupils’ science talent. Science talent is a developmental potential that takes the form of talented behaviors such as curiosity and conceptual understanding. This dissertation investigates whether and how out-of-school science activities contribute to the elicitation, emergence, and development of pupils’ science talent. The context of this thesis is the Northern Netherlands Science Network, an alliance of primary schools, out-of-school science facilities, the university of Groningen, and the Hanze University of Applied Sciences ( Interviews with the schools on their starting position showed that adequate communication between schools and out-of-school facilities is necessary to coordinate the participants’ educational goals. Secondly, the elicitation and expression of science talent was studied in the micro-interactions between pupils and their educator (classroom teacher or facility instructor). To do so, a multivariate coding scheme was developed to measure Pedagogical Content Knowledge expressed in real-time interaction (EPCK). The interaction shows a variable pattern over time. Sometimes episodes of high-level EPCK — so-called talent moments — emerge, in which talented pupil behavior in the form of pupils’ conceptual understanding, and talent elicitation by the educator in the form of open teaching focused on conceptual understanding, determine one another. These talent moments only occur in activities that were prepared in the classroom and with educators who were trained to evoke conceptual understanding. Under these conditions, out of school science activities can contribute to the elicitation and development of science talent in primary school pupils.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • Geert ,van, Paul, Supervisor
  • Steenbeek, Henderien, Co-supervisor
  • Doornenbal, Jeannette, Co-supervisor
Award date19-Jan-2017
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs978-90-367-9442-8
Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-9441-1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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