The crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic led most people all over the world to deal with a change in their perception and organization of time. This happened also, and mainly, within the educational institutions, where students and teachers had to rearrange their teaching/learning dynamics because of the forced education at a distance. In this paper, we present an exploratory qualitative study with secondary school students aimed to investigate how they were experiencing their learning during lockdown and how, in particular, learning of science contributed to rearranging their daily lifetime rituals. In order to design and carry out our investigation, we borrowed constructs coming from a research field rather unusual for science education: the field of sociology of time. The main result concerns the discovery of the potential of the dichotomy between alienation from time and time re-appropriation. The former is a construct elaborated by the sociologist Hartmut Rosa to describe the society of acceleration in the “era of future shock”. The latter represents an elaboration of the construct of appropriation that the authors had operationally defined, starting from Bakhtin’s original idea, to describe the nexus between physics learning and identity. Thanks to the elaboration of the notion of time re-appropriation as feature of the “era of present shock”, the study unveils how school science, instead of preparing the young to navigate our fast-changing and complex society, tends to create “bubbles of rituals” that detach learning from societal concern.
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