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Curriculum Emphases, Mathematics and Teaching Practices: Swedish Upper-Secondary Physics Teachers’ Views

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This article addresses physics teachers’ views about physics teaching in upper-secondary school. Their views have been investigated nationwide through a web-based questionnaire. The questionnaire has been developed based on several published instruments and is part of an ongoing project on the role of mathematics in physics teaching at upper-secondary school. The selected part of the results from the analysis of the questionnaire reported on here cross-correlate physics teachers’ views about aims of physics teaching with their view of physics classroom activities, and perceived hindrances in the teaching of physics. Three hundred seventy-nine teachers responded to the questionnaire (45% response rate). The result indicates that teachers with a high agreement with a Fundamental Physics curriculum emphasis regarded mathematics as a problem for physics teaching, whereas teachers with high agreement with the curriculum emphases Physics, Technology and Society or Knowledge Development in Physics did not do so. This means that teachers with a main focus on fundamental theories and concepts believe that mathematics is a problem to a higher extent than teachers with main focus on the role of physics in society and applied aspects or physics knowledge development do. Consequences for teaching and further research are discussed.
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Curriculum Emphases, Mathematics and Teaching
Practices: Swedish Upper-Secondary Physics
TeachersViews
Lena Hansson
1
&Örjan Hansson
1
&Kristina Juter
1
&Andreas Redfors
1
Received: 8 October 2019 /Accepted: 3 March 2020/
#The Author(s) 2020
Abstract
This article addresses physics teachersviews about physics teaching in upper-
secondary school. Their views have been investigated nationwide through a web-
based questionnaire. The questionnaire has been developed based on several published
instruments and is part of an ongoing project on the role of mathematics in physics
teaching at upper-secondary school. The selected part of the results from the analysis of
the questionnaire reported on here cross-correlate physics teachersviews about aims of
physics teaching with their view of physics classroom activities, and perceived hin-
drances in the teaching of physics. Three hundred seventy-nine teachers responded to
the questionnaire (45% response rate). The result indicates that teachers with a high
agreement with a Fundamental Physics curriculum emphasis regarded mathematics as
a problem for physics teaching, whereas teachers with high agreement with the
curriculum emphases Physics,Technology and Society or Knowledge Development in
Physics did not do so. This means that teachers with a main focus on fundamental
theories and concepts believe that mathematics is a problem to a higher extent than
teachers with main focus on the role of physics in society and applied aspects or
physics knowledge development do. Consequences for teaching and further research
are discussed.
Keywords Curriculum emphasis .Mathematics and physics .Teaching strategies .Upper-
secondary physics
International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-020-10078-6
*Andreas Redfors
andreas.redfors@hkr.se
1
LISMA, Kristianstad University, SE-291 88 Kristianstad, Sweden
Introduction and Theoretical Framework
Science teaching, particularly chemistry and physics teaching, is subject to ongoing
discussions concerning aims, goals, relation to modern society and ways of teaching so
that more students find physics interesting and meaningful. In this article, we report on
upper-secondary physics teachersviews on aims, characteristics and challenges related
to physics teaching and their teaching habits, specifically in relation to their attitudes to
physics and mathematics.
Different science teaching traditions have previously been described in the literature.
A common tradition is traditional school science(Zacharia & Barton, 2004)inwhich
knowledge is transferred to learners through lectures and precisely planned experi-
ments. The goal of science teaching in this teaching tradition is that students have to
memorize scientific knowledge and procedures within the structure that was
established(pp. 203204). However, there are also other teaching traditions such as
progressive school scienceand critical school sciencein which the goals of school
science are more related to citizenship. In line with such different foci and aims of
school science, Roberts (1982,1988,1995) introduced the concept of curriculum
emphasesdefined as:
a coherent set of messages to the student about science (rather than within
science). Such messages constitute objectives which go beyond learning the
facts, principles, laws and theories of the subject matter itselfobjectives which
provide an answer to the student question: Why am I learning this?(Roberts,
1982,p.245)
Roberts has described seven curriculum emphases which all give different rationales for
learning science. These seven emphases have been reduced to three by van Driel, Bulte
and Verloop (2008) in a survey of teacherscurricular beliefs. These authors combine
Solid foundationand Correct explanations(Roberts, 1995) into Fundamental
Chemistrywhich describes an emphasis where fundamental theories and concepts
are taught as an essential basis for future understanding or further studies. Traditional
science teaching is characterized by these curriculum emphasis (see e.g. van Driel et al.,
2008, p. 109). The emphases Science/technology/decisionsand Everyday applica-
tions(Roberts, 1995) were merged into Chemistry, Technology and Societydue to
the interrelationship of applications of science and technology with studentseveryday
lives and decision-making. Finally Knowledge Development in Chemistry(van
Driel et al., 2008), is a combination of the curriculum emphases Scientific skill
development,Structure of scienceand Personal explanation(Roberts, 1995). van
Driel et al., (2008) argue that present-day chemistry teachers combine these emphases
in project-oriented work focusing on scientific processes, particularly the role of
chemistry and evidence-based argumentation in socio-scientific issues. These three
curriculum emphases described were later transferred and developed to encompass
also biology and physics by de Putter-Smits, Taconis, Jochems, and van Driel (2011)in
measuring secondary school science teacherscurriculum emphases.
In these previous studies on chemistry and science teacherssupport for different
curriculum emphasis, the study by van Driel et al. (2008) shows that for Dutch
chemistry teachers, the strongest support was for the emphasis Fundamental
L. Hansson et al.
Chemistry, and the study by de Putter-Smits et al. (2011) shows that the Dutch biology
teachers gave most support to the curriculum emphasis Science, Technology and
Societywhile the physics teachers gave most support to the emphasis Knowledge
Development in Science. In addition, van Driel et al. (2008) show that for pre-
university education, the curriculum emphasis Knowledge Development in Chemistry
was viewed as more important than for senior general secondary education. de Putter-
Smits, Taconis, and Jochems (2013) in studying context-based science teaching found
that four of eight teachers believed that students actively can learn in an environment
strictly led by the teacher, which they state stands in contrast to prior research results
stating thata more student-centred teaching strategy is vital for studentsactive learning.
They discuss and advocate for further research into teachersprofessional development.
In the science education research field and in policy discussions, there are ongoing
discussions related not only to the aims of school science but also to choices of teaching
strategies, and possible hindrances for meaningful learning for students and how they
could be overcome. One example is a recent report from PISA 2015 where
Mostafa, Echazarra, and Guillou (2018) discuss the relationship between various
science teaching strategies and studentsscience-related outcomes. They report on
relations between the different teaching strategies: inquiry-based science teaching,
teacher-directed instruction, adaptive teaching with teacher feedback, and students
science performance, and attitudes towards science for the participating countries.
