Subject-based teaching in the natural sciences

Naturvetenskapernas didaktik

Subject-based teaching in the natural sciences is a research area that conducts research in conjunction with teacher training at Linköping University, in particular the part which is carried out in Norrköping. The research projects are directed towards the various institutions in the education sector, primarily preschool, after-school centres and schools, but higher education as well.

This field of research has a history stretching back over one hundred years; along with subject-based teaching in mathematics, it is one of the largest research fields in subject-based teaching internationally. In other words, it is a well-established field with many international journals and conferences and thousands of researchers working all over the world. Research in the field covers everything from the historical and social context, development and position of the natural sciences and scientific knowledge, to how children best learn specific natural scientific content.

Research in subject-based teaching in the natural sciences is characteristically diverse, in both theoretical and methodological approaches. To a great degree, it is the questions and problems we raise that determine the research efforts we take on. The core consists of practical research which aims at understanding and problematizing conditions for learning, education and teaching in contexts such as preschool, after-school centres, schools, teacher training etc. As a field of research, subject-based teaching in the natural sciences deals with questions of how, why and using what content education is conducted. This research is conducted in close collaboration with the technology teaching environment.

The majority of the research conducted in Norrköping within subject-based teaching in the natural sciences may be summarised under three themes: The significance of location in natural sciences learning; Language, tools and representations in learning in the natural sciences; Assessment in the natural sciences and mathematics.

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