The Math and Science Learning and Education (MSLE) Consortium will meet on the first Tuesday of the month from 11am-12pm in SI 4127. On occasion, invited speakers may be scheduled outside this timeframe to accommodate special interests. Following is a summary of upcoming events that should be of interest to MSLE members:
Dec 1, SI 4127 - 11am-12pm
Title: Talking about children’s talk: Understanding culture, language and discourse about the environment
Bryan Wee, University of Colorado Denver
Abstract: This study investigates children’s language and discourse about the environment in Sweden. In a geographical context it focuses our attention on children’s sense of place, that is, how they inhabit the environment and make sense of the world. From an education standpoint, it sensitizes us to the sociocultural forces that shape learning in and out of the classroom. Both perspectives highlight the need to think more broadly and deeply about sustainability and equity in a changing global landscape. Specifically the study asks how children view the environment now, and in the future. Study participants consisted of 30 children in sixth-grade from a local school in Stockholm. Given the focus on language and discourse, semi-structured interviews were the primary method used to elicit children’s responses, and this was followed by thematic discourse analysis of the data. Findings suggest that children’s language and discourse about the environment are a reflection of not only Swedish culture but also of a globalized ‘popular culture’ that frames the environment in particular ways.