For upper-secondary school physics, previous studies describe the special role of
mathematics in the teaching and learning of physics (cf. Pospiech, Michelini, & Eylon,
2019; Uhden, Karam, Pietrocola, & Pospiech, 2012) that have to be considered when
discussing teaching strategies and hindrances in physics teaching. The study reported on
here continues this line of research that has a special focus on the role of mathematics in
physics teaching (cf. Hansson, Hansson, Juter, & Redfors, 2015,2019;Turşucu, Spandaw,
Flipse, & de Vries, 2018). Mathematics is often spoken of as a necessity for physics; e.g.,
mathematics is the language of physics (Pask, 2003). One strand of this line of research
focuses on studentsproblems in transferring mathematical knowledge to new and applied
situations during physics teaching (Kaiser & Sriraman, 2006;Krey,2014; Kuo, Hull,
Gupta, & Elby, 2013; Michelsen, 2006; Torigoe & Gladding, 2011; Uhden et al., 2012).
This is also emphasized in a Swedish study by Due (2009) where students state that to
succeed in physics, it is necessary to focus and practice mathematical solutions of physics
problems. However, there is also research not only focusing on problem-solving but
physics teaching in general, e.g. from the perspective of the role of mathematics skills
among students. Analysis of the TIMSS advance study (IEA, 2014) discusses the decrease
in studentsmathematics knowledge as an explanation for the decline in Swedish students
results in physics (Angell, Lie, & Rohatgi, 2011). Thus, mathematics has been reported as
one obstacle in the teaching of physics, but there are also other hindrances such as
curriculum overload. Angell, Guttersrud, Henriksen, and Isnes (2004)describethat
Norwegian physicsteachers view using mathematics to describe physical phenomena
as the most problematic issue in the teaching and learning of physics. After that come fast
progression and extensive curriculum in the courses, followed by using laws and math-
ematics in problem-solving. The pupils (grades 1213) had a quite different view as they
regarded fast progression and extensive curriculum content the most problematic aspects
in school physics and they did not regard mathematics as such a major problem as the
teachers did.
Curriculum Emphases, Mathematics and Teaching Practices: Swedish...
There is a need for further research on why science teaching is diverse and teaching
shows different curriculum emphases (cf. Belo, van Driel, van Veen, & Verloop, 2014;
Johansson, Andersson, Salminen-Karlsson, & Elmgren, 2018). The general picture is
that relationships between teachersviews, curriculum emphases, classroom practices,
problems and possible student shortcomings need further studies in order to generate
more knowledge about aspects that constitute teaching conditions in science class-
rooms. In this article, we extend this line of research by adding a special focus on the
role of mathematics in relation to the different curriculum emphases. In so doing, we
took a nationwide look on Swedish upper-secondary physics teachersviews to find
factors explaining diversities in science teaching in relation to curriculum emphases.
The study presented here is part of an ongoing project on the role of mathematics in
upper-secondary physics teaching. This article aims to describe how individual upper-
secondary physics teacherscurriculum emphasis relates to their teaching strategies and
views on shortcomings and problems in physics teaching, with a special focus on
mathematics. The research questions posed are:
&Which aims, in terms of teaching and learning physics, are viewed important by the
physics teachers?
&What, according to the teachers, characterizes their teaching?
&What do they view as hindrances for high-quality physics teaching?
Methodology
Context of the Study
Physics in Swedish upper-secondary school is almost exclusively studied by students
taking the Science and the Technology programmes. Most students who study physics
take one or two courses and very few take three courses.
1
Upper-secondary physics in
Sweden is outlined by a national curriculum (Swedish National Agency for Education,
2011) which specifies aims, core content and knowledge requirements. The section
Aim of the subjectin the curriculum ends by specifying that:
Teaching in the subject of physics should give students the opportunities to develop
the following:
1) Knowledge of the concepts, models, theories and working methods of physics, and
also understanding their development.
2) The ability to analyse and find answers to subject-related questions, and to identify,
formulate and solve problems. The ability to reflect on and assess chosen strate-
gies, methods and results.
3) The ability to plan, carry out, interpret and report experiments and observations,
and also the ability to handle materials and equipment.
4) Knowledge of the importance of physics for the individual and society.
5) The ability to use a knowledge of physics to communicate, and also to examine
and use information. (Swedish National Agency for Education, 2011)
1
Statistics for school year 2018 from www.skolverket.se.
L. Hansson et al.
Core content contains both concepts and models (e.g. concerning Motion and force),
but also content referring to The nature, working methods, and mathematical methods
of physics. Regarding mathematical methods the curriculum says that in Physics 1 the
teaching should cover the core content Identifying and studying problems using
reasoning from physics and mathematical modelling covering linear equations, power
and exponential equations, functions and graphs, and trigonometry and vectors.A
similar formulation is present in the core content for Physics 2 (but with slightly
different mathematical concepts): linear and non-linear functions, equations and
graphs, and derivatives and vectors(Swedish National Agency for Education, 2011).
The Swedish curriculum is goal oriented and does not state how core content and aims
should be combined, how much time should be allocated to specific aims or core
content, or how to work with aims and/or core content. This means that views and
decisions by the local schools and the teachers are important for the emphasis of the
teaching.
Instrument and Method
A web-based questionnaire was constructed with 154 items to answer the research
questions. It opened with background information of the respondent (15 items) includ-
ing age, gender, work experience, education, what subjects and courses the respondents
teach. The questionnaire was then divided into three parts related to:
A) views of curriculum emphasis of physics education at upper-secondary school (39
items),
B) views of the nature of mathematics and physics (46 items), and
C) teaching strategies in physics and the role of mathematics (54 items).
In these parts, altogether 19 questions were posed, each with 123 items to
respond to, adding up to a total of 139 items appraised through a 5-point Likert
scale. Questions from previously published studies were translated, adjusted and
combined to cover the scope of this study together with new questions.
Part A of the questionnaire is based on van Driel et al.s(2008)aforemen-
tioned adaptation of Roberts (1982,1988,1995)curriculum emphaseswith
additional questions from de Putter-Smits (2012). Part B of the questionnaire is
about physics teachersviews about the nature of mathematics and physics
influenced by Grigutsch and Törner (1998),andasetaboutscienceinsociety
andresearchasdepictedinChen(2006). Part C of the questionnaire is about
physics teachersviews on teaching strategies, shortcomings and the role of
mathematics in physics teaching and it was generated based on TIMSS Ad-
vanced (IEA 2014) and other published instruments (Angell et al.,
2004;Buabeng,2015). Various competences, concepts and areas of mathematics
relevant to physics were addressed. The analysis presented here uses responses
to questions from parts A and C of the questionnaire, see Tables 1,2and 3.
