What can Narrative contribute to Students’ Understanding of Scientific Concepts, e.g. Evolution Theory?

Jörg Zabel, Harald Gropengiesser


This paper focuses on the role of a so-called ‘narrative mode of thought’ (Bruner 1996) for meaning making in the science classroom. We present results from a study in lower secondary school (age 12-13 ys.), exploring how students make sense of adaptation phenomena. Text analysis, combined with student interviews, revealed students’ conceptions and their individual methods of making sense of adaptation phenomena. The data suggest that the narrative paradigm is appropriate to investigate and to strengthen individual and emotional aspects of understanding science. However, the evidence also puts into question too generalized assumptions on the two ‘modes of thought’.


Narrative, Evolution, Explanation, Meaning making

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Categories: 2015, Articles - JETEN, Language Education

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