The Reflective Experimental Construction of Meanings about the Shape of the Earth and the Alternation of Day and Night


Paulo ∗∗ VARELA


Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to describe and analyze the process of construction of meaning about the shape of the Earth and the alternation of day and night, which is inherent to the practice of experimental science teaching. This teaching practice was gradually done by the researcher in a 1st grade class of a Portuguese primary school. The class was composed of 18 students, ten girls and eight boys, with ages ranging from six to seven years old. The analysis of the meaning construction process focused on the class diary prepared by the researcher, based on the field notes and audio recordings made during the participant observation in the classroom. The goals of the interpretive analysis of the diary were as follows: a) identifying the students' initial ideas expressed during class about the shape of the Earth, b) characterizing the processes that promote the construction of knowledge about the topics under study; c) and presenting the learning that takes place during class. These instances of learning described in the class diary, combined with the results of a true or false questionnaire, suggest that most students developed a good understanding about the shape of the Earth and the alternation of day and night.


Keywords

Conceptual Development, Evolution Understanding, Parent-Child Conversation, Informal Learning Environments, Science Education.

Paper Details

Paper Details
Topic EU Education Programs
Pages 5 - 26
Issue IEJEE, Volume 5, Issue 1, Special Issue Learning and Instruction in the Natural Sciences
Date of acceptance 01 October 2012
Read (times) 510
Downloaded (times) 228

Author(s) Details

Paulo ∗∗ VARELA

CIEC-Institute of Education, University of Minho , Portugal


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