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Name: Stefaan Blancke, Thom Scott-Phillips, Johan Braeckman
Title: The epidemology of representations as an integrative framework for the history of science and science education
Abstract text: It makes intuitive sense that the history of science can be used to understand and improve science education, but why would this be the case? To answer this question, we suggest that both domains should be approached from, and can thus be integrated within, an epidemiological perspective. The epidemiology of representations, an increasingly popular model in the study of culture, predicts that, ceteris paribus, beliefs will converge and stabilize around intuitivelyappealing cultural attractors. Hence, to have people's representations converge on counter-intuitive scientific concepts; one needs to alter the factors of attraction. The means to this end include institutions, conceptual tools such as analogies, observational helps, collaboration and peer review, and so on. The study of how alterations in the cognitive environment of scientists have enabled the development of science can then help us to understand what changes are required in the cognitive environment of learners to motivate and enable them to acquire scientific concepts. The shared interactions of human cognition with its changing environment make possible the integration of the history of science and science education. We argue that an epidemiological approach is the best way to map and understand these interactions.
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Name: Pierre Boulos
Title: Ontology and Diagrams: the mathematical reasoning in Newton's Principia
Abstract text: Explicitly when Newton shows us what he means by the mathematical principles of natural philosophy, he does so with diagrams. How essential was it for him to do so? Newton scholarship tends to think not essentially at all. The historical record shows that he had his wonderful tool, the calculus, around 1666 - two decades before the publication of the Principia. Historians have claimed that if Newton had made direct use of the calculus, then this would have simplified the mathematics in the Principia, and reduced the function of diagrams to mere pedagogy. But how would Newton's contempories have thought about the use of diagrams in this seminal work? It turns out the modern reading of the role of diagrams in the Principia is not consistent with how Newton's own contemporaries would have perceived the use of diagrams. Furthermore, it was also rumoured that Newton was "showing off" his genius - who single handedly seems to be the reason cited explaining why the calculus does not appear at all in the work. This paper seeks to explore and correct how the assumption underlying the rumour – namely that the view that Newton could have used to the calculus in the Principia and relegated diagrams to pedagogical tools is a misreading of the Principia. This paper extends recent work (presented at IHPST2015 in Rio) with more reconstruction of some of Newton's more pivotal deductions in his argument for universal gravitation.
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Name: Elizabeth Cavicchi
Title: Making Environments for Learning: Recreating in the Space and Vision of a Century ago
Abstract text: The make-up of environments for learning spans physical-spatial and human-social domains, with potential for interrelating among these. Whereas environments of learning often remain unacknowledged, this study relates from learning that emerged as a student and I increasingly attended to our environment. Doing activities that engaged us with surroundings of space and sky, we noticed spatial, human and interrelating forms. Alongside discussing Euclid's geometry in class, our awareness opened to classical features in the very buildings where we meet: the century-old architecture of William Bosworth. By encountering these buildings while accompanied by their current restorer, we came to see means by which their structure and design promote human interaction and environmental sustainability as intrinsic to education. That character of learning interactively with others and the world supported by Bosworth's campus was articulated by philosopher John Dewey in Democracy and Education, 1916. Arguing that democracy entails healing from divides and dualisms endemic in academic culture since the Greek classical era, Dewey saw experimental science, where learners are investigators, as means to heal those divides. Realizing ourselves within heritage of both Greek classical and 1916 educational vision, my student and I extend it in understanding our environment with its history, while recreating its vision through our evolving experience.
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Name: Alberto Cordero
Title: Selective Realism in the History of Modern Science
Abstract text: Selective realists agree that successful empirical theories do not get everything right but they reject pessimistic inductions from the history of science like the one advocated Larry Laudan and others in the 1980s and 1990s. According to selectivists, a theory can be false as a monolithic whole yet still be true at less comprehensive levels, e.g. those corresponding to abstract and/or restricted theoretical applications. Empirically successful theories, they argue, are truthful in this way. The realist task, in their view, is to identify truthful theory-parts and do so convincingly, hence the labels "Selectivism" and "Selective Realism". Virtually all scientific realist projects today are of this variety. Current selectivist projects derive, most recently, from responses to Laudan's the pessimistic induction, but the approach they share is much older, or so I argue in this paper, in which I present and discuss explicit selectivist moves found in key scientific works and period analyses by Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Boyle, Hook, Lavoisier, Whewell, Maxwell, and Einstein. Selectivism, it seems, has been the default realist position during most of the history of modern science.
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Name: Jelle De Schrijver
Title: Science dynamics at the university museum. Teaching the nature of science at the crossroads of the history of science and the classroom
Abstract text: Science can be considered as a process of exploration and investigation, continuously developing new tools, theories and concepts reshaping our understanding of the world. In contrast, secondary school students and pre-service teachers often stick to a disembodied view of science, picturing it as a static, unchanging body of knowledge. To tackle this and similar misconceptions about the nature of science, university museums can play a pivotal role as the academic collections bear witness of the dynamics of science and scientific history.
We will report on an ongoing study aimed at developing thinking skills of pre-service teachers and secondary school students with regard to the NoS in the context of a science museum. We distinguish three complementary approaches: (1) thinking by doing, e.g. challenging students to think about science while doing experiments; (2) thinking by stepping into the shoes of (historic) scientists, e.g. by using historic scientific instruments; and (3) thinking about science by participating in philosophical dialogues.
We will discuss our preliminary findings with regard to the implementation of these approaches in the educational program of the Ghent University Museum. We will focus on the role of the facilitator guiding the dialogue and on the experience of participating students and pre-service teachers.
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Name: Jens Jakob Ellebaek
Title: H.C.Ørsted, Science and "Dannelse" in the early 19th century. - Relevant for educational thinking today?
Abstract text: A research into the introduction of the concept "Almendannelse" (Litteracy/Education/Culture) in the Danish discourse about reforming the educational system in the early 19th Century, reveals a time in Danish history where the world famous scientist H.C. Ørsted was working together with central philosophers/professors in humanities in creating a new idea about school curriculum and content. An idea based on the Humboldtian movement with the concept "Algemeine bildung" in the center of reforming the educational system, but in contrast to this movement with a focus on "naturvidenskabelig almendannelse" (scientific literacy) and understanding as a central part of the education of people and individuals. Still today, Ørsteds main points and thoughts are surprisingly relevant to the actual pedagogical discourse and discussion about the balance between knowledge, skills and competencies and other educational outcomes.
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Name: Ami Friedman
Title: Collaboration and Communication - forgotten aspects when using HOS in biology classrooms?
Abstract text: Collaboration and communication gained prominence in scientific endeavors during the Age of Enlightenment (ie: The Royal Society of London, the Paris Académie Royale des Sciences, and the Berlin Akademie der Wissenschaften) and are still critical components of doing science today. However, when history of science is used k-12 science classes, it is typically done so by focusing on the contributions of one scientist. For example, biology students will often learn about Mendel and pea plant crosses, Hooke´s coining the term ¨cell¨, van Leeuwenhoek´s refinement of the microscope, Darwin´s concept of natural selection. What is missing from these episodes is the rest of the story. How did Mendel´s work get rediscovered? To what extent did Hooke and van Leeuwenhoek communicate with one another? What was the interplay between Wallace and Darwin in the development of the theory of evolution by means of natural selection? Too often these truncated episodes misrepresent the critical role that collaboration and communication have in science. This paper proposes an approach for teaching biology with history of science that places collaboration and communication at the forefront of these historical cases and then links them to the role collaboration and communication have in today´s scientific endeavors.
