The role of subject-matter analysis in science didactics: A cultural-historical perspective on food production

3.2 Multi-method approaches: Issues, challenges and promising directions
Paper in a Symposium (Symp)
2:30 PM, jeudi 31 août 2017 (20 minutes)
Cultural-historical theory is primarily a psychological theory about and human action and development within meaningful contexts. As a psychologically-oriented theory, it can be relevant to science education research, even if it has not been developed or elaborated specifically in relation to problems within science education. STEM education research can be reduced (roughly) to four major problem areas: curriculum, empirical evaluation of existing practices and conditions, didactics, and professional development, where each of these categories can be concretised further according to grade levels, pupil characteristics, subject-matter content, professional level and so forth. Cultural-historical theory can be relevant in different ways to each of these four areas, where different aspects of the tradition are worked out in different ways in relation to each area. The focus of the present paper is primarily on the didactics category, and slightly in the professional development category. The purpose of this paper is to outline three significant points that have been developed within the cultural-historical tradition that have consequences for these two categories: (a) the relation between research and practice, (b) the idea of developmental teaching, and (c) the idea of theoretical thinking. This paper will present an example of subject-matter analysis for food production and food chemistry to illustrate practical consequences that follow from these three points.
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