Understanding of Science Classrooms in Different Countries through the Analysis of Discourse Modes for Building 'Classroom Science Knowledge' (CSK)

  • Oh, Phil Seok (Gyeongin National University of Education) ;
  • Campbell, Todd (University of Massachusetts Dartmouth)
  • Received : 2013.01.28
  • Accepted : 2013.05.03
  • Published : 2013.05.31


This study explored how teachers and students in different countries discursively interact to build 'Classroom Science Knowledge' (CSK) - the knowledge generated situatedly in the context of the science classroom. Data came from publicly released $8^{th}$ grade science classroom videos of five nations who participated in the Third TIMSS (Trend in International Mathematics and Science Study) video study. A total of ten video-recorded science lessons and their verbatim transcripts were selected and analyzed using a framework developed by the researchers of the study. It was revealed that a range of discourse modes were utilized and these modes were often sequentially connected to build CSK in the science classrooms. Although dominant discourse modes and their sequences varied among different lessons or different countries, the study identified three salient patterns of science classroom discourse: teacher-guided negotiation and the sequences of exploring - building on the shared and retrieving - elaborating. These patterns were found to be different from the discursive features commonly witnessed in the community of professional scientists and interpreted as implying the existence of unique epistemic cultures shared in science classrooms of different countries. Further studies are suggested to reveal detailed characteristics of these epistemic cultures of science classrooms, as well as to confirm whether any cultural traits inherently shape the differences in science classroom discourse among different nations.


science classroom;discourse;classroom science knowledge;epistemic culture


Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea


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