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Name: Arthur Galamba
Title: Conflicting Interpretation of Scientific Pedagogy
Abstract text: Historical studies have suggested that there is a distance between concepts of teaching methods, their interpretations and their actual use in the classroom. This issue, however, is not always pitched to the personal level in historical studies. This article provides a case study on this level of conceptualisation by telling the story of Rómulo de Carvalho, an educator from mid-twentieth century Portugal, who for over forty years engaged with the heuristic and Socratic methods. The overall argument is that concepts of teaching methods are open to different interpretations, and are conceptualised within the melting pot of external social pressures and personal teaching preferences. The article explores Carvalho's conflicting stances: a man able to question the tenets of heurism, but who publicly praised the heurism-like 'discovery learning' method years later. The first part of the article contextualizes the arrival of heurism in Portugal and how Carvalho attacked its philosophical tenets. In the second part, it dwells on his conflicting positions in relation to pupil-centred approaches. The article concludes with an appreciation of the embedded conflicting nature of the appropriation of concepts of teaching methods, and of Carvalho's contribution to the development of the philosophy of practical work in school science.
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Name: Haira Gandolfi, Shirley Simon
Title: History, Philosophy and the study of nature of science: reflections for science lessons in multicultural schools
Abstract text: This paper aims to reflect on the contributions that History, Philosophy and Sociology of Science can bring to science teaching in multicultural cities and on their role in teaching about the processes of science (nature of science) in urban and multicultural schools. It is our intention to draw on theoretical perspectives from Cultural Studies of Science, as well as from History and Philosophy of Science, to reflect about how the integration between these fields and the aims of modern science education can foster the construction of different pedagogical approaches to be applied in multicultural settings, such as the current majority of European schools. Some intercultural historical cases (using episodes from the History of Science from different cultures and societies) will be built, analysed and presented in order to illustrate how historical, sociological, philosophical and cultural perspectives can promote science lessons committed to the teaching of nature of science from an intercultural perspective of science. In this scenario, it is our aim to contribute to the current theoretical investigations about multicultural science teaching and theintegration of students with different cultural backgrounds into school science across Europe, which we believe can profit deeply from the study of global historical scenarios.
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Name: Liam Guilfoyle, Sibel Erduran, Orla McCormack
Title: Exploring the influence of pre-service science teachers' personal epistemologies on their acceptance or rejection of Education Studies
Abstract text: The need for development of teachers' epistemic beliefs has been highlighted as important for the improvement of science education (Sandoval 2005; Erduran et al. 2007). International literature indicates that many science teachers hold 'unsophisticated' beliefs about the nature of knowledge and the nature of knowing (personal epistemologies - Hofer 2000) in science (Kang 2008; Markic & Eilks 2012). Teacher educators have also been concerned about teachers' rejection of Education Studies (Korthagen and Kessels 1999, Korthagen 2010) but have not yet considered the potential influence of teachers' subject-area epistemic beliefs on the perceptions they hold towards Education Studies. This research explores how science teachers' use epistemic beliefs in science and education studies to justify their acceptance or rejection of Education Studies as a useful part of their professional knowledge base. This paper reports data from a Discipline-Focused Epistemic Belief Questionnaire (Hofer 2000) with 57 pre-service science teachers and subsequent in-depth semi-structured interviews with 12 teachers. The unique finding of this study is that science teachers appear to draw on epistemic beliefs about science in order to justify negative criticism of knowledge from Education Studies components of their teacher education. The potential implications for science teacher education are discussed.
Name: Burcu G. Guney, Hayati Seker
Title: Teachers' enactment approaches to instructional materials based on history of science
Abstract text: Emphasis on history of science (HOS) in science education brings the need of instructional materials based on HOS. Since enactment of instructional materials involves teacher - material - curriculum interaction, materials based on HOS should be evaluated within this interaction. The aim of this study is to evaluate the teachers' enactment approaches to instructional materials based on HOS within the frame of dynamic interaction between teacher and curriculum. Descriptive case study was employed; data was collected from 4 physics teachers by semi-constructed interviews, and was analyzed by using template analysis. According to the literature on teachers' enactment approaches, teachers offload, adapt or improvise the instructional materials. Findings of this study also showed that teachers mostly adapt materials into their lessons in various levels, and sometimes prefer to offload or to improvise. In the adaptation process six levels were revealed, which were mentioning, using examples, giving as homework, using as introduction, lesson-wide adaptation as students' discovery and discussion. Based on the results, teacher guide books can be suggested which include sample instruction plans on different adaptation levels, tips for using information based on HOS, and teachers' lived experiences of instruction.
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Name: Marcus Hammann
Title: Will science solve all our genuine problems? An empirical investigation of scientistic beliefs among German High school students
Abstract text: Despite its significance within the philosophy of science, scientism - understood as the belief that science alone can and will solve all of our genuine problems - is a topic treated only tangentially in the science education literature (Hammann et al., under review). Within the philosophical literature, different categories of scientistic beliefs have been described (Stenmark, 2001). In the present study we use semi-structured interviews to gain information on high school students' agreement with various categories of scientistic beliefs (comprehensive, existential, axiological, epistemic scientism) and exploring scientistic beliefs within three contexts for potential scientistic misunderstandings (1. evolution and creation, 2. evolution of religion, 3. evolution of morality). Participants (n = 7) were selected based on their responses to a quantitative survey (Konnemann et al., accepted) according to which five students were characterized by a scientistic attitude profile and two students by a distinctly non-scientistic profile. Using qualitative content analysis we found that all students regarded science as one of the most important aspects of human knowledge and culture. However, while all of the students with a scientistic attitude profile showed agreement with one or more categories of scientistic beliefs, the non-scientistic students did not show any agreement. Implications for educational approaches tackling scientistic beliefs will be discussed.
Name: Julia Hansen, Helge Gresch, Marcus Hammann
Title: Cultural Theory of Risk and the Psychometrick Paradigm - Perception of risk in the science classroom
Abstract text: Risk is an ever-present constant throughout people's lives. Diseases, new technologies, risk-related socio-scientific issues (SSI) or medical advances all carry specific risks. To be able to navigate risks in everyday life as well as to enter social debate on risk-related SSIs, students need to develop risk competence based on an adequate perception of risk. Risk perception emerges through a complex interaction of affective and cognitive processes, and it is strongly influenced by individual and social characteristics. Two major theoretical frameworks describe the construct of risk perception (see Gardner 2011): Cultural Theory and the Psychometric Paradigm of risk perception. The former internalises risk perception and identifies individual worldviews as well as cultural biases as the precursors of attitudes and perceptions. The latter, in contrast, externalises risk perception by ascribing specific characteristics to the risks themselves. The aim of this study is twofold. It yields a comparison of both frameworks, the constructionist approach of cultural theory and the psychometric paradigm, as well as their potential impact on science education. Furthermore, this study discusses an empirical approach of assessing risk perception in biology class from theoretical perspectives.
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Name: Lena Hansson
Title: The relevance of worldview perspectives in science education
Abstract text: In research focusing science education in western countries, worldview perspectives have been rather neglected (with prominent exceptions such as the research by William Cobern). More specifically this is the case concerning science education in Europe. Often worldview issues are instead raised mostly in relation to indigenous cultures, and to some extent in research focusing religious issues in relation to science education in western countries. However, also in secular countries such as Sweden, students' worldviews should be of interest for science educators. During the presentation I will, with the starting point in previous research by myself and colleagues, highlight the value of worldview perspectives on science education also in "secular" countries. Such a perspective could contribute to our understanding of what happens in the science classroom, and shed light on questions such as why some students have difficulties understanding science (while others have not), and why some students are uninterested in science (and others view science as very much for them). Implications for science education - research and practice - will be raised. E.g. it will be suggested that worldview presuppositions should be discussed in science class as part of other nature of science perspectives.
