WP6g: the use of open investigations and Vee-heuristics within science education ABO will produce a book chapter and a web-based course package for their Resource Centre in Chemistry Didactics on the use of open investigations and Vee-heuristics within science education. This will include guidelines on how the learning of both content and language of students from non-mainstream backgrounds can be supported in this work process. The development of the material will primarily be based on work by Kurtén-Finnäs (2008). For the work with the linguistic and cultural dimension, Forsman has experiences e.g. through ongoing research in multilingual settings in Swedish-medium schools in Finland (see description of research, so far
only in Swedish, on http://www.vasa.abo.fi/pf/flis/). An open investigation can be defined according to the degree of openness and the demand for inquiry skills (see e.g. Hegarty-Hazel, 1990, p. 375). Open investigations are characterized by the following features: 1) the educational process is less teacher directed, 2) more planning takes place in the classroom, 3) more focus is placed on the scientific process, 4) there are more topical discussions between students in the classroom, and 5) the students themselves are more active and initiate more ideas of their own (Tamir, 1991, p. 17). When the students conduct investigations that have been planned by themselves, they can both make use of and further develop their conceptual knowledge as well as their knowledge of how investigations are conducted (Duggan & Gott, 1995). Gowin's knowledge-V (V diagram or Vee-heuristics) is a tool for problem solving, where the activities and different steps integral to all types of research are made visible, also the type of research that constitutes an open investigation (Novak & Gowin, 1984; Gowin & Alvarez, 2005). V diagrams were originally developed in order for students and teachers to develop a better understanding of what takes place during investigations in the science classroom. The structure of the V diagram mirrors human thinking and how humans develop new knowledge and understanding (Novak, 1998, pp. 80-82). 2) The material is to be used as a starting point for classroom work within teacher education and continuous professional development with the aim of increasing understanding of how open investigations and V-heuristics can be used within science education, including how the learning of students from non-mainstream backgrounds can be supported. Work with open investigations in combination with V-heuristics has the possibility of affecting the students' interest and self-image in a positive direction. Students working in groups with problem solving can develop their understanding in dialogue with their peers and with the teacher (Kurtén-Finnäs, 2008). The students can experience the thinking process as a positive part of the investigation, and their own planning can contribute to a feeling of ownership and agency. Also for students with a non-mainstream background, there are learning benefits both regarding language and content development connected to work processes that integrate abstract conceptualization with concrete actions through being more experiential, and that provides the students with more opportunities for discussion and multiple sources of knowledge through being more dialogical and less teacher directed (see e.g. Carrasquillo & Rodríguez, 2002; Coelho, 1998; Cummins, 2000; Hajer, 2000). The use of V diagrams during investigations can support the learning of all students due to its clear graphical structure, which serves as a guiding light throughout the investigations. Through the course package, teachers can also learn how to take further steps when introducing new topics, terminology and text to ensure that the pre-understanding of all students is taken into consideration. 4) Both on line and face-to-face applications are possible, but we see the most sustainable development possibilities in more extended classroom work with teachers through supervision/ mentoring activities that use the course package as a starting point. Web-based material (in Swedish, to be translated into English) will be used both within teacher education and continuous professional development for science teachers; web-based text material (both theory and practical applicatintegrated and rewritten into book chapter within WP6.