Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe the collective exploration, process and knowledge production made in a learning study about solution chemistry. Design/methodology/approach – Secondary school teachers conducted a learning study with variation theory as a guiding principle, supervised by a researcher. The relationship between teaching and learning was analyzed and evaluated in a learning study cycle of three lessons. Findings – Critical aspects when teaching solution chemistry were identified, as well as enacted patterns of variation that significantly improved students’ learning. Examples of critical aspects were the particulate character of matter, especially the feature of “empty space” between particles, the connection between macroscopic phenomenon and sub‐microscopic explanations and the difference between answers with everyday language and scientific language. Practical implications – The paper suggests that teachers in a learning study can produce new knowledge as well as use earlier research results when creating teaching activities that can improve their own practical work and students’ learning. Originality/value – The study represents an example of research with the aim to improve teachers’ practice by generating knowledge in connection with teachers’ professional tasks.
International Journal of Lesson and Learning Studies – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 4, 2013
Keywords: Teachers; Secondary schools; Learning studies; Variation theory; Solution chemistry; Matter; Science teaching; Teacher learning