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Name: Tim Heemann, Marcus Hammann
Title: Towards defining and assessing genetic determinism
Abstract text: Genetic determinism is a challenge when teaching genetics (e.g.Kampourakis et al. 2014). It emerged in qualitative studies with high school students (Schwanewedel 2011; Mills Shaw et al. 2008) and in quantitative studies with teachers (Castéra & Clément 2014). Based on a literature review, we define genetic determinism as the scientifically inappropriate overestimation of the role of one or few genes in the formation of a trait, underestimating other relevant factors. We investigated the psychometric quality of two existing psychological scales for assessing genetic determinism (i.e., the belief-in-genetic-determinism-scale(a)), Keller 2005, and the biological-basis-scale(b)) Bastian & Haslam 2006) in conjunction with two new scales (the one-gene-one-disease-scale(c)) and the genetic-determinism-scale(d)), the latter(d) containing three items from Castéra & Clément (2014). The testing of these scales is pertinent because the two psychological scales have not been tested with high school students. High inter-correlations were expected. A survey of 242 German high school students revealed acceptable reliabilities for three of the scales (a=0.72(a), 0.75(b), 0.80(d)) and a slightly lower a= 0.64 for the OGOD-scale(d). The psychological scales correlate significantly (r=0.61), which is interpreted as evidence for convergent validity. Unexpectedly, the other correlations are fairly weak (r=0.13-0.36). Interviews about the scales are being analyzed to understand student responses and inter-correlation patterns.
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Name: Peter Heering
Title: Story Telling with teachers - Experiences and Perspectives
Abstract text: Using stories that are based on historical episodes is an approach in science education that has been advocated for quite a while. Recently, the Flensburg group started a project that also uses stories developed from the history of science; however, a particular emphasis is placed on the way these stories are to be used: we believe that the approach is particularly beneficial when stories are actually told in the classroom by the teachers. In order to enable (and encourage) them to use this approach, we have carried out a number of teacher trainings in collaboration with a professional story-teller. Emphasis was placed on the "art of storytelling", thus teachers were trained in how to develop a story that can be told out of the text that served as a basis.
The participants' expectations, perspectives and reflections were evaluated with questionnaires that use a pre-, post, follow-up design. In the presentation, the approach will be presented together with a discussion of the teacher trainings. Moreover, some results of the evaluation will be presented together with potential consequences for the project.
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Name: Susanne Heinicke
Title: The language and underlying culture of Error: in the history of Science and in today´s classrooms
Abstract text: When striving for knowledge, science also always has to cope with limits set by its empirical capacity. It is faced with a discrepancy between the desired or expected on the one and the real found on the other hand. With common terms like "error" we usually connote such a deviation from the consistent - either manifested in terms of an anticipated extern truth or an intern information resulting from expectations due to previous measurements. Yet, the history of science and today's classroom practice knows a larger variety of technical terms as (e.g. for the English language) flawed, faulty or imprecise measurement, mistake or uncertainty to indicate this discrepancy. Now, considering that the way we think influences terminology and terminology again gives way to the development of thinking, it is worth the study what kind of error language and connected error culture prevails in today's teaching of science and how both historically were formed. The paper will present examples e.g. from the works of Kepler, Galilei, Gauss, Joule and others as well as results from the analysis of today's Learning materials and teaching practice.
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Name: Andreas Junk
Title: Plenty of room? Approaching the field of nanotechnology in senior science classes in Germany
Abstract text: Nanotechnology is not a compulsory subject in senior science classes in Germany. Yet it is expected of German pupils to acquire knowledge on any field of science, which is not covered by the curriculum but could be linked to the contents of their science classes. Pupils have to write an essay on a field of their choice and they frequently turn to subjects of modern physics which are subject to public discussion. The approach to nanotechnology can be made through Richard Feynman's after-dinner speech "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom" but the step from Feynman's talk to any of the potential examples for nanotechnological developments which we can encounter in our daily life is a difficult one. In my talk I will focus on the opportunities presented by using Feynman's talk as well as the difficulties in developing an introduction into the new field at senior class level.
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Name: Kostas Kampourakis, Kevin McCain
Title: Believe in, believe about: Which question do polls about evolution really ask, and why does it matter?
Abstract text: In this paper we argue that studies on public acceptance of evolution are often misleading because the questions asked and compared to one another do not always give an accurate picture of respondents' views. We point to a potential source of problems with surveys designed to determine acceptance rates of evolution that has not been noted before now: the distinction between belief in and belief about. These phrases are not properly distinguished and as result responses to questions on belief in God are compared to responses to questions on belief about evolution. We suggest that this is a major conceptual issue, and that distinguishing between the two types of questions can help remove an un-recognized confounding element from these sorts of studies. We also point to other components of the questions in these studies that might lead to biased or otherwise distorted responses, such as whether the term "God" is included or not in the questions. We conclude that philosophy of science has an important role to play in order to clarify the constructs in these kinds of surveys and produce valid results.
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Name: Ricardo Karam
Title: Different Uses of Complex Numbers in Physics
Abstract text: Complex numbers were primarily conceived in the middle of the sixteenth century as a tool to solve cubic equations. The nature of the imaginary unit has intrigued mathematicians ever since and continues to puzzle school pupils from their first contact with it. Due to their inventive character, it seems unlikely at a first glance that complex numbers could be useful for understanding the physical world. However, approximately 200 years after their invention, physicists gradually began to utilize complex numbers to model different kinds of physical phenomena, a process called "complexification of physics" by Salomon Bochner. In this talk, several historical case studies illustrating different uses of complex numbers in physics will be presented. The variety of uses and interpretations exemplified in these episodes show that there is much more to complex numbers than the bewilderment about the existence of the square root of a negative number. This flexible and opportunistic use provides a counterargument to Wigner's "unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in the natural sciences". Finally, the study should also shed light on some didactical implications for both physics and mathematics instruction.
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Name: Regina Kelly, Sibel Erduran
Title: An Investigation of Preservice Science Teachers’ Views of the Epistemic, Cognitive and Social Aims and Values of Science
Abstract text: Aims and values of science are often implicit in science education. There is, however, often insufficient attention dedicated to making explicit the aims and values of science in lessons. Aims and values refer to particular criteria such as ‘objectivity’ and norms such as ‘integrity’ that science and scientists must adhere to in engaging in the scientific enterprise. In this paper, we focus on third year science education undergraduate students’ views of the epistemic, cognitive and social aims and values of science. The research reported in the paper aims to investigate the views these students hold about the epistemic-cognitive and social aims and values of science. Understanding preservice teachers’ perceptions of the aims and values of science are important as they are the future educators who will contribute to the design and implementation of science instruction. A mixed methods research design was employed to collect and analyse data from focus group discussions and questionnaires. The findings offer insight about preservice science teachers’ interpretations of the aims and values of science. The study offers a systematic approach to the consideration of aims and values of science in science education, being inclusive of a range of epistemic, cognitive and social aims and values.
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Name: Mario Kötter
Title: Pseudoscience as a context for teaching and assessing NOS
Abstract text: Research shows that teaching Nature of Science remains a challenge. We argue that the demarcation problem, i.e. distinguishing science from pseudoscience, may be beneficial for developing students' understanding of science, an approach that has not received much attention in the literature so far. As the demarcation problem requires an answer to the question what science actually is, pseudoscience might be used as a context for discussing about whether or not - and if so how - science can be defined. This context also provides an opportunity for analyzing various and often contrary views held on the meta-level about the issue, e.g. the normative-descriptive-dispute, associated with the different methodical approaches of philosophy and sociology of science, which in turn influenced didactical currents like NOS and Wissenschaftspropädeutik. Whereas experts are aware of the various problems associated with the demarcation-problem, laypersons often rely on overly simplistic ideas of science. Challenging these ideas in authentic demarcation-tasks may help students to gain a better understanding of science, avoiding both scientism and antiscientific attitudes. We further report on students' responses to a demarcation-task. Homoeopathy proved a fruitful context for assessing college students' formal knowledge and functional understanding of science.
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Name: Lea Valentina Lavrik, Meir Vladimir Shunyakov
Title: How can we inspire students emotionally in physics classes by using the history of science?
Abstract text: We have developed a system of tests that precede the study of specific topics in physics lessons and enable teachers to inspire their students emotionally and mobilize their attention. This approach is called the method of selective mobilization of attention, and the reason it has a powerful influence is because certain students tend to spend their time off-task at different moments of time during physics lessons.