Table 1contains items analogous to those by de Putter-Smits (2012)andvan
Drieletal.(2008), adapted to physics. The curriculum emphases used for
physics teaching in this study are Fundamental Physics (FP), Knowledge
Development in Physics (KDP) and Physics,Technology and Society (PTS).
Curriculum Emphases, Mathematics and Teaching Practices: Swedish...
Table 2relates to classroom practices and teaching approaches adapted from
Buabeng (2015). Table 3relates to problems and the quality of physics teaching
adopted from Angell et al. (2004)andBuabeng(2015), respectively.
Table 1 Question and 23 items from part A of the questionnaire, adapted from de Putter-Smits (2012)andvan
Driel et al. (2008). The items are related to the curriculum emphases Fundamental Physics (FP), Knowledge
Development in Physics (KDP) and Physics, Technology and Society (PTS)
To what extent do you agree with the following statements on physics teaching?
I think it is important to learn to perform physics calculations because the students can use it to solve physics tasks. FP
I think that physics students should start by learning abstract formulas as a basis for developing physics knowledge. FP
I think that during laboratory work, such as when measuring speeds, it is important that the students focus on getting
good measurements.
FP
I think that the main reason why knowledge about forces is important for the students is that it is such a fundamental
concept in physics.
FP
*I think that knowledge of the conservation of energy is important because it enables students to understand several
physical phenomena.
FP
I think it is important to use variables and units to show the internal coherence between physical concepts. FP
I think that the primary task of physics teaching is to prepare students for further studies in physics, science or
technology.
FP
I think that students should develop basic skills before they can work with applications. FP
I think it is important that current social issues that concern physics are discussed during my lessons. PTS
I think it is important during my lessons to address pros and cons for society with the development of new products
(such as mobile phones).
PTS
I think it is important during my lessons to clarify the relationship between societal issues and physics areas. PTS
During my lessons, I want to highlight the role of products based on physical applications in the studentseveryday
lives.
PTS
I think that it is an important task for physics teaching that students learn to use physics knowledge when they make
personal decisions about e.g. food, health and energy use.
PTS
I think that it is an important task for physics teaching that students learn to use physics knowledge as a basis for
personal opinions on societal issues such as fossil fuels.
PTS
I think that it is an important task for physics teaching that students learn how economics (rapid and large-scale
production) is associated with environmental and safety concerns.
PTS
I think that itis an important task for physics teaching that the students learn that the problem-solving strategies used by
physicists, chemists and biologists are similar.
KDP
I think that it is an important task for physics teaching to ensure that students learn that physicists design and use
models as tools for solving theoretical and practical problems.
KDP
I think that it is an important task for physics teaching to ensure that students understand that physical knowledge is
never definitive, but can always change.
KDP
I think that an important goal of physics teaching is that students learn how physicists develop knowledge. KDP
I think it is an important taskfor physics teaching to ensure that students understand how modern research leads to new
knowledge in physics.
KDP
* I think it is an important task for physics teaching that students can develop insight into the socio-historical
development of physics.
KDP
I think that it is an important task for physics teaching that students can learn to see overarching constructions and
contexts in physics.
KDP
I think it is an important task for physics teaching that students realize that human qualities, such as creativity and
ambition, play an important role in the development of physics knowledge.
KDP
*Item excluded in the analysis (see below)
L. Hansson et al.
Data Collection
The aim was to countrywide let as many physics teachers at upper-secondary
school as possible respond to the questionnaire. In order to manage this, we
contacted the communication unit at the Swedish National Agency for Education
which sent us a register of all active upper-secondary schools in Sweden that had a
science programme. The register was last updated in June 2016 and based on the
information provided by the study counsellors at the respective upper-secondary
school to the Swedish National Agency for Education. Email addresses of physics
teachers at the schools were obtained via the schools administration or the
schoolswebsites.
A link to the questionnaire was initially sent to 866 teacher addresses. If
teachers receiving the questionnaire were not physics teachers, they were asked
to inform us in order to be excluded from the project. The sum of the
remaining invalid addresses after the complementary search and addresses to
teachers who were not teaching physics was 27, and these were deducted from
the 866 addresses initially sent to. Eight reminders were sent during the three
and a half months the questionnaire was open and the resulting count was 845
recipients. The total number of completed questionnaires eventually received
was 379 rendering an answering frequency of 45%. All teachers responding to
the questionnaire were offered a lottery ticket.
2
2
A digital lottery ticket Trissfrom the state-owned company Svenska Spel with opportunities of high
winnings.
Table 2 Question and associated 12+2 items from part C of the questionnaire, adopted from Buabeng (2015)
and TIMSS 2015 (IEA, 2014) respectively
How often do the following practices happen in your physics classroom?
I present new materials on the whiteboard
I demonstrate problem-solving on the whiteboard
I lay emphasize on mathematical presentation of concepts
* I lay emphasize on qualitative thinking and presentation of concepts
I use demonstrations and discussions to illustrate concepts/ phenomena
I use studentssuggestions and ideas in teaching
I engage students in context-based activities
Students work with physics problems individually
Students work with physics problems in groups
Students have opportunity to explain their own ideas
Students do experiment by following instructions from the teacher
Students plan and do their own experiment
Students memorize facts and principles
Students use scientific formulas and laws to solve routine problems
*Item excluded in the analysis (see below)
Curriculum Emphases, Mathematics and Teaching Practices: Swedish...
Analysis and Results
Curriculum Emphases
Teachersviews concerning curriculum emphases were measured with 23 items on the
questionnaire with the three scales FP (8 items), PTS (7 items) and KDP (8 items), as
depicted in Table 1. Based on a dimension reduction by factors (PCA, with varimax
rotation, KMO= 0.83), two items were excluded (one from the FP scale and one from
the KDP scale) from the further analysis since their main contributions were in relation
to another scale than theoretically expected. The corresponding item to the first
excluded item was also excluded by de Putter-Smits (2012). The Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin
measure of sampling adequacy (KMO) was 0.83 and thus, the data set was deemed
suitable for factor analysis.
Each of the three scales was then subjected to an analysis of internal consistency
based on the value of Cronbachs alpha for each scale. Based on the Cronbach alpha
values (0.66 for the FP scale, 0.84 for the PTS scale and 0.72 for the KDP scale) and
due to the item-to-total correlation, we decided to keep all the remaining items.
