Positive feelings in learning and interest development in biology education

Bidragets oversatte titel: Positive følelser i læring og interesseudvikling i biologiundervisningen

Morten Rask Petersen, Niels Bonderup Dohn

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Interest is an important affective variable that has been found to be associated with focused attention, higher cognitive functioning, and learning (Ainley, Hidi and Berndorff, 2002). This makes it an important variable in learning science. The experience of being interested has been characterized as an optimal state that combines positive affective qualities (e.g., feelings of immediate enjoyment, good moods etc.) and positive cognitive qualities (e.g. striving for meaningful goals, relevance etc., cf. Rathunde & Csikszentmihalyi, 1993). In the literature interest is typically described as a facilitator for learning (e.g. Krapp, 2002). Here we turn the interplay and see learning as a facilitator for interest development. This interplay was studied in upper secondary biology education. Student’s conducted an exercise on modelling natural selection with LEGO® bricks (Christensen-Dalsgaard & Kanneworf, 2009). A pre- and post-test on students’ conceptual understanding of key concepts was carried out using a Darwinian landscape model (Zabel & Gropengieβer, 2011). Students that changed conceptual understanding towards more Darwinian thinking (n=12) were interviewed on their experience of learning. Findings show that students who changed conceptual understanding in the tests also experienced deeper learning and understanding of natural selection and evolution. These students also experience positive feelings towards learning and learning can enhance their interest in evolution and biology in general. These findings support our initial hypothesis that learning can be a facilitator for interest development. This is an argument for focusing more on didactical approaches and learning environments if the goal is to have interested students. As stated by Dewey: “If we can discover a child’s urgent needs and powers, and if we can supply an environment of materials, appliances, and resources – physical, social and intellectual – to direct their adequate operations, we shall not have to think about interest. It will take care of itself” (Dewey, 1913 p. 95-96).
Bidragets oversatte titelPositive følelser i læring og interesseudvikling i biologiundervisningen
TitelScience Education Research: Engaging learners for a sustainable future
RedaktørerJari Lavonen, Kalle Juuti, Jarkko Lampiselkä, Anna Uitto, Kaisa Hahl
Antal sider3
Publikationsdato1. sep. 2015
ISBN (Elektronisk)978-951-51-1541-6
StatusUdgivet - 1. sep. 2015
Begivenhed11th Conference of the European Science Education Research Association - Helsinki, Finland
Varighed: 31. aug. 20154. sep. 2015


Konference11th Conference of the European Science Education Research Association


  • Interesseudvikling

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