The history of science offers suitable material for the creation of these tests being that it is rich in examples of searches and instructive errors. On the basis of these examples, as well as specific intuitive models of pupils according to their prior knowledge of the subject, we have prepared tests that cultivate the attention and emotional involvement of these students. This method has been experimentally applied in a number of academic teaching colleges and in high schools in the study of mechanics (free fall), electricity (Ohm law in direct current circle) and optics (shadows, rainbow geometry) courses. The research results and the application of this method will be presented in our report.
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Name: Ana Leci, Fanny Seroglou
Title: The atlas movies channel on YouTube: Non-experts give form, shape and sound to abstract science concepts
Abstract text: In this paper, the design, development and analysis of atlas movies channel is presented. This educational science web-channel aims to become a place that highlights the needs and perspectives of non-experts in teaching and learning science concepts. The atlas movies channel on YouTube contains slowmation movies (slow animation) that are created by: a) children 4-12 years-old, b) pre- and in-service teachers in primary and pre-school education, c) researchers in science education. Creating a slowmation movie offers the opportunity to non-experts to give form, shape, sound and meaning to abstract science concepts and shows how they wish to learn and interact with science concepts and phenomena. To evaluate the channel's impact we analyze using the GNOSIS research model focusing on several aspects of the nature of science: a) the content of the channel (the developed slowmation movies), b) the visitors comments on the up-loaded movies and YouTube analytics, and c) the interviews of children, pre- and in- service teachers who created the slowmation movies. The results of the analysis indicate that this multimodal environment acts as a dynamic educational tool opening new perspectives for creative and interactive learning and teaching science.
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Name: Lotta Leden, Lena Hansson, Andreas Redfors
Title: Socio-cultural aspects of science in the science classroom: teachers' perspectives
Abstract text: Students' interest in science is declining. Science teaching often have science as facts as its main focus. In such science teaching there is often little room for socio-cultural aspects of science. It has, however, been shown that students could gain more interest in science if broader perspectives are included. Making socio-cultural aspects a topic in the science classroom is considered hard. In order to gain more knowledge about issues related to the implementation of socio-cultural aspects in the science classroom we have focused on teachers' perspectives. In this presentation we will provide results from a three-year research-project. It is a case study of six teachers, teaching science in grades 1-9. During the project the teachers met in focus groups four times a year and discussed different aspects of science. During the focus-group meetings they also planned and reflected on classroom activities with a focus on socio-cultural issues, which they implemented between meetings. Questionnaires, interviews and classroom observations where used in addition to the data collected from the focus groups. The results provide information on teachers' perspectives on appropriate approaches and activities for different years, as well as information about teachers' perspectives on both challenges and benefits from implementing socio-cultural aspects.
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Name: Rene Leubecher, Alexander Bergmann, Alexander Finger
Title: Moral Reasoning in the Science Classroom - Evaluation of a Pre-Service Teacher Training Program
Abstract text: Modern conceptions of science education emphasise on the role of students' decision-making on bioethical and socio-scientific issues for the development of scientific literacy. This requires teachers to deal with subject-specific knowledge and the ethical dimension of biological topics at the same time. Currently, not all biology teachers have learned to cope with this challenge. Moreover, some of them do not even estimate the ethical dimension as a matter of their subject. Implementing bioethics in teacher training is a promising way to face this problem. Therefore, we designed and evaluated an elective pre-service teacher-training course supporting the development of the participants' abilities to prepare, conduct and reflect biology lessons containing ethical aspects. The intervention was accompanied by pre- and post-interviews (N=22). A special focus was kept on the participants' conception of bioethics and moral reasoning, and their anticipated role as a science teacher when dealing with ethical issues in the classroom. We analyzed and compared the interviews based on the grounded theory methodology. At the conference, we will present our results and discuss the implications for teacher training.
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Name: Britta Lübke, Urlich Gebhard
Title: Thinking about everyday myths. Case studies in biology class.
Abstract text: This study wants to explore the role of irritation as a trigger for Bildung - according to Hans-Christoph Koller's theory of Bildung as a transformative process - while thinking about genetic engineering in biology class. The analyzed lessons refer to the theory of everyday myths by Ulrich Gebhard. The main issue of this theory is the reflection of everyday myths, which can be defined as cultural embedded views of the world and the self. Learners implicitly refer to everyday myths when thinking about bioethical issues. In this understanding and besides teaching subject matter, the aim of biology classes is to support a general thoughtfulness and the ability of self-reflection as well as to reflect underlying, cultural embedded assumptions about the world in order to enhance high quality decision-making. Two classes of the eleventh grade where accompanied for two months and weekly semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with seven learners. Moreover, data of classroom observation and learners' documents are available. The data were analyzed by means of Grounded Theory. The results show that irritation can be either the starting point of thinking processes or its end. Furthermore, the results indicate that the teacher plays a special role for supporting general and philosophical thoughtfulness.
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Name: Terhi Mäntylä, Ismo Koponen
Title: Teaching models of electric current in upper secondary school physics: The role of macroscopic and microscopic models in teaching electric current
Abstract text: A good teaching model is an important factor in instruction. It has to correspond to the scientific view, take into account the abilities of students and function in the reality of school environments. In this study, four experienced upper secondary school physics teachers were interviewed about their teaching of electric current. As a result of qualitative analysis of interviews, the teachers' teaching models were represented in graphical form from conceptual perspective, which allowed the comparison of teaching models. The analysis showed that the conceptual structures of three teaching models were quite similar although the teachers had quite different epistemic emphases. When compared with the scientific view of electric current, the models at macroscopic level were appropriate and in line with Kirchhoff's macroscopic formulation. However, at the microscopic level, the models had more confluences with the outdated historical models than with the current microscopic view.
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Name: Paulo Mauricio
Title: Enriching thermodynamic teaching and learning with Holton’s tapestry
Abstract text: Sadi Carnot’s Réflexions sur la puissance mortice du feu has had been recognized as a first step in what we now call the second law of thermodynamics. Named after Carnot, the theoretical engine that would attain the utmost efficiency is now thought in all curricula. In Portugal it is introduced at 10th grade following a general trend in European countries.
At this level of schooling, most students are asked to solve problems related to the computation of efficiency and/or heat losses at diverse situations more or less related to real life problems. However, there isn’t done in textbooks any relevant connection between Carnot engine, engineering – from where Carnot obtained his insights - history of Industrial Revolution and, more generally, 1800 European history, physics and art, particularly paintings. This web of connections, akin to Holton’s "tapestry of cross connections" would favour a more inclusive science education for it is directed to all students and not only to the ones interested in follow university. With this work we intend to present a pedagogical approach to introduce the second law of thermodynamics that would surpass the above mentioned limitations.
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Name: Barbara A. McMillan
Title: Learning Science as Cultural Activity: Delaying Specialization, Educating Citizens
Abstract text: In an era in which STEM education has replaced science education in many nations it's interesting to consider the consequences of learning science as a cultural activity rather than a body of knowledge or as preparation for employment in the high-tech, knowledge-based global economy. Whether we adopt Snow's anthropological sense of culture or Arnold's "to know the best which has been thought and said in the world," it's necessary to decide upon the historical, sociological, and philosophical aspects of science to include in primary and secondary science education and the contexts in which these cultural aspects will be presented. Stinner (1991) suggested a multifaceted approach that would include contextual teaching that generates questions involving science and the humanities, history-based thematic teaching, and teaching using literary texts written for the public by scientists. He also acknowledged the real potential of STS courses and Byers recommendation for interdisciplinary courses. Using what has been learned in studies focused on the role of the affective in coming to know and act, this paper looks at how we might organize the contents and pedagogical/instructional approaches of a vertical curriculum focused on science as culture, and place - the location in which one teaches.