The teachersmean scores per scale (FP, PTS and KDP) were calculated. The higher
the mean value is, the stronger the individual has marked agreement with the scale. The
Table 3 Questionsand associated 18 items from part C of the questionnaire,adapted from Angell et al. (2004)
and Buabeng (2015). Authorstranslation of the Swedish questionnaire
What do you think is particularly problematic for students who are studying physics at upper
secondar y school? (Angell et al., 2004)
*Learn many new concepts
Understand reasoning and deductions involving mathematics
Use laws and theories in computational tasks
Use mathematics to solve physics tasks
High pace
Much to learn
*Laboratory work
See the connections between physics theories and the real world around us
Discuss physics qualitatively
Sometimes it is seen that the following limits the quality of physics teaching. To what extent do you
agree? (Buabeng, 2015)
*Studentsperception of physics as a subject
Studentslack of mathematics knowledge
Parentsview that physics and mathematics are difficult
Societys view that physics and mathematics are difficult
The connection between mathematics and physics
A too extensive curriculum
Not enough teaching time
Inadequate laboratory equipment
Lack of technical support
*Item excluded in the analysis (see below)
L. Hansson et al.
results are presented in Table 4. Generally, the teachers were positive to all three
curriculum emphases. Concerning the FP and the PTS scale, the teachers agreed to
the same extent. However, the support for the KDP curriculum emphasis was substan-
tially higher than for the other scales.
Teaching Strategy
Teachersteaching strategies were measured with 14 items (see Table 2). A dimension
reduction by factors was conducted (principal component analysis, PCA, with varimax
rotation). The KMO was 0.73 and the data set was deemed suitable for factor analysis.
The factor analysis together with a qualitative analysis resulted in one item being
excluded as it was the only item with no clear contribution to a single factor. We
decided on the two-factor solution to the factor analysis due to a qualitative analysis.
The items in factor 1 (6 items) were used as a scale measuring Student-centred teaching
(Active students and focus on understanding), and the items in factor 2 (7 items) were
used as a scale measuring Teacher-centred teaching (follow teacher and focus on
routine problems), see Table 5.Each of the two scales was then subjected to an analysis
of internal consistency based on the value of Cronbachs alpha for each scale. Scale 1
had a Cronbach alpha value of 0.70 and scale 2 had a Cronbach alpha value of 0.65.
Based on the item-to-total correlation, we decided to keep all the remaining items.
Thus, the focus when scoring high on the scale Student-centred teaching is on
students being active in the learning situations and an emphasis on understanding, e.g.
in terms of explaining ideas and context-based activities. The teacher uses the students
ideas and the students work in groups, design their own experiments and discuss.
Opposite, when scoring high on the scale Teacher-centred teaching, the teacher
describes new areas of physics and solve problems at the whiteboard. The students
work individually following the teachersinstructions. They work with routine prob-
lems and learn facts and principles by rote.
Mean values for each teacher on the two scales measuring teaching strategy were
created, see Table 5. The table shows the means and standard deviations of the teachers
responses. The teachersanswers indicate that they have a teacher-centred practice to a
higher extent than a student centred. The results do however not point to any extremes,
indicating that the teachers seem to strive for a combination of teacher- and student-
centred teaching.
Shortcomings and Problems in the Teaching of Physics
The teachersperceived problems for students when learning physics and issues
constraining the quality of physics teaching were measured with 18 items on the
Table 4 Mean score (min 1, max
5) and SD per scale. See Table 1
for items in the scales
Scale Mean SD
FP 3.71 0.50
PTS 3.74 0.57
KDP 4.22 0.44
Curriculum Emphases, Mathematics and Teaching Practices: Swedish...
questionnaire (see Table 3). A dimension reduction by factors was conducted (principal
component analysis, PCA, with varimax rotation). KMO was 0.72 and thus, the data set
was deemed suitable for factor analysis. Based on the factor analysis and a qualitative
analysis of the itemscontributions to the factors, two items were excluded (with an
additional item requiring further analysis) and the five-factor solution chosen. The five
factors were used as scales measuring shortcomings and problems perceived by the
teachers. Cronbach alpha values for the five scales were in the span 0.730.86 (in
Table 6) after removing the further analysed item from scale 3 due to the item-to-total
correlation and the qualitative analysis based on the itemscontributions to the factors.
The teachersmean score per scale were calculated, see Table 6. The results indicate,
even though the differences are not substantial due to the distribution in the material,
that the teachers thought the main problem in the physics teaching was too much
content to cover in too little time and that practical issues were not as big a problem.
Mathematics knowledge and views of mathematics and physics were equally, but not
alarmingly, problematic in relation to physics teaching and student learning.
Relations Between Curriculum Emphasis Orientation and Teaching Strategies
A comparison of means concerning the teaching strategy scales for teachers with a
mean below respectively above the mean value for each of the three curriculum
emphasis scales was performed. Concerning the relation between agreement with FP
and teaching strategy, the result shows that teachers having mean values above the
mean on the FP scale have higher mean values also for Teaching strategy Scale 2
(teacher-centred teaching) than other teachers have (see Table 7). This difference is
statistically significant (ttest, level of significance 0.01).
Table 5 Mean score (min 1, max 5) and standard deviation (SD) per teaching strategy scale
Scale Items Mean SD
Scale 1: Teaching strategy:
Student-centred teaching
- I use demonstrations and discussions to illustrate
concepts/phenomena
-Iusethestudentssuggestions and ideas in the
teaching
- I engage the students in context-based activities
- The students work with physics problems in groups
- The students have opportunities to explain their own
ideas
- The students plan and conduct their own experiments
3.39 0.46
Scale 2: Teaching strategy:
Teacher-centred teaching
- I go through new content at the board
- I solve problems at the board
- I emphasize a mathematical exposition of concepts
- The students work individually with physics
problems
- The students do experiments by following my
instructions
- The students learn facts and principles by rote
- The students use physical formulas and laws to solve
routine problems
3.66 0.38
L. Hansson et al.
The results were opposite for teachers agreeing to a high extent with a PTS emphasis
(above the mean on the scale) have higher mean value (ttest, level of significance 0.01)
for Teaching strategy Scale 1 (student-centred teaching),seeTable8. The same is valid
for teachers agreeing to a high extent with a KDP emphasis (ttest, level of significance
0.01), see Table 9.
Relations Between Curriculum Emphasis Orientation and Shortcomings
and Problems in the Teaching of Physics
A comparison of means for teachers with a mean below and above the mean value for
each of the three curriculum emphasis scales concerning their perceived problems for
students when learning physics and issues constraining the quality of physics teaching,
i.e. the five scales from the Analysis and resultssection, have been performed.
