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Linguistic Interactions in Early Science Lessons

The project is a follow-up project of the video study ProEarlyScience (Studhalter, Saalbach, Leuchter, Tettenborn, & Elmer, 2015) which has taken a long-term view of the early science-based learning and the verbal interaction between teachers and learners. In 32 preschool classes, the quality of the verbal learning support provided by the teacher (Scaffolding Means, van de Pol et al., 2010) was examined by using a theory-based category system and has been linked to the content learning of the children. Contrary to our expectations, the effects of scaffolding on learning growth were low. Therefore, the follow-up project focuses on a quantitative evaluation of the learner’s verbal contributions in these tutorial settings and examines the significance of active participation in teacher-learner-intercation for the acquisition of knowledge. Based on the assumption that learners achieve a deeper understanding of content, when they verbally more frequently deal with the content, positive effects are expected. The importance of learners’ active participation in instruction for their cognitive and motivational development is increasingly discussed (Schulz, 2011; Seidel et al. 2003), whereby the teacher-student interaction in the German-speaking class is still predominantly dominated by the teacher (Ackermann, 2011; Seidel, 2003).

The aim of the project is to derive and further develop possible implications for the design of teaching-learning processes and concrete verbal interactions in the context of early science learning.

Dr. Anika Bürgermeister
Research Associate
Dr. Gerlind Große
Linguistic Interactions in Early Science Lessons
Prof. Dr. Henrik Saalbach
Head of Department