The Green Paper on teacher education in Europe (Buchberger, 2002) highlights the crucial role of designing learning situations in which students can find opportunities to develop structures of meaning, knowledge and activities for a didactical reconstruction of the disciplinary contents, integrated with pedagogical competencies, methodologies and teaching practices.The epistemic role of models in physics (Hestenes, 1996) suggests that models can be included in teaching/learning methodologies and cannot be omitted in a cultural base in the education of teachers of all levels. Being models cognitive tools and not simple representations of phenomena, they cannot be transferred either as ready-to-use examples or taught as rules to apply; to favour interpretation teachers have to offer situated experiences of model building starting from experimental activities.A previous research showed that some elementary recurring basic model structures represent “syntactic elements” of a language oriented to modelling. For instance in the evolution toward equilibrium of different systems is possible to identify the flow of an extensive quantity which is conservative and whose flux intensity depends on the difference of the levels of a corresponding intensive quantity experiencing a resistance.The key role of the group investigation in a cooperative learning environment is implemented in a proposal of a research-based learning pathway based on modelling starting from experiments in a community of perspective primary teachers. The research aims to investigate how the modelling activity takes place during the individual and group exploration of experimental activities and how the collaborative work affects the ability to design models to interpret the observed phenomena. Moreover we analyze the role of single elementary model structure when building complex models with a qualitative modelling software such as VnR.A training pathway was designed, with specific activities and monitoring tools, and tested with a group of perspective primary school teachers of University of Udine (23 students) and University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (73 students).The training pathway was organized in two main activities organized in 4 phases according with tutorial for inquiry learning. Each thematic activity started with the design of an experiment for the exploration of a phenomenon followed by building and testing a model of the observed phenomena, first individually then in small groups. The first activity consisted in the study of phenomena evolving towards equilibrium; the second was in the form of a thought experiment concerning dynamical equilibrium. A final plenary discussion, chaired by the conductor, aimed at analysing to what extent the various model structures are consistent with the observed phenomena as well as to reflection on models comparison (similarities and differences).The software VnR was chosen due o its specifications of icon-based design and representation of simple relations between variables without the use of formulas. VnR is assumed to be an effective tool to let the participants to learn how to think in terms of variables and relations, to identify elementary structures as components of more complex models, to recognize similarities between different phenomena and to develop a dynamical approach to phenomena as processes evolving over time.The data collected during the activities, comprising specific tutorials, based on inquiry learning for all the activities, and models produced by the participants, both alone and in groups, were analysed according to the research questions.
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|Data di pubblicazione:||2010|
|Titolo:||Modelling and collaboration as cognitive tools in physics education|
|Autori:||Corni, F.; Giliberti, E.; Michelini, M.; Santi, L.; Stefanel, A.|
|Data del convegno:||17-21 August 2009|
|Nome del convegno:||Physics Community and Cooperation|
|Luogo del convegno:||Leicester, UK|
|Titolo del libro:||Physics Community and Cooperation. Selected Contributions|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Relazione in Atti di Convegno|
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