Significant differences for the FP scale, with levels of significance below 0.05, were
found concerning scales 1 (mathematics is a problem) and 3 (views of mathematics and
physics are a problem) (Table 10). Teachers with a high agreement with FP tend to view
Table 6 Problems and shortcomings as related to five scales
Scale (Cronbachs alpha) Items Mean SD
1: Mathematics (0.75) - Studentslack of mathematics knowledge
- Understand reasoning and deductions involving
mathematics
- Use laws and theories in computational tasks
- Use mathematics to solve physics tasks
- The connection between mathematics and physics
3.47 0.62
2: Curriculum overload (0.74) - A too extensive curriculum1
- Not enough teaching time
- High pace
- Much to learn
3.76 0.68
3: Views of mathematics and
physics (0.86)
-Parentsview that physics and mathematics are difficult
- Societys view that physics and mathematics are difficult
3.46 0.84
4: Qualitative understanding
(0.73)
- See the connections between physics theories and the real
world around us
- Discuss physics qualitatively
3.56 0.79
5: Practical issues (0.73) - Inadequate laboratory equipment
- Lack of technical support
2.83 0.96
1If the item were to be removed, the Cronbach alpha value is raised by 0.01. The item was nevertheless
decided to remain in the scale after a qualitative evaluation
Table 7 Teaching strategies in relation to curriculum emphasis FP
FP mean NMean Std. deviation
Scale 1: Teaching strategy: Student-centred teaching 3.71 197 3.39 0.47
< 3.71 163 3.39 0.45
Scale 2: Teaching strategy: Teacher-centred teaching 3.71 199 3.74 0.37
< 3.71 164 3.57 0.38
Curriculum Emphases, Mathematics and Teaching Practices: Swedish...
mathematics as a problem in the physics teaching. Also views on mathematics and
physics are viewed as problems by these teachers. Table 11 shows significant differ-
ences between teachers with agreement below and above the mean on the PTS scale
concerning problems and shortcomings. Teachers with a high agreement with PTS
think that the views of mathematics and physics and practical issues are the most
problematic issues for teaching physics. There were two significant differences in the
comparison of agreement with KDP and the scales measuring perceived problems and
constrains, see Table 12. A high agreement with KDP means that the main problems for
physics teaching are too much content and too little time and studentsqualitative
understanding. No other significant differences were found in the data.
As Tables 10,11 and 12 show, the only scale occurring twice is scale 3, i.e. views of
mathematics and physics, in Tables 10 and 11. The rest of the scales is spread over the
three curriculum emphasis scales implying different aspects of importance in the
physics teaching.
Discussion and Implications
In previous literature, different teaching traditions and curriculum emphasis have been
described. The Traditional school sciencetradition is characterized by the curriculum
emphasis Foundational physicsand teacher-centred lectures, and the goal for students
is to memorize scientific knowledge and procedures(Zacharia & Barton, 2004). For
upper-secondary physics, this kind of teaching often means a focus on solving standard
physics problems (often appearing at the end of a chapter in physics textbooks) (see e.g.
Due, 2009). This teaching tradition has been found problematic for different reasons;
for example, students can often solve such problems without understanding the con-
cepts and theoretical models used (Hobden, 1998).
Table 8 Teaching strategies in relation to curriculum emphasis PTS
PTS mean NMean Std. deviation
Scale 1: Teaching strategy: Student-centred teaching 3.74 180 3.49 0.44
< 3.74 184 3.30 0.46
Scale 2: Teaching strategy: Teacher-centred teaching 3.74 183 3.67 0.39
< 3.74 184 3.66 0.37
Table 9 Teaching strategies in relation to curriculum emphasis KDP
KDP mean NMean Std. deviation
Scale 1: Teaching strategy: Student-centred teaching 4.22 178 3.46 0.45
< 4.22 185 3.33 0.46
Scale 2: Teaching strategy: Teacher-centred teaching 4.22 177 3.69 0.40
< 4.22 189 3.64 0.36
L. Hansson et al.
In this article, we have reported from a study on Swedish upper-secondary physics
teacherssupport for the three curriculum emphases Fundamental Physics(FP),
Knowledge Development in Physics(KDP) and Physics, Technology and Society
(PTS) (cf. van Driel et al., 2008). It was found that the teachers overall were positive to
all three curriculum emphases. However, the support for the Knowledge Development
in Physicscurriculum emphasis was substantially higher than for Fundamental
Physicsand Physics, Technology and Society, with which the teachers agreed to a
similar extent. It is interesting that Knowledge Development in Physicsand not
Fundamental Physicsis the one with the highest degree of support, as Fundamental
Chemistrywas for the Dutch chemistry teachers (van Driel et al., 2008). This result is
however in line with the results by de Putter-Smits et al. (2011)wherethephysics
teachers supported the Knowledge Development in Scienceemphasis.
The results from this study of Swedish upper-secondary physics teachers might be
an indication of a shift away from traditional science teaching traditions, where teachers
have developed support also to other aims of physics teaching. Both Science Tech-
nology Societyand Socio-scientific issuesapproaches (with similar goals as the
curriculum emphasis Physics, Technology and Society) and Nature of Science
approaches (with similar goals as the curriculum emphasis Knowledge Development
in Physics) have reached increasing support in international science education research
and in policy documents. This study shows an almost equal support for PTS and FP and
most support to KDP. KDP might be a smaller step away from traditional physics
teaching and might therefore function as a bridge between FP and PTS approaches to
science teaching. The KDP emphasis includes Nature of Science(Erduran & Dagher,
2014;Lederman,2007; McComas, 2017) aspects, and such knowledge could be valued
both in the perspective of educating future scientists and in relation to a more citizen-
oriented teaching. It could also (though this is seldom the case) be coupled to labwork
and to a teaching focused on concepts and models (see e.g. Hansson & Leden, 2016). It
might be natural for science teachers to couple KDP to the preparation of future
Table 10 Significant differences between scales 15 and agreement with FP
FP mean NMean Std. deviation Sig. (two-tailed)
Scale 1: Mathematics 3.71 193 3.53 0.67 0.04
< 3.71 164 3.40 0.54
Scale 3: Views of mathematics and physics 3.71 199 3.56 0.81 0.02
< 3.71 163 3.35 0.86
Table 11 Significant differences between scales 15 and agreement with PTS
PTS mean NMean Std. deviation Sig. (two-tailed)
Scale 3: Views of mathematics and physics 3.74 180 3.59 0.86 0.05
< 3.74 186 3.35 0.81
Scale 5: Practical issues 3.74 181 2.94 0.99 0.03
< 3.74 186 2.72 0.93
Curriculum Emphases, Mathematics and Teaching Practices: Swedish...
scientists, which is in line with the results from the study by van Driel, Bulte and
Verloop (2008) who found that KDP had more support in respect to the course
preparing for university studies than in respect to the general course. Thus, the support
for KDP among Swedish physics teachers might be due to the fact that the teachers in
our study teach at the science programme and/or the technology programme, both
preparing for university studies in science/technology. The fact that KDP received more
support than PTS indicates that this can be the case and that Nature of Science
perspectives, which are in focus in many of the KDP items, are viewed as a means to
prepare for future science studies, rather than as a means to become an active citizen.
