About us

SciTalk is a collaboration between four universities in three different countries, put together of researchers from both language and science and practicioners from kindergarten and school.

About the logo

The three water lilies in the logo symbolize the three countries cooperating in this project. They also represent the three elements in the methodology we promote: knowledge, epistemic stance and practice and reflection.  

The three beautiful flowers have deep roots beneath the surface, and more: they are tightly connected to each other through the rhizomatic way they grow. Each plant is connected to the others and is thus relying on the others in developing viable environments.  

It is our hope that the methodology can spread to other ponds than the one where it started.  

Goals for the project 

  1. To promote a methodology for teacher education on how to teach teacher students to conduct everyday conversations on natural science issues. 
  2. To underline the importance of bringing together the expertise of natural science researchers and researchers in the mother tongue to develop a toolbox for science talk with young children. 
  3. To present a short version of theories on natural science skills and topics, and on types of talk, that give an overview and inspire further studies. 
  4. To present a learning resource that offers practical training of skills and that insists on the necessity of combining these skills with reflections on the activities both while the science talk is conducted and afterwards.

For teacher educators 

The structure of the teaching events as they were carried out in the SciTalk project:

Project summary

The focus of the proposed project is science in everyday conversations, or natural science talk (SciTalk), among preservice teachers (which is the concept used for all kinds of pupils and students educating for pedagogical work in pre-primary and primary schools in the partner countries; acronym PSTs), and teachers and children (3-9 years old) in pre-primary and primary schools (shorted to schools). Everyday conversations are often used by teachers to instruct and are organized in Initiative-Response-Evaluation (IRE) structures. The result is that the children’s thoughts and opinions are mostly ignored. Thereby the teachers also miss out the knowledge and epistemic position of the children with regard to science. To change this culture in school, the PST’s skills and competence to use Initiative-Response-Follow-up (IRF) must be increased. In this kind of explorative conversation, the child’s opinion is central to the PST, and he or she has to listen to the child to follow the child’s thoughts. This might be challenging for the PST, as children might see connections in science, which are unexpected for the PSTs, and the children may ask questions where the PSTs do not have the answers. The oral conversations in school is one of the key components in the curriculum, especially with smaller and thus pre-literate children. Increased competence and skills in IRF for upcoming teachers will increase the quality of the conversations in school and foster employability, socio-educational and effective and efficient higher education systems. ​

As sectors at different levels join the project, the most important competences related to teaching children are present. The sectors are higher education, which are both one university and two universities of applied sciences, upper secondary school and schools for children (3-9 years old).​

Project funding

  • Project period: September 2018 - December 2021​
  • Funding sources: Erasmus+

Participants

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norway (project owner)​:

Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway​:

Phillips Universität Marburg, Germany​:

HZ University of Applied Sciences, Netherland​:

Espira Gruppen AS, Norway​:

Bråtveit natur- og kulturbarnehage, Norway​:

GruppebileteA_16_9.jpgProject meeting in Glücksberg, November 2021: Back row from the left: Carlien Nijdam, Inger Kristine Jensen, Oda Bjerknes, Sissel Høisæter, Kati Hannken-Illjes, Henriëtte op den Brouw, Cato Tandberg. Front row from the left: Hege Myklebust, Anne Kristine Byhring, Margareth Sandvik, Inga Margrethe Fagerbakke, Yuko Kamisaka.
Not present when the picture was taken: Astrid W. Hagen, Charlotte Aksland, Annemarie V. Fritsche.