Students’ Unintended Learning in Primary School Practical Science Lessons: What is Learned and How it Occurs

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사범대학 과학교육과
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서울대학교 대학원
unintended learningpractical workprimary scienceheuristic passionimplicit procedural knowledge
학위논문 (박사)-- 서울대학교 대학원 : 과학교육과 물리전공, 2016. 8. 송진웅.
This dissertation investigates unintended learning in primary school practical science lessons. I use the term “unintended” learning to distinguish it from the “intended” learning that appears in teachers’ learning objectives. Data were collected using audio and video recordings of 22 lessons taught by five teachers in Korean primary schools with 10- to 12-year-old students. Pre-lesson interviews with the teachers were conducted to ascertain their intended learning objectives. Students were asked to write short memos after the lesson about what they learned and post-lesson interviews of students and of teachers were undertaken to gather more detailed information about student learning. This study’s data suggested three types of knowledge that students learned unintentionally: factual knowledge gained by phenomenon-based reasoning, conceptual knowledge gained by relation- or model-based reasoning, and procedural knowledge. Most unintended learning found in this study fell into the factual knowledge type. One of the types of factual knowledge observed in this study was factual knowledge that can be associated with students’ future learning. As opposed to factual knowledge, only a few cases of conceptual knowledge were found to have occurred as a result of relation- and model-based reasoning. In the cases of conceptual knowledge learning, the students engaged in relation- or model-based reasoning with help from the teacher. This can give us an implication of the teachers’ role in unintended learning. Both explicit and implicit procedural knowledge were also found in this study. Explicit procedural knowledge can be described both verbally and in writing and implicit procedural knowledge cannot be stated explicitly and only can be acquired by practice. This means that students’ practice, such as trial and error and coping with unexpected situations in practical work, could give them opportunities for unintended learning, especially opportunities to learn implicit procedural knowledge. The results also suggested that there were three associated features of unintended learning that occurred: students expressing their interest, maintaining their interest, and connecting to prior knowledge. These findings also indicated that the process of intended and unintended learning is different in that teacher’s effort to make students be interested in the task comes first in the process of intended learning, whereas unintended learning originated from students’ spontaneous interest and curiosity. Polanyi’s concept of intellectual passion would posit that unintended learning occurred because of the heuristic passion of the student in the sense that it was driven by students’ interest and curiosity. However, I observed that most unintended learning was localized at the individual student or a small group level, which means that students’ persuasive passion to share their learning was limited. This study is significant in that it suggests how unintended learning can be facilitated as an educative opportunity for meaningful learning by exploring what and how students learned unintentionally. In summary, this study showed that students learned various types of knowledge associated with multiple reasoning processes. Among these types of knowledge, there was knowledge that could be helpful for their future learning and that was associated with a sophisticated level of reasoning, such as model-based reasoning. This study also found that unintended learning could be meaningful learning in that it initiated from students’ own interest and curiosity. These findings indicate that teachers need to be aware that unintended learning can take place in the lesson so that they can help students to develop the ideas into unintended learning. I also suggest practical implications for both pre-service and in-service teacher professional development and for science educators.
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College of Education (사범대학)Dept. of Science Education (과학교육과)Physics (물리전공)Theses (Ph.D. / Sc.D._물리전공)
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