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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Floaties and sinkies, flinkers and Archimedes thinkers : embodied writing in grade eight science class Harding, Thomas

Abstract

This study has emerged from concerns expressed by science students, educators, and researchers, and from my own teaching experience, that writing in school science often remains disconnected from students' experience, and rarely stimulates further learning. The purpose of this study is to explore the potential of open, expressive writing tasks to illustrate students' understanding of the phenomena of floating and sinking. A specially selected series of seven explorations in physical properties of matter provide a rich context for Grade Eight students and I, their teacher, to experience and explore this topic. The interconnections between lab explorations and writing in school science, and the interactions in a classroom fostering science inquiry, are central to this study. A classroom-based story is unraveled from an enactivist perspective. My analysis of students' writing tasks and reflections on learning illuminates possibilities for encouraging personal connections and embodied writing in science class. Students' insights into learning about science and about themselves through expressive ways of writing shape this story.

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