ABS147 - Pre-service teachers understanding and mediating scientific concepts: learning and teaching based on scientific concept formation

1.3 Learning, knowledge and agency
Paper in a Working Group Roundtable (WGRT)
3:50 PM, Tuesday 29 Aug 2017 (1 hour)
Convention Center - 2000 A - Table B
This paper’s goal is to discuss an experience conducted with 100 student teachers at a Brazilian university from August to December of 2015. The data was analyzed on the basis of Historical-Cultural Theory, and the main goal is to reveal the difficulties of these students understanding scientific concepts related to “stars' origins” as well as their difficulties to comprehend Vygotsky's approach of concept formation. The subjects were divided into small groups and asked to answer scientifically the question “why do the Sun and the stars exist?” They were also required to make a class plan suggesting how to teach this issue to a 7-9 years old student. Based on the three phases of development of concepts (syncretism, thinking by complexes, abstraction), described by Vygotsky, we identified evidence of “thinking by complexes” in both: the understanding of stars' origins and the comprehension of concept formation. Comparing two groups (G3 and G6), we found more evidence of this type of thinking in the G3 group. Considering that scientific concepts are essential to transforming the structure of everyday concepts, advancing from complexes to real concepts, teacher education needs to produce a deeper understanding of the nature of scientific concepts and their interface with students’ conceptions. Thus the reported experience shows how difficult it was for pre-service teachers to assimilate and put into practice this approach.
University of Sao Paulo State
Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP)

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