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Title: Conceptualizing phases of sensemaking as a trajectory for grasping better understanding: Coordinating student scientific uncertainty as a pedagogical resource
Sensemaking is conceptualized as a trajectory to develop better understanding and is advocated as one of the fundamental practices in science education. However, the field is lacking of a framework to view the prolonged process of sensemaking that starts from a raise of uncertainty of a target phenomenon to a grasping of a better understanding of a target phenomenon. The process requires teachers to recognize the role of scientific uncertainty in different phases of sensemaking and develop responsive instructional supports to help students navigate the uncertainties. With an attention on student scientific uncertainty as a potential driver of the trajectory of sensemaking, this study aims to identify different phases of sensemaking that can be developed with students’ scientific uncertainty. This study especially attends to two types of scientific uncertainty—conceptual and epistemic uncertainties. Conceptual uncertainty refers to student struggle of using conceptual understanding (e.g., mastery of content and everyday knowledge) to respond to an encountered phenomenon. Epistemic uncertainty emerges from struggles in using epistemic understanding to generate new ideas. Based on the multiple case study method, we examined sensemaking activities in two Korean science classrooms and one American science classroom and identified three phases of sensemaking: (a) focusing on a driving question related to a target phenomenon, (b) delving into multiple resources to develop plausible explanation(s), and (c) examining the successfulness of the new understanding and concretizing it. Based on the findings, we discuss two emerging themes. First, sensemaking progresses through three distinctive phases driven by students’ dynamically evolving scientific uncertainty. Second, attending to both epistemic and conceptual uncertainties can support developing sensemaking coherent with students’ view.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2100879
NSF-PAR ID:
10506289
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Research in Science Education
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Research in Science Education
Volume:
54
Issue:
3
ISSN:
0157-244X
Page Range / eLocation ID:
359 to 391
Subject(s) / Keyword(s):
["Sensemaking · Phases of sensemaking · Uncertainty · Scientific uncertainty ·\nPedagogical resources"]
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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