The analysis of the investigated physics teachersviews of teaching strategies gave
that the teachers on average could be said to marginally favour teacher-centred teaching
compared with the other scales of student-centred teaching. The fact that both strategies
came out quite similarly in not radically favouring teacher-centred teaching is in
concurrence with Swedish studentsresponses to PISA 2015 questions, which places
Swedish science teachers below, but only marginally so, and close to the OECD
average for teacher-centred teaching (Mostafa et al., 2018,p.43).Concerningper-
ceived shortcomings and problems, the study shows that teachers view curriculum
overload related to allotted time as the main problem in physics teaching. Knowledge of
mathematics and views of mathematics and physics were less problematic and practical
issues were not a problem at all. It concurs somewhat with the results for physics
teaching in Norway (Angell et al., 2004), where the fast progression and the physics
curriculum were put forward as problems to be looked into. The Norwegian teachers
found using mathematics to describe physical phenomena the most problematic issue,
whereas the Swedish teachers found it less problematic.
The result of the study reported on here points to relations between teacherssupport
for the different curriculum emphases on the one hand and on the other hand their
reported teaching approaches and views upon shortcomings and problems in the
physics teaching. As discussed above, the teachers on average could be said to
marginally favour teacher-centred teaching compared with the other scale of student-
centred teaching. However, the results show differences coupled to teachersagreement
with different curriculum emphases. Teachers with high agreement with Fundamental
Physics(FP) tend to view mathematics and views on mathematics and physics as
problems in physics teaching (Table 10). These teachers also agree to a higher extent
with items implying teacher-centred teaching strategies (Table 7). Teachers with a high
agreement with Physics, Technology and Society(PTS) think that views of mathe-
matics and physics and practical issues are the most problematic issues for teaching
physics (Table 11). These teachers agree to a higher extent with student-centred
Table 12 Significant differences between scales 15 and agreement with KDP
KDP mean NMean Std. deviation Sig. (two-tailed)
Scale 2: Curriculum overload 4.22 179 3.88 0.67 0.003
< 4.22 184 3.67 0.67
Scale 4: Qualitative understanding 4.22 179 3.71 0.84 0.001
< 4.22 188 3.43 0.72
L. Hansson et al.
teaching strategies (Table 8). Finally, high agreement with Knowledge Development
in Physics(KDP) means that the main problems for physics teaching are curriculum
overload and studentsqualitative understanding (Table 12). These teachers agree to a
higher extent with items implying student-centred teaching strategies (Table 9). Thus,
this study shows relations between the curriculum emphasis supported by teachers,
their teaching approaches and the hindrances perceived in their teaching.
Mathematics has often been reported a problem in the teaching of physics. In this study,
mathematics is still viewed a problem, but not the biggest problem. It is also the case that it
is mostly a problem for teachers with a high agreement with FP, whereas teachers with
high agreement with PTS and KDP did not view mathematics as an equally big problem.
The reason why mathematics is viewed as a bigger problem by FP teachers is open for
further investigation. However, the traditional physics teaching culture most often means a
focus on calculations. For upper-secondary physics, Due (2009) has reported on a focus on
mathematical solutions of physics problems, and similar, but in a university physics course
on quantum physics, Johansson et al. (2018)showhowa“‘shut up and calculate-culture
is being reproduced with the result that discussions on epistemology and on sciencesrole
in society are excluded (p. 222). It might be that in classrooms led by teachers emphasising
PTS and KDP, the role of mathematics becomes different. Thus, the possible shift away
from traditional science (physics) teaching including its dominating focus on a FP
emphasis, that this study might be an indication of, might also have as a consequence
that mathematics is not viewed a problem to the same extent anymore. Such a possible
shift is supported by the difference between the results from the Swedish teachers in this
study and the Norwegian teachers in the study from 2004 (Angell et al., 2004), since these
two countries have similar teaching traditions (Mostafa et al., 2018,p.43).
An interesting question then becomes how mathematics is used and handled by
teachers and students in classrooms with a KDP or PTS curriculum emphasis. Another
interesting question is how differences on teaching and attitudes among the teachers
affect the actual physics teaching and students learning of physics. Hence, the results
reported on here calls for further and detailed analysis of practices in physics class-
rooms, with detailed qualitative investigations of relationships between curriculum
emphasis, teaching strategies (including how mathematics is used and handled by
teachers and students) and studentslearning outcomes. Such research is ongoing and
will be published by the authors in future publications.
Funding Information Open access funding provided by Kristianstad University. This project is financially
supported by the Swedish Research Council (721-2008-484).
Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which
permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give
appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to theCreative Commons licence, and
indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the
article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise ina creditline to the material. If material is not
included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory
regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.
To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Curriculum Emphases, Mathematics and Teaching Practices: Swedish...
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Curriculum Emphases, Mathematics and Teaching Practices: Swedish...
... Thus, not considering the theoretical concepts as a tool for decision making and processes design make the said emphasis as default curriculum. It was also the reason why escaping from the usual practice of science teaching is very difficult to achieve (Hansson et al. 2020). Since beliefs can influence individual attitudes and behaviour, Pre-service teachers' beliefs about teaching and learning might also impact ways on how they create lessons and activities in teaching. ...
... Physics teachers' curriculum emphases had been linked to their views about teaching. Wherein, those who have expressed high emphasis on the theoretical aspect of physics learning considered mathematics as the main concern in learning physics while those who have expressed high emphasis on the social relevance of physics learning considered both mathematics and practical issues as the main concerns in learning physics (Hansson, Hansson, Juter, & Redfors, 2020). Furthermore, science teaching become 'subjectcentered' when the emphasis is more on the deeper understanding of the subject. ...
... The emphasis FS was regarded as 'dominant emphasis' or 'default curriculum'. Distinctions suggest that STS is context-oriented learning, while KDS is skill-oriented learning (Hansson et al., 2020;Robert, 1982;van Driel, 2005van Driel, , 2008. ...
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Understanding the conformity between curricular beliefs and implemented curricular goals are considered one alternative way to assess pre-service teachers’ preparedness for in-service teaching. In this research, the curriculum emphases of the pre-service science teachers and views about science education curriculum were evaluated. 213 pre-service science teachers from seven Teachers Education Institutions (TEI) have participated in the study. The research design “Concurrent Triangulation Research Design” was utilized. Knowledge development in science was given the most emphasis by the pre-service science teachers, while fundamental of science was given the least emphasis. Among the inter-rater responses to the open-ended question, the results also revealed that knowledge development in science was emphasized by the highest number of pre-service teachers, while fundamental of science was emphasized by the least number of preservice teachers. The high emphasis given by the pre-service teachers on the importance of knowledge development in science as compared to fundamental science shows that the curricular beliefs of the pre-service teachers conformed to one of the curricular goals of science education, which is to develop students’ scientific knowledge. One challenge emerged during the analysis is how the curricular beliefs, which are known to be progressive in learning, transpire to actual teaching practices.
