New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Aesthetic expression enhances and deepens teacher students understanding of science subject matter.

Ulrika Tobieson, Södertörn University (Sweden)

Ann Mutvei, Södertörn University (Sweden)


Courses and modules within undergraduate programmes should be developed and implemented in a way that the students experience deepens and contributes growth of knowledge. Therefore, as teachers we must create a variation of different learning possibilities in order to challenge, motivate and enhance the understanding of theories and abstract models in science and their impact on everyday life experience and conditions. Södertörn University have experience of combining aesthetic expression with science in pre-service teacher programme for more than ten years where we have seen the benefits of embodying abstract theories through art for a better understanding of science subject matter. The integration of science and aesthetic forms of expressions have support in the Swedish curriculum both for preschool and compulsory school. The education of pre-service teachers involves visualization of their own unconscious tacit knowledge and experiences to be used in the teaching of science in preschool. It is also crucial to provide the teachers with tools and to develop knowledge in a similar way as they later will together with the children in preschool. We use an interdisciplinary knowledge based environmental teaching, basing part of the reflection process with a frame in phenomenology and art-based intermodal theory. Intermodal theory coined by professor emeritus Paolo Knill starts with amodal-perception. Perception as “the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses” while observation is described as “the action or process of closely observing or monitoring something or someone” were observe is to “notice or perceive (something) and register it as being significant” (Oxford University Press, 2017). Thus, observation is a more complex action where it is necessary to interpret the gathering of what has been paid attention to by perceiving without judgment and putting it into a coherent context. The preliminary results presented here are based on a ten-week science-course with a total of 54 pre-service preschool teacher students. We worked with and created two- and three- dimensional images and kinaesthetic sculptures parting from phenomenon such as friction and gravity, the phases of Venus and the moon, different materials isolation and conductive qualities etc. Nearly two years after completed science-course the students answered a questionnaire demonstrated several perspectives of understanding, e.g., 
Creating my own world (night and day, the four seasons, the planets; the phases of Venus and the moon) gave me an increased understanding for my own learning process and a more integrated overview and knowledge for the field of science.
Their answers also showed and acknowledged an appreciation for the advantage of group activity, their own development of understanding and motivation as well as how to teach children in preschool. 

Keywords: Aesthetic expression, Trancedisciplinary, observation, Phemenon, Abstract models, Perception;


[1] Oxford University Press. Oxford Living Dictionaries, English. (Oxford University Press), 2018. 
[2] Halprin, D. “The Expressive Body in Life, Art and Therapy – working with Movement, Metaphor and Meaning”. London, United Kingdom: Jessica Kingsley Publisher, 2003. 247.
[3] Stern, D. N. “Ett litet barns dagbok”, Stockholm, Natur & Kultur, 2011, p. 179.
[4] Knill, P., Levine, E. & Levine, S., “Principles and practice of Expressive Arts Therapy”, London, United Kingdom: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2005, p. 264.
[5] Knill, P. “Minstrels of soul - intermodal Expressive Therapy”. Toronto, Canada: EGS press, 2003.

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