February 18, 2019
Teacher–student negotiations during context-based chemistry reform: A case study
Teachers participating in curricular reforms, especially reforms based on constructivism, are expected to bring about change in their teaching approach. This is often a difficult, complex and intensive process, and demands a radical recul- turing of the classroom. This is also the case for social constructivist reforms in chemistry education, which are based on a context-based approach. Educational change is a social and interactional process, and during this change teachers will engage in negotiations with their students about the reform. These teacher–student negotiations have a profound impact on the succeeding of the reform. This study explores the teacher–student interactions during the reform that shape and alter the context-based chemistry approach. We focused on two teachers, of whom it was found in an earlier study that one of them succeeded in implementing the reform, while the other one struggled. By following them for one school year, in which in-depth qualitative data was col- lected through various instruments, we developed insights about the teacher–student negotiations that influenced the educational reform. Three themes emerged from the data: “agency of learning,” “vulnerability,” and “care.” The differ- ences that were found between the teachers regarding these themes help explain why and how the reform can become a success and why the reform often fails to change classroom practice. Read whole article.