... Insbesondere für den Aufbau fachinhaltlicher und prozessbezogen-fachmethodischer Kompetenzen zeigt sich, dass erfahrene Lehrkräfte in der Mehrheit beide als relevante Ziele benennen bzw. diese generell als relevante Ziele des naturwissenschaftlichen Unterrichts (Hansson et al., 2021;Janik et al., 2008;Müller, 2004;Schultz-Siatkowski & Elster, 2010) und des Einsatzes von Fachmethoden ansehen (Beatty & Woolnough, 1982;Bevins et al., 2019;Koch, 1992, zitiert nach Jonas-Ahrend, 2004;Swain et al., 2000;Welzel et al., 1998;siehe auch Séré et al., 1998). Wenn Lehrkräfte vorgegebene Ziele hinsichtlich ihrer Relevanz einschätzen bzw. ...
... Wenn Lehrkräfte vorgegebene Ziele hinsichtlich ihrer Relevanz einschätzen bzw. gegeneinander gewichten, deutet sich hinsichtlich des Vergleichs der Relevanz dieser beiden Ziele an, dass erfahrene Lehrkräfte und Studierende für den naturwissenschaftlichen Unterricht typischerweise den Aufbau prozessbezogen-fachmethodischer Kompetenzen im Vergleich zum Aufbau fachinhaltlicher Kompetenzen für relevanter halten (Hansson et al., 2021;Jonas-Ahrend, 2004;Merzyn, 1994;Schultz-Siatkowski & Elster, 2010). Hinsichtlich der Gewichtung dieser beiden Ziele für den Einsatz von Fachmethoden zeichnet sich eher ein heterogenes Bild ab. ...
... Insgesamt lassen die Befunde aber mindestens die Schlussfolgerung zu, dass es sich beim Aufbau fachinhaltlicher Kompetenzen und beim Aufbau prozessbezogen-fachmethodischer Kompetenzen aus der Sicht von Lehrkräften tendenziell um sehr relevante Ziele handelt (z. B. Hansson et al., 2021;Müller, 2004;Séré et al., 1998). a) Ein relevanter Faktor -ähnlich zu Befunden in anderen Spezifitätsfacetten (z. ...
... Indeed, experimental studies have demonstrated beneficial effects of specific interventions-for instance, contexts evoking initial interest or utility value interventions-on motivational outcomes such as student interest (e.g., Curry Jr. et al., 2020;Hulleman et al., 2017;Rosenzweig et al., 2020). Observational studies have suggested, however, that participation in science teaching can also have detrimental effects on students' interest in science, for example, when the teachers used a narrowly focused questioning style (Hansson et al., 2021;Seidel et al., 2006). Further observational studies using comprehensive models of teaching quality (Praetorius & Charalambous, 2018) indicated that basic dimensions of teaching quality such as student support foster student interest in science (Dorfner et al., 2018;Fauth et al., 2014). ...
... However, several studies have also pointed to potential detrimental effects of physics teaching on physics interest. Some studies have found that secondary school physics is often characterized by a teacher-centered instructional approach such as a narrowly focused questioning style or activities led by teachers, with students as passive learners (Hansson et al., 2021;Mostafa et al., 2018;Seidel et al., 2006;Stigler et al., 1999). Other studies have revealed that physics teaching often failed to make connections to everyday life, an important measure to show the utility of physics (Taasoobshirazi & Carr, 2008). ...
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Although promoting student interest is a pivotal educational goal, student interest in science, and particularly in physics, declines substantially during secondary school. This study focused on the long‐term development of interest in physics at the lower secondary level (grades 5–7) and examined the role of teaching and teaching quality on the development. In particular, the study investigated the role of whether or not physics was taught in class and the role of perceived teaching quality for classes' interest trajectories. The results provide evidence of declining interest in physics from Grade 5 to 7, with stronger declines from Grade 5 to 6. Whether classes participated in physics teaching or not neither notably reduced nor increased interest in physics. However, several dimensions of perceived teaching quality (in particular, cognitive activation and cognitive support) mitigated the decline in interest.
... According to Lyublinskaya andPetrova (2021, p. 1496), physics has been seen as a subject predominantly focused on maths applications; therefore, essential maths skills are required. There is no doubt that physics cannot be without mathematics (Hansson et al., 2021, p. 499, Redish & Kuo, 2015Tran et al., 2020, p. 91), so much so that some teachers believed that basic mathematical skills are insufficient to study physics. Karen was the main supporter of this idea. ...
