ERG SES D 02, Pecha Kucha Poster Session
Poster +Pecha Kucha Session
The current plan for the modernisation of the portuguese secondary schools’ buildings, the sixth of this size since the beginning of the twentieth century (Alegre, 2009), established a new school building model with a prioritary intervention in the so called Center for Science and Technology. The new concept of schools’ science spaces included in this Center aims to support a variety of teaching strategies, linking theory and practice (Parque Escolar EPE, 2009), aligning itself with the principles of the reform of secondary education and science curricula in particular (Ministry of Education, 2003; Jordão et al., 2006).
Unlike the anglo-american model of science learning spaces, formalised in a single laboratory for all classes with daily activities of observation and / or experimentation, the portuguese previous model included both “traditional” classrooms for lectures and laboratories for practical work, mostly for students in the final years of secondary education, with older schools also including amphitheatres for teacher-led demonstrations. This separation of spaces corresponds to a separation of teaching strategies, with the classroom devoted mainly to instruction and problem solving, and the laboratory to practical work, close to its origins in the university model of science teaching in the nineteenth century. This bipartite model contrasts with the new model, in line with the learning studios and classrooms / environments for active learning, a hybrid space to support instruction, practical work and other teaching and learning activities, to which I would like to refer to as Science Learning Studio.
Taking advantage of the opportunity offered by the modernisation plan and my involvement in it as member of the team that defined the concept, along with the emergence of a recent area of research on active learning environments for scientific subjects (Beichner et al., 2007; Brooks, 2010; Dori & Belcher, 2005; Kohl & Kuo, 2009; Whiteside et al., 2010), this poster presents an overview of a research proposal that intends to identify the meanings attributed by teachers to the science learning studios and their use, analyse teaching and learning activities in the new science learning studios, and inquire about the current situation of instructional, practical and project-based activities in these new spaces.
RQ1. What attitudes and expectations do teachers and students have towards the new science learning studios?
RQ1.1. What elements of the new model are more and less valued? Why?
RQ 1.2 How do teachers and students compare the new model with the previous models available in schools?
RQ 2. What teaching and learning activities are taking place in the new science learning studios?
RQ 2.1. To what extent, if any, does the new model facilitate or inhibit these activities?
RQ 2.2. What are teachers and students perceived needs regarding the organisation, management and use of the new science learning studios?
RQ 2.3. How do these activities contrast with previous data from the White Book of Physics and Chemistry?
RQ 3. What are the differences between the idealised and the applied science learning studios model in the intervened schools?
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