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תפישה פדגוגית העוסקת בהוראה לקראת הבנה וחשיבה ויישומה בעבודת המפמרי"ם פרופסור ענת זוהר 11.09.06 PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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תפישה פדגוגית העוסקת בהוראה לקראת הבנה וחשיבה ויישומה בעבודת המפמרי"ם פרופסור ענת זוהר 11.09.06. רקע:

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תפישה פדגוגית העוסקת בהוראה לקראת הבנה וחשיבה ויישומה בעבודת המפמרי"ם פרופסור ענת זוהר 11.09.06

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The TSC project (Zohar, 2004) does not require schools to abandon the curriculum they are used to and commit themselves to a totally different program.

Rather, we offer to teach the same curriculum using alternative means.

Our basic unit is the learning activity: a task that requires thinking within a particular science topic.

The project consists of a collection of learning activities that teachers may integrate into their regular instruction whenever they get to a topic covered by one of the activities.

Varied types of learning activities were designed in order to enhance transfer and to avoid fixed patterns of learning activities, which might eventually train students to deal with them in a merely algorithmic way.

The following types of learning activities were designed:

Activities that follow lab experiments;

Invitations to Inquiry;

Critical assessment of newspaper clips;

Investigation of microworlds;


Open-ended inquiry learning activities

An assortment of smallscale, learning activities

Another hallmark of the TSC project is the use of metacognition.

The TSC project employs a rather specific component of metacognition - Meta-strategic Knowledge (MSK), defined as general, explicit knowledge about the cognitive procedures that are being manipulated

MSK consists of the following abilities:

making generalizations and drawing rules regarding a thinking strategy,

naming the thinking strategy,

explaining when, why and how such a thinking strategy should be used,

when it should not be used,

what are the disadvantages of not using appropriate strategies,

and what task characteristics call for the use of the strategy (Kuhn, 1999; 2000a; 2001).


The main goal of the unit Genetic Revolution- Discussions of Moral Dilemmas (GreMoD) is to foster students argumentation skills while teaching key concepts in genetics.

The GreMoD unit was constructed with attention to three major issues:

(1) Biological knowledge:

(2) Strategic and MSK regarding Argumentation:

(3) Principles of bio-ethics

1. A section of a dilemma related to genetics (CF)

  • Table 1: concrete examples of the TSC learning activities

Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is an autosomal recessive genetic trait. It is one of the most prevalent genetic diseases. In England and the United States one out of 2000 newborns is affected and one out of 20 people is a carrier.

Cystic fibrosis causes a deficient functioning of the external secretion glands that is pronounced (among other things) in the production of salty sweat, in digestion disorders, and in the production of large quantities of mucus in the respiratory tracts. The mucus causes recurrent lung infections. Each additional infection adds to the long-term damage to the lungs. The disease is therefore lethal: patients rarely survive past the age of 40.

The gene responsible for CF has been located. Scientists from laboratories in several countries are now working on methods for genetic therapy. One idea was to substitute a healthy gene for the deformed one in the lung tissue. However, the complex branching of the lungs makes it impossible to remove the Epithelium cells and then return them after the gene substitution. In 1992 one group of researchers succeeded in inserting the gene into the Epithelium of a rats lung where it continued to function for 6 weeks. Another research direction focuses on the development of a spray consisting of normal genes attached to transporters whose role will be to insert the genes into the cells. The idea is that patients will inhale the spray from time to time (with the hope that the normal genes will be able to function in the cells). Despite all these efforts, it is still a long way before genetic treatment of CF can become practical. Meanwhile, patients keep suffering.


a. Rebecca and Joseph both have brothers whom are sick with CF (an autosomal recessive trait). Rebecca and Joseph got married and Rebecca is now pregnant. Should they abort the embryo? Explain!

B. Genetic tests showed that both Rebecca and Joseph are carriers of CF and that the embryo is homozygous for CF. Rebecca and Joseph contemplate whether or not they should have an abortion.

b1 What is the moral problem under consideration?

b2. Do you think they should perform an abortion? Offer reasons for your position!

b3. Your friend disagrees with you. Define his/her position. Offer reasons for that position (what will your friend say to convince you that s/he is right?)

4. What will you answer your friend? Explain!

2. A section of a unit regarding MSK

In order to argue well, it is important to study several basic concepts relating to argumentation.

A discussion is a conversation in which the participants strive to convince each other in their positions. Participants present their beliefs by using arguments.

During a discussion, an argument is an effort to convince someone to change his/her mind. It consists of two main components: 1. The conclusion, which is the main position a person would like to present; and, 2. One or more justifications that support the conclusion..

What is a good argument?

A good argument is one in which the conclusion is well supported.

The argument is supported by numerous and varied justifications and by general rules. A good argument also responses to positions that contradict it.

The justifications in a good argument must be:

a. True;

b. Relevant to the conclusion;

c. Refer to a large variety of aspect

Zohar, A. and Nemet, F. (2002). Fostering students knowledge and argumentation skills through dilemmas in human genetics. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 39, pp. 35-62.

Table 4. Performance of experimental and comparison students on the critical thinking tests

Experimental group


Comparison group



Table 6. Comparison between pre-test and post-test #1 in the experimental group

The thinking project is great. You know what the problem is? Its the curriculum. If we are going to spend so much time on developing students thinking, how will they ever learn all that they are supposed to know?

(From a teacher who participated in a TSC teacher workshop)

Table 3. Comparison between knowledge scores in the experimental and comparison groups in two of the TSC units

Some kids simply cant do it ....You cannot ignore the variability among children.

I had a beautiful lesson with students who did just that. I enjoyed them a lot. They drew conclusions and planned the experiment and made hypotheses, practically all by themselves. But this is a very strong class with excellent students. I dont think it can work with all students.

Figure 1. Longitudinal analysis- frequency of Distinguishing Consistently (DC), Not- Distinguishing Consistently (NDC) and Inconsistent (INC) teachers

Zohar, A., Vaaknin, E., & Degani, A. (2001). Teachers beliefs about low achieving students and higher order thinking. Teaching and Teachers Education, 17, 469-485.

Table 7. Students of different academic levels: scores of genetic argumentation test





Table 8. Students of different academic levels: scores of genetic transfer tests (relating to everyday dilemmas)





*P<0.05; **P<0.01; ***P<0.001

Table 9. Students scores in the GCT tests distributed according to their biology grade. The grades range between 4 (poor) and 10 (excellent).

Biology grade


Pre-test score

Post-test score


Comparison group




































Table 9. Students scores in the GCT tests distributed according to their biology grade. The grades range between 4 (poor) and 10 (excellent).


Research design: Equal numbers of LA and HA students were randomly assigned into two treatment groups: experimental and control. We thus had a total of four experimental sub-groups in a 2X2 design: LA experimental sub-group, LA control sub-group, HA experimental sub-group and HA control sub-group.

Strategic knowledge:

mean scores of experimental and controlgroups in practice sessions

Strategic knowledge regardingthe 4 sub-groups:

mean scores of HA and LA students in practice sessions.

Meta Strategicknowledge:

means of experimental and control groups in practice sessions.

Meta Strategic knowledge regarding the 4 sub-groups: mean scores of HA and LA students in practice sessions

Strategic knowledge regarding the 4 sub-groups: mean scores of HA and LA students in transfer and retention sessions

Meta Strategic knowledge regarding the 4 sub-groups: mean scores of HA and LA students in transfer and retention sessions

For a copy of the article please write:

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