Language and science in young learners: Intervening in the balance between challenging and adapting

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Abstract

Over the last decades, science education has become increasingly important in early elemtary education. Curiosity is an important starting point, since curiosity makes students receptive to learning. Science education offers numerous language-learning opportunities, because students need to describe complex relations and learn to use abstract terms. This requires a different way of using language than students are used to. The role of the teacher in this process is essential but, at the same time, a great challenge. The talents of students can be optimally stimulated when the teacher adapts knowledge and skills to the (potential) skills of the students, but at the same time offers challenges to increase the level of the students.
In this dissertation, fundamental insights and daily educational practice are combined by applying the complex dynamic systems theory to design and evaluate an intervention. The resulting insights contribute to knowledge on the development of science talents of young students and the role of language in this process. The co-construction of science discourse is a bidirectional process between teacher and students. This can be seen as an upward spiral of teacher and students continuously and positively influencing each other. This will result in more complex and sophisticated language. Open-ended questions can be regarded as a driving mechanism to stimulate students to reason and give them more language-learning opportunities. An individual video feedback coaching program can be a good starting point for the learning process of teachers and students in science education, and seems to work for both experienced and novice teachers.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Geert ,van, Paul, Supervisor
  • van Dijk, Marijn, Co-supervisor
Award date6-Jul-2017
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Publisher
Print ISBNs978-90-367-9910-2
Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-9911-9
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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