Observation not only perception but also cognition
2016 (English)In: Conference proceedings: New perspectives in science education : 5th conference edition : Florence, Italy, 17-18 March 2016, Padova: Libreria Universitaria , 2016, 365-369 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
According to the Swedish curriculum for primary school it is important in science subjects to develop skills to observe, to describe the observations and to put them into a theoretical framework already starting year 1–3.
Thus, it may be important for the teacher not only to be accustomed to the methods of observing but also to be an expert on using these observations in order to design teaching situations where these skills may be developed.
Here we present a study where 25 pre-service primary school teacher students at the beginning of a 20 weeks course established a relation to a study site focused on ecological questions. The task during the first week of that course was to observe and describe two habitats in the field and suggest what abiotic and biotic factors that had shaped the variation focussing at competition as an important ecological factor. In order to connect those ecological aspects with evolutionary aspects, specimen of the common species in the two habitats were collected and brought to the lab where the students constructed phenetic trees based on morphology but also on ecologically relevant properties like roots/no roots, expecting the set-up to awake evolutionary reflection. A main goal with this week was to give the students tools to investigate nature – to observe and describe patterns and to explain them by observing abiotic and biotic variation and evolutionary features and limitations.
Later during the course we created other, often not obviously similar, situations where the students had the opportunity to use the experiences of this first training week. We used open questions for reflections and examinations in order to get written material to assess the development of the skills.
We found notable personal development in most students and a greater awareness about the importance of personal cognitive activities in order to create better understanding and ability to use achieved knowledge in different situations.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Padova: Libreria Universitaria , 2016. 365-369 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-23382ISBN: 978-88-6292-705-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-23382DiVA: diva2:1069166
New perspectives in science education, 5th ed, Florence,Italy, March 17-18, 2016.