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Introducing Science: An analysis of teacher's discourse that presents real science activities to high school students

Most science educators encourage teachers to provide their students with access to more authentic science activities. What can and do teachers say to raise students' interests to participate in opportunities to do real science? What are the interpretative (discursive) repertoires they draw on? The purpose of this ethnographic and discourse analytic study is to investigate the ways in which the activities of scientists discursively are presented to high school students. Data were collected by observation, field notes, and videotaped lessons in an eleventh-grade biology course. Drawing on discourse analysis, we investigate the interpretative repertoires teachers use to explain and promote opportunities to engage in real science activities. Our analysis identifies and characterizes six types of interpretative repertoires: specialized, a-stereotypical, relevant, empirical, emotional, and infrequent. We also report on the frequencies of the repertoires in the discourse and the ways in which repertoires change in the course of teacher-student interactions. Implications for teacher-enhancement are discussed.

Hsu, P.-L., & Roth, W.-M. (manuscript submitted for publication). Introducing science: An analysis of teacher discourse that presents real science activities to high school students.

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