Thesis
Research on girls’ participation in physics has revealed several issues which contribute to a significant gender imbalance in physics enrolments in high schools in Australia. This is compounded by a gender gap in the workforce in engineering and physics-related professions. The consequences of gender imbalance in physics include a lack of diversity in STEM fields, increased economic insecurity among women, and an overall decline in interest in physics, which leads to a shortage in skilled graduates in the field. While researchers have explored this area from a variety of perspectives, this thesis explores female secondary students’ perceptions about physics and their capacity to predict university choices and career aspirations. It also explores teachers’ and career advisors’ perceptions about gender issues in physics and how these perceptions shape their pedagogy and their approaches to gender issues in physics. This research examines multiple sources of data to investigate the discursive framing of physics from a variety of influences. Physics teachers, career advisors and family members belong to different spheres of influence and have the capacity to support girls to follow their aspirations or shut them down. Therefore, this research investigates how the positioning of physics by members of girls’ spheres of influence shapes their physics identity. There are four research questions: 1) How does the discursive framing of physics influence girls’ perceptions about physics? 2) What teaching pedagogies and practices influence girls’ physics identity? 3) What is the influence of career advice on girls’ perceptions about studying physics and pursuing physics as a future career? 4) To what extent do family and cultural backgrounds influence girls’ physics identity? To address these questions, an Embedded Transformative Mixed Methods research design was employed. This research design draws on Raewyn Connell’s gender theory to provide in-depth explanations of critical aspects influencing the uptake of physics in an Australian context. The quantitative method included an online survey given to senior school students. The qualitative methods included student focus group interviews and one-on-one interviews with physics teachers and career advisors. The findings revealed that girls navigate a “perfect storm” of discursive influences throughout their schooling which impacts on their physics identity and subsequent career choices. The perfect storm represents an accumulation of influences acting in concert to alienate girls from physics. This is interpreted using Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory. Bronfenbrenner’s model assists in making sense of the complexity and multifarious discursive practices that impede girls’ uptake of physics. Despite showing sound awareness of gender issues in physics, some teachers demonstrated signs of unconscious biases and adopted contradictory practices in tackling gender issues in the discipline. Additionally, teachers’ awareness of these issues did not necessarily translate to a strong commitment to addressing these issues. Career advice is another influence that showed large variations across schools. Despite its potential as a source of positive influence on girls’ career choices, the findings reveal various areas that require more attention by schools, career advisors and physics teachers. These areas include the number of individual career counselling sessions available, as well as the level of physics teachers’ and parental involvement in career advice. Finally, family and cultural backgrounds have shown both positive and negative influences on girls’ decisions to study physics. The influences may be positive if family members have a science background and are generally encouraging and supportive, but may be negative if they hold stereotypical views about physics-related professions and notions of gender bias in career choices. Physics teachers are found to be key influencers on girls’ physics identity. Those who believe in girls’ rights to be well-represented in physics demonstrated higher levels of commitment to tackling gender issues and were generally more responsive to girls’ learning needs. Therefore, increasing physics teachers’ awareness of gender issues and supplying them with various resources, techniques and approaches to tackle these issues may be one way to address what has been an intractable issue. The findings suggest the integration of career advice in science, maths and other subjects’ curricula as another potentially effective approach. Gender equity in subject choice would benefit by schools actively working to involve parents in the career advice process and by working collaboratively with them and with stakeholders to promote physics. The findings of this study contribute to Australian research in the field. The theoretical framework of this thesis, and the research findings, provide insights regarding what is needed to encourage girls’ uptake of physics in the upper years of secondary school and to assist them to pursue a career in physics.
... For this reason, promoting positive attitudes towards chemistry has become one of the aims of the subject's curricula (Hofstein & Mamlok-Naaman, 2011), aiming to enhance chemistry learning and allow students to be "able to adapt with the changes in their daily life and at the same time contribute to the development of science and technology of the country in a sustainable manner" (Heng & Karpudewan, 2015, p. 889). Nonetheless, although the importance of attitudes (and of other affective variables) in the learning process has long been recognized by research in science education (Vilia & Candeias, 2020), the cognitive dimension of learning still takes on a central (and often exclusive) role in the implementation of curricula, in the teaching practices of teachers, and in evaluating students' success or failure (Hansson et al., 2021;Vilia & Candeias, 2020). In this regard, Osborne and Collins (2000) found that chemistry is the subject that high school students, in the United Kingdom, least prefer and towards which they have the most negative attitudes. ...
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The need of promoting the affective dimension of chemistry literacy in students, through expressions of interest in chemistry-related topics and positive attitudes toward this field, has been emphasized in chemistry education. Thus, the purpose of this study was to understand students’ attitudes toward chemistry between the ages of 12 and 14, as well as how their participation in a citizen science project called Perceiving the Value of Chemistry behind water and microplastics (PVC) contributed to possible attitude changes. Although the research focus was chemistry education, chemistry and physics are taught as part of one subject in Portugal, so the attitudes towards physics and chemistry scale was used as a pre- and post-test. The pre-test showed positive attitudes towards physics and chemistry. In the post-test, the control group exhibited significantly negative changes in attitude, in all dimensions; whereas the experimental group revealed no significant changes. Pedagogical dynamics also affect students’ attitudes toward chemistry, so we undertook interviews to investigate the project’s impact on the pedagogical practices of the nine participating teachers. The results suggest that activities developed within the PVC project were formative for the teachers, allowing them to reflect on their practices and promoting an interdisciplinary approach to the topics addressed, in addition to enabling students to use knowledge in different and new perspectives. Moreover, through the development of pedagogical resources and training within this project, teachers recognized that they would continue this experience.
... This is because these curriculum emphases describe a coherent set of messages concerning the teaching and learning of science (Roberts, 2015). We describe these goals and purposes of science teaching in Appendix A. Studies that examined teachers' goals and purposes of science teaching using the curriculum emphasis framework include those of Demirdöğen (2016) in the Netherlands and Hansson et al. (2021) who looked at physics teachers' views about teaching physics in upper secondary school and used the curriculum emphasis concept to analyse their data as well as Maseko and Khoza (2021) who looked that the in-services' science teachers beliefs about goals and purposes of science teaching. ...
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... Many methods are available for researching mathematics education (Blum et al. 2019), but there is a noticeable gap in the study of the HPM perspective. In particular, unlike in most education fields (Hansson et al., 2020;Nawani et al., 2018;Staus et al., 2020), quantitative approaches are underutilized in research on the use of the history in mathematics education. However, such methods could be highly relevant (Gras, 1992) for assessing the effectiveness of using history in mathematics education, studying some aspects of this approach, and providing meaningful and generative answers (Schoenfeld, 2020). ...
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This chapter describes a case study of the role of mathematics in physics textbooks and in associated teacher-led lessons. The theoretical framework (Hansson L, Hansson Ö, Juter K, Redfors A. Sci Edu 24:615–644, 2015) used in the analysis focuses on relations communicated between three entities: Theoretical models, Mathematics and Reality. Previously the framework has been used for analysing classroom situations. In this chapter, the framework is further developed and refined and for the first time used to analyse physics textbooks. The case study described here is a synchronised analysis of a physics textbook and associated classroom communication during teacher-led lessons and contributes with an in-depth description of relations made between Theoretical models, Mathematics and Reality. With the starting point in this case, we discuss future uses of the analysis framework. We also raise questions for further research concerning how physics textbooks support and not support a meaningful physics teaching with respect to the role of mathematics and how relations between Theoretical models, Mathematics and Reality are communicated.
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This book is about mathematics in physics education, the difficulties students have in learning physics, and the way in which mathematization can help to improve physics teaching and learning. The book brings together different teaching and learning perspectives, and addresses both fundamental considerations and practical aspects. Divided into four parts, the book starts out with theoretical viewpoints that enlighten the interplay of physics and mathematics also including historical developments. The second part delves into the learners’ perspective. It addresses aspects of the learning by secondary school students as well as by students just entering university, or teacher students. Topics discussed range from problem solving over the role of graphs to integrated mathematics and physics learning. The third part includes a broad range of subjects from teachers’ views and knowledge, the analysis of classroom discourse and an evaluated teaching proposal. The last part describes approaches that take up mathematization in a broader interpretation, and includes the presentation of a model for physics teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) specific to the role of mathematics in physics.
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One of the most fascinating aspects of technological progress during the last twohundred years is the interaction between scientific theory and practice.