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Title: Contextualizing Instruction in Project-Based Science: Activating Students' Prior Knowlege and Experiences to Support Learning
Authors: Rivet, Ann E.
Krajcik, Joseph S.
Issue Date: Jun-2004
Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
Citation: Rivet, A. E. & Krajcik, J. S. (2004). Contextualizing Instruction in Project-Based Science: Activating Students' Prior Knowlege and Experiences to Support Learning. In Kafai, Y. B., Sandoval, W. A., Enyedy, N., Nixon, A. S., & Herrera, F. (Eds.), International Conference of the Learning Sciences 2004: Embracing Diversity in the Learning Sciences (pp. 435-442). Santa Monica, CA: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Abstract: Contextualizing instruction in project-based science involves utilizing students' prior knowledge and everyday experiences as a catalyst for understanding challenging science concepts. This study explores the prior knowledge and experiences activated during a project-based science unit in two urban middle school classrooms. A selection of contextualizing lessons was videotaped and stimulated recall interviews were conducted with target students about their thinking during instruction. Interviews were coded for the level of student thinking reported during the interview, the associated contextualizing features, and connections to science concepts, personal experiences, or real world events. Findings suggest that initial contextualizing features such as sharing personal stories and opinions were related to student thinking more about real world events, while features that foster integration such as concept maps and presentations are associated with thinking about both personal events and science together. These findings begin to identify a classification of contextualizing features in terms of the types of student thinking generated during instruction, which can inform the design of materials and professional development to foster and support contextualizing instruction in science classrooms.
Appears in Collections:ICLS 2004

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