Begreppens betydelse för förståelsen : Lärares arbete med ämnesspecifika begrepp i SO-ämnena i årskurs 4

Detta är en Uppsats för yrkesexamina på avancerad nivå från Umeå universitet/Institutionen för språkstudier; Umeå universitet/Institutionen för språkstudier

Sammanfattning: The aim of this study was to examine how teachers work with subject-specific concepts in fourth grade social science classes, what challenges they meet, what methods they use and what additional adjustments they make for students with language difficulties. We conducted semi-structured interviews with four primary school teachers and observed twelve lessons in total. Results show that the teachers in general pay attention to subject-specific concepts in the lesson planning. However, also discrepancies were shown between teachers’ acknowledgement of the importance of subject-specific concepts and the actual work with it. Overall, teachers made use of a variety of methods, such as reading aloud, pair and group work, visualisations and pictures as well as feedback and repetition. Main challenges were the substantial differences in pupils’ background knowledge and reading skills as well as an increased subject knowledge and skill expectations in grade 4 – all in relation to experienced time pressure. Additional adjustments for pupils with language difficulties took place on a general level, i.e. were rather carried out as routinised teaching methods for all pupils than adjustments for individual ones. These were e.g. clear visualisations of lesson plans and goals, using a smart board, group and pair work and modelling. The results suggest that teachers are aware of the importance of subject-specific concepts, and that these can be an obstacle to learning, particularly for pupils with language difficulties. However, more knowledge and professional support in form of specialist teacher consultation are needed to be able to cope with the multiple subject- and language-related challenges in the classroom, and in order to offer best support for every pupil.

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