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Proceedings Paper

Why do shadows change length? An IBSE approach with primary school children
Author(s): Paulo Varela; Silvana Noversa; Manuel F. M. Costa
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Paper Abstract

This paper results from a pedagogical intervention project carried out at a primary school. The intervention took place in a class of the 3rd year, composed by 16 students, and it incorporated a practice of Inquiry-Based Science Education (IBSE), addressing the curricular topic “Light and Shadows”. Various inquiry activities on some of the factors that might influence the length of shadows were implemented in the classroom, during a total of 10 hours, spread over 4 lessons. At the end of each lesson, a class diary was prepared – a descriptive and reflective narrative based on field notes and audio recordings made during participant observation in the context of the classroom. The aim of this paper is, through the analysis of one of those class diaries, to describe and interpret the teaching and learning process that took place in the classroom. The results of an assessment test show that the children acquired a good understanding on some of the factors that influence the length of shadows. We will also discuss some of the processes that stimulated the construction of this learning.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 August 2014
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 9286, Second International Conference on Applications of Optics and Photonics, 92862J (22 August 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2063897
Show Author Affiliations
Paulo Varela, Univ. do Minho (Portugal)
Silvana Noversa, Univ. do Minho (Portugal)
Manuel F. M. Costa, Univ do Minho (Portugal)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9286:
Second International Conference on Applications of Optics and Photonics
Manuel Filipe P. C. Martins Costa; Rogério Nunes Nogueira, Editor(s)

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