On and off school ground: A discursive approach to science and environmental education




Reis, Giuliano

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This dissertation is the result of a two-year ethnographic study conducted with schoolteachers, students, and public educators in Victoria, British Columbia. Using discourse analysis (DA) as a method and theory to analyze participants’ talk during interviews and other interactions in the course of their naturally occurring school-related activities, the present dissertation describes and articulates curricular and instructional implications of the observed practices to science classrooms and environmental education initiatives. The use of DA as analytical tool and the general significance of the findings to science and environmental education are what bring the individual chapters, originally written for different journal audiences, into cohesive focus. Data collection took place within two different instructional and institutional instances (or activity systems): In- and out-of schools. This, in turn, allowed for a more refined understanding of the issues those crossing the boundaries between the different activity systems might face, a point often overlooked in educational research. The conclusions amount to the complementary aspect of non-school and in-classroom activities for the improvement of science and environmental learning and instruction. Moreover, they expand the knowledge about the ways science and environmental education can be enacted in those learning settings, also introducing an alternative approach to the investigation of the learning processes in this two overlapping educational fields.



science education, environmental education, discourse analysis