Dialectical dividends: fostering hybridity of new pedagogical practices and partnerships in science education and outreach
Martins Gomes, Diogo
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Martins Gomes, D., & McCauley, V. (2016). Dialectical dividends: fostering hybridity of new pedagogical practices and partnerships in science education and outreach. International Journal of Science Education, 38(14), 2259-2283. doi: 10.1080/09500693.2016.1234729
Science literacy has become socially and economically very important. European countries stress that science graduates are fundamental for economic growth. Nevertheless, there is a declining student participation in science. In response, there has been a call to change the way science is taught in schools, which focuses on inquiry methods rooted in constructivism. Universities and other organisations have responded by developing outreach programmes to improve student engagement in science. Given this context, there is a necessity for research to ascertain if this new relationship between outreach and education is worthwhile. This study examines and compares primary teachers and outreach practitioners understanding and perceptions of constructivist science pedagogy, in an effort to understand the potential of a teacher-outreach partnership. For this, qualitative and quantitative methods were employed, taking a dialectic pragmatic stance. Contradicting the recurrent view, teachers and outreach providers revealed favourable views in relation to constructivism, despite recognising barriers to its implementation. These results support a partnership between teachers and outreach practitioners and the realisation of the hybrid role of each participant. The results also reveal an important dynamic in outreach access to schools. Specifically, the outreach connected teachers acted as gatekeepers by negotiating access into their colleagues classrooms.