Establishing the Norms of Vygotskian Teaching in the Science Classroom

Yılmaz Soysal


This study aimed to exemplify an approach to in-class science inquiry teaching for effective science knowledge acquisition of students. The teaching tool (argument-based inquiry) is presented within a specific instructional psychology context, coined as discursive psychology, grounded on the seminal works of Lev S. Vygotsky. According to Vygotsky, concept formation or learning science concepts requires the acquisition of a version of specific social languages or thinking and talking systems by which science ideas are generated and labelled. In the classroom, there are at least two social languages that may have differences and communalities. On one hand, students may bring a less formalised everyday social language into the classroom. On the other hand, science teachers have to share an alternative social language favouring and featuring a more formalised thinking and talking system attaching to canonical science knowledge. This study thus presented an expanded illustration how the science teacher uses an in-class science inquiry approach by reacting to the existences of the different or exclusively mutual social languages or pedagogical accountabilities.


Vygotskian perspective, Science learning, Classroom discourse, Social languages, Learning demand, Social negotiations of meanings

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