A Case Study of Elementary Science Teaching as Mediated Action: Transformations of Context, Meaning, and Action

Hayes, Michael T.
May 2002
Learning Environments Research;2002, Vol. 5 Issue 2, p167
Academic Journal
The research described in this article is a case study of a fifth grade teacher's (Melissa) efforts to construct a teaching and learning environment within her science teaching. Qualitative research methods were used to examine and analyze Melissa's science teaching practice. Drawing from socio-cultural theories, I argue that her teaching and learning environment was constructed as a form of mediated action through which she articulated and transformed the context, meaning, and action of her science teaching. In particular, she forged links between a number of factors, such as historically recognizable forms of pedagogy, perceptions of her students' socio-economic positions, knowledge of appropriate science teaching, and her experiences in a preservice teacher education program. Through her pedagogical work, the teaching and learning environment was articulated into a complex network of meanings, physical spaces, and concrete actions in which each element transformed the other. I suggest that mediated action is a form of transformation that constitutes context, meaning, and action into a dynamic and constantly-shifting teaching and learning environment.


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