Grasping the Essence of a Science Activity by Using a Model of Pedagogical Reasoning and Action

Larsson J.


The study seeks to understand the essence of how scientific content is explained in a kindergarten and is based on the following research question: In what way is the scientific content brought to the fore by the kindergarten teacher and how is it made relevant in a mutual manner for the children?


The study found that the scientific content receives focus through various methods. The results show that the content is framed in a number of creative activities, where children’s suggestions on what to do are crucial. The approach to the scientific content follows the children’s verbalisation of their understanding. Moreover, dialectical conditions are a main tool used to make the content visible.

The findings also show that preparation is not only done in advance, but also during the activity. The children propose changes to the activity and their suggestions receive support. For example, the changes may be something such as taking turns. This places greater demands on the teacher’s knowledge, both within pedagogy and about the concept. By giving the children the opportunity to provide suggestions, a link to their experiences was established, while the teacher was still responsible for the direction of the activity.


The data consists of video observation of a 45 minute activity with 1 kindergarten teacher and 4 kindergarten children, 2 boys and 2 girls, where the teacher leads an authentic activity about sinking and floating boats. The children are aged 4-6 years old. This activity was part of a larger thematic project about boats. Data from the observation are transcribed and subsequently analysed using the MPRA model with a two-part focus: (1) the presented model is used as a framework to shed light on aspects of the teacher’s management of the activity, (2) the concept of dialectical processes is used to further understand the activity. 


Larsson, J. (2018). "Grasping the Essence of a Science Activity by Using a Model of Pedagogical Reasoning and Action". Education, 3-13, 46(7):770-781. 

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