Skolbesök i en botanisk trädgård betraktat ur ett likvärdighetsperspektiv. Tillgång, tillgänglighet och elevers meningsskapande
Sammanfattning: According to results from the latest PISA-test, academic achievements of Swedish students in science are increasingly dependent on the students' social background as well as on theirschool's overall socioeconomic status. This is alarming with regard to the fact that scientific literacy is recognized as important for the ability to make decisions on science-based issues inone's daily life, both at a personal and at a societal level. Since out-of-school learning environments might be one way to increase an interest in and understanding of science, the aim of this study is to investigate how accessible and inclusive non-formal teaching in a botanical garden is for students with different social backgrounds. The study consists of two parts. First, a survey of all elementary schools that have visited the botanical garden during 2014-2018 was conducted. A quantitative analysis of the number of visits in relation to the schools' socioeconomic status and their distance to the botanical garden reveals that about half of all schools in the community, located in all districts, have visited at least once during these years. However, schools with a shorter distance to the botanical garden and a better socioeconomic status tend to attend lessons at this site to a higher degree. As a second step, six classes from schools with either strong, average or weak socioeconomic status were observed attending a lesson in the green houses, including a guided tour and water color painting. The students also filled in questionnaires before and after the lesson. After analysis of observations, questionnaires and the students' choice of motif, results from this part of the study indicate that on an individual level almost all students enjoyed the lesson, independent of their social background. Various ways of meaning-making could be identified, which ranged from physical and social to aesthetic interactions with the place and people surrounding them. Different meaning-making processes may be related to two major structural differences observed between the groups, i. e. whether students had experiences from previous visits to the botanical garden or not, as well as different language skills. As a consequence, access to a lesson as well as accessibility of the lesson's theoretical content appear to favor more privileged students. In conclusion, a lesson at the botanical garden can be motivating for students of any social background, but if only certain schools choose to use out-of-school learning environments this might contribute to a knowledge gap between privileged and underprivileged students.
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