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Name: Duygu Metin, Jale Cakiroglu, Gulsen Leblebicioglu
Title: Methodological differences between science and pseudoscience: the case of crystals from the standpoint of 8th graders
Abstract text: Demarcation problem between science and pseudoscience is important but neglected aspect of science education. Demarcation problem represents philosophical problem dealing with what should be considered scientific and pseudoscientific. It is epistemological, sociological, psychological, and methodological issue as well. Specifically, the present study aimed at discovering and describing reasoning patterns that middle school students used while they reflected their understandings about pseudoscientific issues in terms of methodological differences between science and pseudoscience. For this reason, this study focused on middle school students' comprehensions about process and justification of pseudoscientific applications related to crystals and, reliability and certainty of knowledge that derived from these pseudoscientific applications. This study was qualitative in nature. Basic interpretive qualitative approach was used as a research design. Seven girls and seven boys (8th graders, 14 years-old) participated in the study. Data were collected through repeated individual interviews. The results showed that the students were very gullible in terms of process and justification of pseudoscientific applications, and reliability and certainty of pseudoscientific knowledge related to crystals. When the students reasoned about given pseudoscientific claims and research designs about crystals in terms of given aspects, they generally used weak reasoning patterns that were closer to that of pseudoscientists.
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Name: Claus Michelsen
Title: Ørsted, Humboldt, Gauss, Weber, Schumacher, and magnetism, and narratives in the classroom
Abstract text: In 1820 the Danish scientists Hans Christian Ørsted demonstrated a relationship between electricity and magnetism in his famous wire-compass experiment. Ørsted's discovery inspired numerous scientists by a variety of experimental and theoretical constructs, and his scientific impact extended far beyond Denmark's borders. Between 1801 and 1846 Ørsted made eight grand tours, which gave him the chance to work with great scientists of his time. In the period from 1827 to 1833 he had three meetings in Germany with Humboldt, Gauss, Weber and Schumacher. At the meetings the scientist among other things discussed geomagnetism and measurement of the declination of the Earth's magnetic field. The paper refers to a project in which seventh grade pupils participated in learning activities centered on Ørsted's meetings with the German scientist. The activities were based in an inquiry and narrative approach to teaching science with the aim to portray science as rooted in culture, history, and society, and as a human endeavor. Special emphasis was put on the pupils' products of the activities, such as papers, posters, drama, and experimental equipment. The pupils' products were analyzed to trace their conceptions of nature of science. The paper presents the results of this analysis.
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Name: Breno Moura
Title: The changing role of Newton's fits in 18th century: social and cultural factors for the rejection of a theory
Abstract text: In 1704, Newton published his Opticks, his major book about light and colors. In Book II, he presented the theory of fits of easy transmission and easy reflection, which implied that the ray of light had inherent and alternate tendencies to be transmitted or reflected from time to time. For Newton, the existences of the fits were proved by experiments, like the heterogeneity of light. It played a crucial role in the discussion of Book II, since Newton used it to explain the appearance of colored rings in thin and thick films, known nowadays as "Newton's rings". He seemed to believe that this concept would free him from the adoption of hypothesis to account optical phenomena. However, throughout 18th century, the role of the fits changed dramatically. In the works of Newton's followers, it was either treated superficially or completely ignored. Some of them classified it as a mere hypothesis or a doubtful concept. In this communication, I will present an analysis of the changing role of Newton's fits. My purpose is to discuss some aspects of the process of rejection of scientific theories, claiming that it is closely related with social and cultural contexts in which it occurs.
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Name: Sabina Muminovic
Title: Historical contextualisation of Hooke's Law in Education
Abstract text: Hooke´s Law of Elasticity is a topic in almost every teaching program in physics in the lower secondary school. It is usually just mentioned in context with some school experiments (measurements), the introduction of measuring devices such as spring balance or everyday situations - but it is not really historically contextualized. A historical review of the development of this law and implementing in teaching would form an important option for lecturing this law. If we are enabled to show students through history and the experiences of the 17th century scientists how to determine a law by researching different areas, they are enabled to understand the connections better.
As a part of my PhD-Thesis I analyze the historical background of Hooke´s Law of elasticity, the ideas and experiments. I examine the historical context of his work, the different influences and motivations as well as Hooke´s relationship to the Royal Society of the 17th century.
Does Hook´s Law have something in common with Boyle´s Law? There is an ambiguity with Hooke´s claim in his work "La Potentia Restitutiva,or, of Spring" in which he wrote that his "Law of Nature" was something that he discovered during his work on "Micrographia". Was the experimental proof of Boyle´s Law actually the first hint for Hooke´s Law of elasticity? If so, what implications would result in an educational perspective?
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Name: Lydia Murmann
Title: Husserl and Science Education
Abstract text: Edmund Husserl (1859-1938), mathematician and philosopher, found the natural sciences - physics in particular - guilty of having forgotten about their foundation in the sensual qualities of the lifeworld. He did so in an epistemological sense, not questioning either the value nor the respectability of scientific knowledge itself. In Science Education, also, their seems to be a certain kind of amnesia or ignorance with respect to the Nature of Science in terms of epistemology. How else could it be that we speak of scientific knowledge on one hand and students' conceptions (with reference to constructivism) on the other, while science largely depends on idealizations, and students' sense-making is noticeably rooted in experience? And isn't their a deep and practical similarity (on the level of individual cognitive or psychic effort) between Husserl's concept of epoché (suspension / bracketing / phenomenological reduction) and the learning objective of "being able to differentiate between observation and interpretation" - which can be found in German science curricula for grades 5 to 10 in 2016? The paper presentation will discuss the question, which theoretical and practical enrichment science education and science educators can find in receiving some of Husserl's fundamental ideas.
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Name: Edvin Østergaard
Title: "And yet it does not move!" Fostering students' rooting in science education
Abstract text: "And yet it does not move!" Fostering students' rooting in science education. If science teaching does promote students' feeling of alienation and uprootedness, as Roth (2015) argues, how should one teach science in a rooted manner, grounded in students' lifeworld familiarity? Our original Earth, Husserl claims, does not move, ''sie ruht" (Husserl 1940, p. 313). From a phenomenological perspective, Earth is a ''soil body'' (Bodenkörper) as it forms firm ground for our comprehension of the world. The relation between the moving and the stagnant Earth is comparable to Heidegger's (1962) distinction between geometrical and existential space; the first describable by laws of physics, the latter our lifeworld, our space of existence. Geometrical space, Heidegger argues, presupposes lifeworld space, as our very being is a precondition for conceiving dimensions of the geometrical space. Heidegger warns against a too strong emphasis on the physical space, as this could lead to an "Entweltlichung", where ''the wordly character of the ready-to-hand gets specifically deprived of its worldhood'' (ibid., p. 147).
I discuss conditions for rooting in science education by drawing on experiences from our teacher education program. I hereby emphasize (i) aesthetic experiences in science class as a complementary to the heavy weight on conceptual learning, and (ii) historical and ontological aspects incorporated in science teaching.
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Name: Martin Panusch
Title: Just another Christmas Lecture?
Abstract text: All physic students of Flensburg have to train their experimental skills in a special lab course in their first semester, where basic proficiencies concerning observations, measurements and lab reports are taught. In the last three years a special lesson was included in December about two weeks before Christmas. This special lesson is based on Faraday's lectures on the chemistry and physics of (burning) candles that were published in 1861 as "The Chemical History of a Candle". The main topic of this lesson is about perception, stabilization of observation moreover it is an example of the Socratic teaching method according to Wagenschein. In the following lesson the students were asked to write an anonymous short self reflection of their experimental process. They were asked to note what they learned, what they think this lesson is worth in their context of physic teacher training and what flaws they could find in it. Afterward the group discussed openly about these questions and a tentative synopsis was compiled. Evaluating the anonymous and open statements of the students and enriching them with some reflections on the lesson I will answer the question if or how such a seemingly outdated and old fashioned lesson is profitable in our context of teacher training.
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Name: Morten Rask Petersen
Title: How to implement 100 year old American thinking in modern European science education?
