Emotionally intense science activities

Journal article


King, D., Ritchie, Stephen, Sandhu, Maryam and Henderson, Senka. (2015). Emotionally intense science activities. International Journal of Science Education. 37(12), pp. 1886-1914. https://doi.org/10.1080/09500693.2015.1055850
AuthorsKing, D., Ritchie, Stephen, Sandhu, Maryam and Henderson, Senka
Abstract

Science activities that evoke positive emotional responses make a difference to students’ emotional experience of science. In this study, we explored 8th Grade students’ discrete emotions expressed during science activities in a unit on Energy. Multiple data sources including classroom videos, interviews and emotion diaries completed at the end of each lesson were analysed to identify individual student's emotions. Results from two representative students are presented as case studies. Using a theoretical perspective drawn from theories of emotions founded in sociology, two assertions emerged. First, during the demonstration activity, students experienced the emotions of wonder and surprise; second, during a laboratory activity, students experienced the intense positive emotions of happiness/joy. Characteristics of these activities that contributed to students’ positive experiences are highlighted. The study found that choosing activities that evoked strong positive emotional experiences, focused students’ attention on the phenomenon they were learning, and the activities were recalled positively. Furthermore, such positive experiences may contribute to students’ interest and engagement in science and longer term memorability. Finally, implications for science teachers and pre-service teacher education are suggested.

Keywordsemotions; middle school science; science activities; demonstrations; laboratory work; emotion diary; sociology of emotion
Year2015
JournalInternational Journal of Science Education
Journal citation37 (12), pp. 1886-1914
PublisherRoutledge
ISSN0950-0693
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/09500693.2015.1055850
Scopus EID2-s2.0-84938418423
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range1886-1914
FunderAustralian Research Council
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online09 Jul 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited30 Jul 2021
ARC Funded ResearchThis output has been funded, wholly or partially, under the Australian Research Council Act 2001
Grant IDARC/LP110200368
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