Learning from Failure: A Case Study of Where an Extracurricular Science Program Went Wrong: A Case Study of Where an Extracurricular Science Program Went Wrong

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Abstract

This article re-examines the learning environment in an after-school science program for socio-eco-nomically disadvantaged children, attempting to discover why the particular group we studied failed to make significant progress between pre and post program testing,
while other groups undergoing the same program else-where succeeded. Data composed of in class observations, students' class workbooks and perceptive/cognitive inter-
views was analyzed qualitatively to construct a picture of the learning environment as experienced by both the students and their student teacher, Liora. Our primary finding
revealed a striking dissonance between the program's student-centered theory (based on the tenets of social-con-structivism) and the classroom reality enforced by Liora,
who ran the lessons primarily as a monologue that left very little room for active student participation. This disparity was further complicated by an ambiguity in Liora's position as an authority figure, wherein she wavered between her predilection for a rigid, authoritative teaching environment and a desire to be her students' friend and confidante.
Original languageEnglish GB
Pages (from-to)592-607
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Science Education and Technology
Volume20
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2011

Keywords

  • Non-formal learning environment
  • After-school science program

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