Abstract text: In European context the Rocard report (European Commission (EC), 2007) there has been a severe focus on inquiry based science education (IBSE) in European projects and in development of new science curricula across Europe. But an inquiry approach towards learning science is not new. 100 years ago the American philosopher John Dewey was among the founders of an inquiry approach to teaching and learning in general and with specific significance for science education (Dewey, 1913). The aim of this proposal is to link the thoughts of Dewey with the experiences from a large scale European project on IBSE - the SAILS project (Strategies for Assessment of Inquiry Learning in Science). Results from case studies and teacher educational workshops will be held against the thoughts of Dewey to illustrate how this old thinking can contribute to recent science teaching.
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Name: Oleg Popov
Title: Issues of intercultural competence in Swedish science education
Abstract text: Multiculturalism and intercultural education have been for the long time constitutive components of Swedish teacher training, in particular concerning the teaching of Swedis has second language (Johansson, 2008). However, in the curriculum discourse and practice of other subjects, this concept appears to be poorly explored and instrumentalised (Popov, Sturesson, 2015). Nowadays, when teacher students go to school practice, they face culturally diverse classrooms and challenging educational contexts (Popov, Sturesson, Carlsson, 2012). They need to deal with cultural heterogeneity on pedagogical and curriculum planes (Popov, Sturesson, 2015). The focus of this paper is to highlight important elements of intercultural competence as they perceived by the science teachers. Theoretical lens of the socio-political framing of education (Gutiérrez, 2013), in particular issues of identity construction is used in the study. The concept of identity is related to what a person does and his or her activities. Identity is dynamic and depends on participation in a particular community that position an individual "through and in race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, religion, language, and so forth" (Gutiérrez, 2013, 46). Theoretical constructs of multiculturalism were also important to highlight different dimensions of science teachers' intercultural competence.
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Name: Valentina Roberti, Giulio Peruzzi
Title: Exposing Color: Newton´s Theory through Maxwell´s Lens
Abstract text: Even as a child, James Clerk Maxwell always showed his curiosity toward color: "that (sand) is red; this (whin) stone is blue". "But how d'ye know its blue?". Maxwell's curiosity led him to never abandon his studies on colors throughout his life, creating inter alia the foundation for quantitative color measure and for practical color photography. Newton's theory of color represents a fundamental starting point for Maxwell's researches in the field. Trying to point out the influence of Newton's theory on Maxwell's work on colors could be therefore significant to better understand Maxwell's theory of compound colors.
In order to eliminate Newton's arbitrary choice of the number of primary colors and Newton's confusion between optical and pigment mixture of colors, Maxwell adapted Newton's color circle to his triangular representation, with three primary colors as vertices. Furthermore, reading Newton's contributions, Maxwell found a valid indication of the method to predict the outcome of optical mixtures of light in analogy with the calculation of the center of gravity, in line with his conception that "there is no more powerful method of introducing knowledge into the mind than that of presenting it in as many different ways as we can". This is also a useful lesson relevant for educational purposes.
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Name: Ana Rodrigues
Title: The hard rise of horticulture as a science in Portugal
Abstract text: Horticulture as a body of knowledge gave its first steps in Portugal in the second half of the nineteenth century with the creation of a specialized journal (1870-1892) headed by José Marques Loureiro who was also the director of the commercial nursery Horto das Virtudes, in Oporto. The scientific character of the journal can be measured not only through its articles but also through its authors: renowned botanists, horticulturalists and professors from Spain, France, Belgium, Germany and Russia. This paper examines how cultural activities such as the horticultural exhibitions held at the Crystal Palace (starting in 1865), and the publication of journals and almanacs promoted the rising of this field of knowledge. Nevertheless, the school of horticulture project was not delivered which revealed that for a long time it was seen as an artistic activity, rather than a science. Furthermore, I will demonstrate the hard pathway of horticultural knowledge to become independent from agriculture, from gardening and the long walk it had to pursuit to be perceived as a science, rather than an art. Cultural and historical circumstances in Portugal are behind the difficult recognition of horticulture as a science after a brilliant and promise beginning in the nineteenth century.
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Name: Lydia Schulze Heuling
Title: Performative Dimensions of the Socially Inclusive Science Centre
Abstract text: Science is learned in a variety of settings and for various reasons. Spaces in which humans learn are often conceptualized as formal (e.g. classrooms) or informal settings (e.g. kitchen, garage or science centre). This talk deals with the Science Centre as complex informal learning space. Under the presumption that perceptibility and experiencebility are prerequisites for learning encounters it is important to seek an understanding of how typical relations of things in a Science Centre have a meaning for excluding or including so called minority groups.
How things relate in a Science Centre can be analyzed from several perspectives. Three of these are (1) the arrangement of things in space and their consequence for interaction, the (2) relation between the body and the exhibit and the (3) practical use of the exhibits. It therefore is important to have a closer look on performative aspects taking place in Science Centres, ranging from speech-movement-relationships over movement practices as far as to movement itself as a generative causal power. Nevertheless, the things forming a Science Centre are based on a particular normativity dispositive of the human body. This has an impact on the body techniques we find in these places. Agreeing to this argument we see ourselves confronted with crucial sociological and epistemological implications and questions towards science and science education.
This talk gives insight into the latest research collaboration between the Flensburgian Science Centre Phänomenta and the Physics Education and History research Group at Europa-University Flensburg. We would like to share and discuss with you the different levels of interpretation of our current findings.
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Name: Julia Schwnewedel, Finja Grospietsch
Title: Teachers´ Beliefs about argumentation - A comparison in the Context of the disciplinary cultures of science and language education
Abstract text: Argumentation is considered important as a cultural practice but also as a tool fostering learning. Consequently it is promoted in nearly all school subjects. However, it is unclear whether teachers understand and teach argumentation in comparable ways in different subjects. In this context, we investigated science and language teachers' beliefs about argumentation.
The sample consisted of five science teachers and five teachers of German language. For the investigation of their beliefs problem-centred interviews were performed. We conducted qualitative content analysis to identify and categorize the beliefs.
Data analysis led to a categorization with ten major categories describing the beliefs about argumentation. Comparative analysis showed differences in eight of the ten major categories between science and language teachers' beliefs.
Results unveiled differences, e.g. concerning learning goals or the selection of instructional topics, as well as in terms of the assessment of students' argumentations. The results allow us to conclude that biology and language teachers' hold different beliefs about argumentation. At the conference these differences will be explained in the context of different disciplinary cultures resulting in different subject-specific habitus. The findings help to differentiate disciplinary cultures in the context of schools, and prospectively better understand their function in instructional processes.
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Name: Hayo Siemsen
Title: The intuitive new thinking in science through Beneke and Mach: Mathematical Intuitionism and "New Physics"
Abstract text: By the start of the 19th century, all seemed settled: Mathematics, especially geometry, had been established since Euclid, physics had been given a new foundation by Newton and even philosophy was seemingly securely founded by Kant's metaphysical system. Many scientists held the opinion that what was now left to do for science was the "filling-in the details". But all these "foundations" proved insufficient by the end of the century. Planck and Einstein developed quantum physics and relativity theory, Riemann, Clifford, the intuitionists and the formalists developed a new geometry (topology), Kant's system was superseded by similar metaphysical systems, one after the other.
Why did this happen? The current dominant narrative assumes that it was new observations made possible by new technologies, which created an empirical necessity for these transformations in science. This was certainly necessary, but was it sufficient? Interestingly, all the keyplayers in this "transformation drama" had been influenced directly or indirectly by one person. Strangely, this person is little known: Friedrich Eduard Beneke. Beneke had developed a new, empirical psychology, from which he transformed philosophy and made it a pragmatic/empirical-genetic "philosophy of nature" (not natural philosophy). It was this new way of thinking, a new perspective, which enabled a re-evaluation of the central concepts and therefore the hidden inconsistencies in many sciences.
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Name: Constantina Stefanidou
Title: History and Philosophy of Science for Citizenship: The case of “Life of Galileo” by B.Brecht.
