Chemistry texts as tools for scientific learning: a comparative study of teaching practices in Swedish and Finland-Swedish classrooms

Project leader

Funding source

Swedish Research Council - Vetenskapsrådet (VR)

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2007
End date: 31/12/2009
Funding: 4470000 SEK


Scientific knowledge in Swedish schools is considered insufficient. National evaluations of the school showed that results deteriorated between 1992 and 2002, with chemistry showing the largest deterioration. Also internationally the Swedish results are problematic; in the PISA-survey Sweden ended up as 15th while Finland’s results were among the best. Considering that Finland and Sweden have similar school systems the results appear confusing; why do Finnish pupils perform better? Also, Finnish-Swedes performed significantly better than Swedes in spite of their using Swedish textbooks or textbooks based on Swedish didactic approaches. The issue of this project is to investigate how texts are used and produced in various teaching practices and how this contributes to what kind of chemistry learning is made possible. The purpose is to compare how different teaching practices in Swedish and Finland-Swedish classrooms create different conditions for scientific learning. Two parallel studies will be carried out: chemistry as teaching practice & chemistry as literacy practice. Videotaped classroom observations and interviews from two Swedish and four Finnish schools will be used (two Finnish schools in which Swedish textbooks are used and two Finnish schools in which textbooks translated from Finnish into Swedish are used). Socio-cultural and New-literacy theories will guide the analysis, separately for each study and also interrelated between the studies.

Last updated on 2017-31-03 at 12:57