A Cultural Historical Activity Theory Approach In Natural Sciences Education Laboratory Lessons Towards Reforming Teachers Training

Eleni Kolokouri, Xarikleia Theodoraki, Katerina Plakitsi


This paper focuses on connecting natural sciences education with Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT). In this sense, natural sciences education is considered as a lifelong learning procedure, not seen as an individual but as a collective activity. Moreover, learning becomes a human activity in which theory and praxis are strongly connected and learning outcomes are obviously seen in society and culture. The paper is a review of five years research on natural sciences education from a CHAT perspective in the Department of Early Childhood Education in the University of Ioannina, Greece. Effort is put on using CHAT as a theoretical framework in order to analyze and design natural sciences education activities. In this regard, teaching natural sciences in a university laboratory becomes a dynamic activity system which involves multiple participants (university teachers, lab assistants, students, early grade pupils etc.). All the participants act towards some common goals, considering scientific knowledge as cultural, historical and social process and using meditative and analyzing tools. Scientific concepts are taught as part of the natural curriculum of natural sciences education at the early grades which is strongly connected with CHAT. At this level scientific learning is connected with inquiring in authentic environments, practicing skills of observation, classification, communication etc., and making sense of the relations and interactions that take place in the world around us. The research question addressed in this paper is to highlight some qualitative dimensions of the socio-cultural aspect of teaching natural sciences in the early grades. Research data have been collected during practical application of lab activities in the early childhood classrooms by observing, video recording, interviewing and analyzing. This part involves university teachers, lab assistants, students, early childhood teachers, early grade pupils who work as a community towards reforming of natural sciences education.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/wje.v2n2p23

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World Journal of Education
ISSN 1925-0746(Print)  ISSN 1925-0754(Online)

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