Abstract text: History and Philosophy of Science have been systematically proposed as appropriate for deeper understanding of the Nature of Science and thus developing a more functionally literate citizenship (Allchin 2013, Hodson 2009, Irwin 2000). Science education for citizenship refers to science education aiming at preparing students for active, informed, critical and responsible involvement in situations where insights into different aspects of science might improve the quality of students’ participation (Kolsto 2001), emphasizing the role of science in society. History and Philosophy of Science constitutes a breeding ground for negotiating concepts relating to science and democracy. In this context, this article explores the possibility that the dramatization of a play, namely “Life of Galileo” by B.Brecht, contributes to the active engagement of students with ideas about Nature of Science related to citizenship: science – society and science – religion interaction, scientist’s responsibility towards history and the public ownership of science.
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Name: Ekaterina Teteleva, Sergey Bogdanov
Title: Students' contest with Eratosthenes: boreal lake vs Egyptian desert
Abstract text: The brief overview as well as thorough insight into the history of Science reveals the "golden series" of experiments and discoveries. In due times these ones not only overturned Science paradigms, but followed by tectonic shifts in cultural environment and world viewing. Moreover this series mostly remains actual and challenging for each next generation of researches. Thus Earth's sphericity studies started by Eratosthenes were developed during centuries and nowadays are supported by satellite altimetry technique. As for students it's hard to overestimate the role of cornerstones studies in achieving their best vision of science in a wide context. As for teachers the challenge is to design the "revisiting" of these experiments in a way suitable for concrete learning environment. In the paper the experiment on estimation of Earth radius appropriate for Russian North soft landscapes is presented. With the lack of mountains we gained from the lake coast measurements. The first year students studying "Introductory Physics" were the target group. The accuracy of estimations was less than 10% with the true value within the confidence interval. During experimental session the students were really inspired by the "reopening of Earth sphericity" processes. This proves that such experiments contribute to students' motivation.
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Name: Friederike Trommler, Helge Gresch, Marcus Hammann
Title: Students' Reasons for Preferring Teleological or Causal Explanations
Abstract text: Teleological conceptions are considered a major source of difficulties in learning biology (Lennox & Kampourakis 2013). Whereas biology educators intend to promote the ability to explain biological processes causally (Abrams & Southerland 2001; Osborne & Patterson 2011; Tamir & Zohar 1991), students often prefer teleological explanations over causal explanations (Richardson 1990). This study examined the reasons secondary students (10-17 years old) give when asked to explain their preference of teleological or causal explanations. In a questionnaire with ten forced-choice items, the participants (n=315) preferred teleological (M 6.44, SD 1.89) over causal explanations (M 3.56, SD=1.89). Interviews with a subsample (n = 26) revealed that students reasoned etiologically, i.e. teleologically and causally, to explain their preferences, but that they also referred to a number of non-etiological reasons (i.e. familiarity, complexity, and five more). The given reasons varied within an individual student and also for a particular phenomenon across different students. A close look at students' responses to the teleological explanations showed that the students did not recognize them as such, but rather focused on functions, which appeared attractive to them. Consequently, biology education should explicitly address the differences between causal explanations, teleological explanations, and functional analyses. An empirical design for investigating the effects of implementing this approach will be presented for discussion at the conference. Abrams, E. & Southerland, S. (2001). The how's and why's of biological change: How learners neglect physical mechanisms in their search for meaning. International Journal of Science Education, 23(12), 1271-1281.
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Name: Anna Tzampazi
Title: Teaching science in
second chance schools: Two case studies inspired by philosophy of science
Abstract text: Second Chance Schools
are part of adult education and in Greece provide a degree equivalent to the
ones given by state high schools. Science curricula are based on the students'
needs and focus on encouraging a positive attitude towards science learning and
developing metacognitive and social skills and attitudes. In this paper, two
case studies inspired by philosophy of science are presented. In the first case
study, comics introduce students to science concepts such as gravity and help
them elaborate on the image of the scientist. In the second case study,
historical narratives provide the context to appreciate scientific shifts: a)
from the geocentric to the heliocentric system, b) from creationism to the
theory of evolution, c) from the conscious to the subconscious self and the
dominant image of reality in science. Mafalda, Mickey Mouse, Copernicus, Darwin
and Freud meet in the classroom of second chance high to open a window for
science learning to non-expert adults re-defining the importance of teaching
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Name: Gudrun Wolfschmidt
Title: Astronomy and History of Science in European Context - a Network for Edutainment
Abstract text: Bremen is a center of technology, well-known for the air and space industry. But it has a long tradition in science, especially astronomy, which was introduced as ``Astro Walk Bremen" by Lieselotte Pézsa in 2005. It starts in the Kunsthalle (art museum), and a guided tour is offered like ``science on stage" by a theatre actor dressed as Wilhelm Olbers. Places of interest and art in public spaces referring to famous astronomers like Wilhelm Olbers, Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel, Carl Friedrich Gauß are presented. Under the motto ``The future lies in the past" this guided tour is developed connecting astronomy, art and culture in European context. Possible network partners for Astro Walks in the footsteps of prominent European astronomers are in German and European cities (e.g. Göttingen, Hamburg, but also Prague, Tartu/Estonia and Frauenburg/Poland). In addition a project of junior guides for school children (Schüler führen Schüler) is developed. In Lilienthal the famous reflecting telescope of Johann Hieronymus Schroeter, the largest on the continent (1785), reconstructed in 2015, is now used for astronomical observations for the public and for school education by the ``Astronomische Vereinigung Lilienthal "(AVL). Further activities in Bremen are offered by the ``Olbers-Gesellschaft" (*1920) with a planetarium in the navigation school (1952) and an observatory (1957), e.g. a practical physics course for Bremen University, student laboratories (part of IPN Kiel), and in addition by the industry and research organisations like DLR and ZARM with hands-on experiments and training. All these educational activities for school children as well as for students raise interest in astronomy, physics and space technology.
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Name: Hagop Yacoubian, Taline Madirossian, Layan Al-Khatib
Title: A Framework for Analyzing the Image of the Scientist Portrayed through Educational Resources
Abstract text: This paper reports on (1) the process of constructing a comprehensive framework that can serve as a tool to analyze the image of the scientist portrayed through text in educational resources and on (2) the results of a pilot study that involved analyzing the image of scientist portrayed through the Lebanese National textbooks of Life and Earth Sciences at the Intermediate level. The process of constructing the framework involved four phases, namely (1) an extensive review of the relevant literature in science education; (2) synthesis work that involved drawing from recurring themes, creating categories and subcategories, and developing an illustrative model; (3) pilot testing the framework using the three textbooks mentioned above; and (4) revising the framework based on feedback from the pilot study. Our analysis of the textbooks revealed that most scientists mentioned are white males of middle-upper class, European or North American, rational, objective and unemotional individuals. They are portrayed as discoverers of truth, engaged in one-man-show, mostly occupied with experimental work in their labs aiming for producing detached theories. The stereotypical image of scientists portrayed through these textbooks carries misinformed views of the nature of science and is quite aligned with ones reported in other contexts.
Name: Jörg Zabel
Title: The Nature of Biological Science: What can Biology Lessons contribute to Science as Culture?
Abstract text: Mayr (2004) argued that the nature of biology differs fundamentally from the classical physical sciences. With respect to this 'autonomy' (Mayr 2004), biology is predestined to develop a modern view on the nature of science in the students' minds (Langlet 2002). E.g., this includes a variation concept instead of typological thinking, and stochastic events instead of simple determinism. In order to investigate how students explain biological phenomena, we reanalysed data from two different studies: (1) an interview study (Germany, n=3, age 15 ys.) on the role of chance in biology, and (2) a study on the students' explanations for evolutionary phenomena, based on a writing assignment (Sweden, n=64, age 16-17 ys.). Our reanalysis focussed on the categories vitalism, teleology, essentialism, determinism, dual causation, and chance. Most students considered the genuine character of the living world in their explanations and did not reduce living beings to physical laws and mechanisms. They implicitly acknowledged the autonomy of biology, but often used essentialist and teleological explanations. We conclude that biology education can indeed contribute to a modern view on the nature of science, but only if we teach our students how to explain the living world in a scientifically appropriate way.
