Djaji Mahsheye, Moghrabeye, and Labaneh: Making science relevant

Idit Adler, Christopher Karam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Students often perceive school science as purely theoretical, overloaded with facts, and mostly disconnected from their school, home, and community life. One way to bridge the disconnection between school science and lived experiences, and support students in realizing the relevance of science to their everyday life, is by enabling them to integrate their funds of knowledge (FoK), the knowledge and expertise people have because of their roles in their families, communities, and culture, within science. To support students in this task, we developed Together with Science, a series of Vlogs (video blogs) designed to guide families and students through home-based experiments and support the emergence of a third space, where science and everyday life intersect. The Vlogs provided the necessary scientific background for the experiments and encouraged participants to share aspects of their lived experiences and reflect upon the realization of scientific phenomena in their lives. Using videotaped discussions of students and family members, we examined the interactions between them, as well as the FoK addressed in the conversation. The results indicate that multiple types of interactions emerged between students and family members, as they jointly conducted the science experiments and discussed their findings. Shifts in these interactions were associated with the development of a shared third space, in which both students and family members were able to concurrently relate everyday life to the scientific phenomenon. Most FoK were associated with participants' homes and culture. Our results suggest that family members can serve as brokers to support their children in realizing the relationship between science and their everyday life, by bringing in their unique FoK into the scientific discussion, and highlighting the importance of thoughtfully designed learning environments to support them in the process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-136
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of Research in Science Teaching
Volume61
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2024
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Journal of Research in Science Teaching published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of National Association for Research in Science Teaching.

Keywords

  • diversity
  • family engagement
  • funds of knowledge
  • informal science
  • international education
  • science education

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