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Aesthetic Expression Enhances and Deepens Teacher Students Understanding of Science Subject Matter

By Ulrika Tobieson and Ann Mutvei


Courses and modules within undergraduate programs 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 has experience of combining aesthetic expression with science in pre-service teacher program for about fifteen 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 is supported by the Swedish curriculum both for preschool and compulsory school. 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” [1]. 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. Here we present integration of Aesthetic learning process with science subject matter in order to enhance and deepen students understanding. This was performed in 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 kinetic-aesthetic 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

Topics: Aesthetic expression, integrating art with science, learning outcome;, Didactics, Didaktik
Year: 2018
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