Name: Arne Dittmer (Session organizer)
Session Title: The Challenge of Teaching Science as a Cultural Activity: New Directions for NOS
Which theoretical and practical knowledge about the philosophy and history of science and which teaching skills are needed to teach about the nature of science in science classes? This is the issue of this session about the challenge of teaching science as a cultural activity. The papers of the session discuss the relation between knowledge and skills regarding the requirement that science teachers should foster an adequate understanding about the nature of science.
Despite of the "consensus view" on the essential characteristics of science, it seems to be necessary to teach students also about the complexity and heterogeneity of natural sciences. But there is a contradictory tension between reducing complexity on a few features and promoting an appropriate understanding of science, regarding e.g. the cultural and social embeddedness or the dynamic of scientific developments and its cultural impacts. The session addresses the question of what counts as "useful" or "functional" knowledge about the nature of science in science classes and what are the requirements for an appropriate way of teaching. Regarding the complexity and heterogeneity of science, teaching about the nature of science is also a question of a reflective and open-minded stance and a question of a discourse-oriented teaching style.
Name: Arne Dittmer, Agustin Aduriz-Bravo
Title: The Challenge of Teaching Science as a Cultural Activity: New Directions for NOS
Abstract text: Since the stabilisation of the "nature of science" (NOS) as a line of research and innovation within science education two decades ago, there has been on-going debate around the issue of how to select NOS content to be taught (cf., first discussions by Rosalind Driver and seminal work by Norman Lederman and his colleagues). Debate can be pinned down to the "big" question of how to identify ideas, questions, models, constructs, authors, materials, activities, etc., adequately representing what science is and at the same time having educational value. Attacking such issue with theoretical, methodological, and practical derivations entangles a series of difficulties; among these, the necessity to prepare science teachers to effectively teach the nature of science.
This position paper is followed by two empirical and practical papers on new direction and new pedagogies; its purpose is to set the backdrop of international discussion on the new directions towards which research and innovation in the nature of science is heading. We argue around contended topics that we have identified in the literature; particularly, on the need of a "renewed" conception of NOS as a curriculum component that attends to setting science in its broader cultural context.
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Name: Agustin Aduriz-Bravo, Nelson Bejarano
Title: The Challenge of Teaching Science as a Cultural Activity: Which Directions for NOS?
Abstract text: Knowledge about science, known as "nature of science" (NOS), is nowadays a targeted outcome for science education. Highlighting its educational importance brings about the need to prepare teachers to tackle this new curriculum component. Thus, in the field of didactics of science (i.e., science education as a discipline), there is increasing discussion on what we may call "NOS education of teachers".
The dominant position when selecting what counts as NOS in science education is usually characterised as the "consensus view"; such view is based on "tenets" that purportedly depict the main features of science, and that should be the object of teaching. Derivatively, it is supposed that science teachers should be acquainted with these tenets and their use. The aim of this paper is to review current literature on NOS and find some theoretical and empirical studies providing criteria thatsupport other Which "nature of science" could be most useful for science teachers? Some hints from a literature review perspectives -different from the consensus view- that can be considered powerful for science teacher education in light of the imperative that they teach NOS in their classes. We address the question of what counts as a "functional" NOS for teachers, i.e., not only meta-scientific knowledge that is ready-to-be-taught in the classroom, but also that can transform teachers' pedagogies.
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Name: Florian Kolbinger, Arne Dittmer
Title: Dialogue and Debate in Biological Education
Argumentation is a fundamental
technique in science, but it is hard to implement in scientific classrooms (Osborne,
2010). It is usually connected with the logic of concluding, reasoning or
rhetorical competencies, whereas aspects of dialogue and participative
interactions seem to receive less attention (Erduran, Ozdem & Park 2015). But,
exactly latter aspect of argumentation might lead pupils to a discourse-oriented
attitude and might procure a deeper understanding of the epistemological,
ethical and political interconnections of science and its boundaries. Science
teachers, however, might need to scrutinize their own beliefs and values.
Besides content- and pedagogical-content knowledge, they especially need to be
motivated (Kunter et al., 2013) to accept and deal with open, discursive or
struggling themes of biological science. Within academic trainings pre-service teachers
were encouraged to prepare, implement and reflect on biology lessons with a
special focus on the History and Philosophy of Biology. Video-self-reflective
practices and feedback meetings aimed to assist teacher-students in their
explicit reflection on their teaching objectives and communicative approaches
and invited to investigate, e.g. on self-concepts, epistemological beliefs or
views on the "Nature of Bioscience". Focus of the study is to
illuminate socialization and attitudinal issues inhibiting dialogue and participation
in science classes.
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Name: Prof. Dr. Reiners (Session organizer)
Session Title: The Nature of Science in Chemistry Teacher Education - Reflections and Empirical studies
Session Abstract: Based on C.P. Snows' distinction the
session tries to pave the way towards bridging the gap between the two cultures
in chemistry teacher education by promoting an adequate understanding of Nature
of Science. The way will start with an empirical study on the notion of
creativity which is suitable to point out similarities between the cultures.
Another study will focus on the notion of theories and laws as domain-specific
concepts in chemistry. A reflection on the cultural argument of promoting
Nature of Science is based on technical language and the concepts behind them,
which are supposed to help appreciating a chemistry-specific view on the world
as a cultural achievement.
Name: Prof. Dr. Reiners
Title: The Cultural Argument for Understanding Nature of Science - What is behind it?
Abstract text: Understanding Nature of Science is a central component of scientific literacy, which is agreed upon internationally, and consequently has been a major educational goal for many years all over the globe. In order to justify the promotion of an adequate understanding of Nature of Science several arguments have been developed, among them the cultural argument that "an understanding of the nature of science is necessary in order to appreciate science as a major element of contemporary culture." (Driver, et. al. 1996). But what is behind this argument? Based on C.P. Snows' vision of two cultures this question will be addressed and answered from an educational point of view.
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Name: Karl Marniok
Title: Using the History of Chemistry to Teach the Nature of Scientific Laws and Theories
Abstract text: The nature of scientific laws and theories is an integral part of the nature of science (NOS). There are three prevalent misconceptions about laws and theories among both students and the common population: The idea that scientific laws are an absolute kind of knowledge, the belief that scientific theories are mere guesses or particularly uncertain knowledge lacking sufficient "proof", and the misconception that laws and theories are hierarchically related with theories "maturing" into laws. Some German educational directives specifically require to learn about the nature of laws and theories, although the term nature of science is never used. A research project investigates these misconceptions among pre-service teachers. As a part of introductory courses for students, two different approaches with varying degrees of contextualization were tried. The highly contextualized approach encompassed historical case studies in chemistry in order to achieve a better understanding of laws and theories. The results were assessed using questionnaires and portfolios in which the students document their learning progress accompanying the courses.
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Name: Markus Bliersbach
Title: "Creating Creativity": Improving Pre-service Teachers´Conceptions about Creativity in Chemistry
Abstract text: Although creativity is considered as one of the key competencies in modern society and as a central aspect of nature of science, it has been neither established as a main topic in chemistry education research nor in today's chemistry education practice. As a result, students mostly characterise chemistry as a solely logical and analytical discipline and do not appreciate the importance of creativity in the development of chemical knowledge. The research project tries to address this deficiency. Based on the assumption, that adequate conceptions of chemistry teachers represent a necessary condition on the way to implement creativity into education practice, we focus on pre-service chemistry teachers. The principle aim is to find out, how they can be supported in developing appropriate conceptions about the role of creativity in scientific research processes and about possibilities to implement creativity into chemistry lessons. For this purpose, different approaches are evaluated in several qualitative studies in pre-service chemistry teacher courses at the University of Cologne. Some approaches include historical or contemporary examples of creative research processes, others enable the teacher students to become creative themselves. Results and implications will be discussed in the presentation.