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Co-development of conceptual understanding and critical stance An essential condition for science learning. Laurence Viennot PRES Sorbonne Paris Cité, University Paris-Diderot LDAR laurence.viennot@univ-paris-diderot.fr. Multiple objectives …. Engage students with physics S implify

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Co-development of conceptual understanding and critical stance


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    1. Co-development of conceptual understanding and critical stance An essential condition for science learning Laurence Viennot PRES Sorbonne Paris Cité, UniversityParis-Diderot LDAR laurence.viennot@univ-paris-diderot.fr

    2. Multiple objectives … • Engage studentswithphysics • Simplify • Help studentsconstruct a first idea of NOS: inquiry, reasoning • Consistency as a goal (NOS), as a need (reasoning) • Highlight links betweenphenomena, betweentheories and phenomena • Developcritical stance in students • Beyond « Whaouheffects »

    3. Multiple optimisms • … a pedagogy using an inquiry-based approach that succeeds in developing excitement about scienceEC-Rocard’s 07 • “(…) through science education that is based on inquiry, an approach that reproduces in the classroom the learning process of scientists: formulating questions, doing experiments, collecting and comparing data, reaching conclusions, and extrapolating these findings to more general situations. Allende 08 • (“Rocard “ et al.) argued that a ‘reversal of school science-teaching pedagogy from mainly deductive to inquiry-based methods’ was more likely to increase ‘children’s and students’ interest and attainment levelswhile at the same time stimulating teacher motivation’ – a view with which we concur. Osborne & Dillon « Nuffield » 08

    4. Oversimplification: Someintrinsicrisks • Wish to show + beliefthatseeingisunderstanding • « Echo-explanation » : mirroringstudents’ commonways of reasoning - Ignoringsome variables, phenomena : conceptualreduction • Uncontrolledgeneralisation • « All-or-nothing » approach • … As a result: seriousinconsistencies Web site EPS-MUSE; Viennot 2014

    5. «Seeingisunderstanding »(NOT necessarily) A ray box to ‘show’ rectilinear propagation? Wanda Kaminski As if rays couldbeseen : a commonidea Somethingwentwrong?

    6. Uncontrolledgeneralisation A model sequence*: how to protectagainst cold? A student: Emergency blanket… aluminium(all agree) Someexperiments Conclusion: With aluminium, youcannotprotectagainst cold (no comment) Ice cube Hot water Explicit inconsistency Radiative processignored *DVD Acad. of sciences (FR), of Technologies, DGESCO, 2010

    7. Oversimplification: intrinsicrisks Teachers’ and students’ criticalfaculty: an essential condition to good qualitylearning Perhaps the most difficult, and yet the most important kind of event to create in the classroom is critical dialogue, which recognises that inquiry proceeds by being critical of proposed ideas. It cannot help that essentially no examination questions ever require the student to offer a criticism, even the simplest. Such a focus on being critical is surely one of the greatest deficiencies that the movement for inquiry based learning needs urgently to face. Ogborn 2012

    8. Moreover, a commonview: • Students’ « competences », in particularcriticalfaculty, iswhatmatters • It shouldbeourprimary goal • Concepts will come after , as a secondary goal

    9. Competences first, concepts later Can we help studentsdeveloptheircriticalfacultywithout a conceptual basis? - There is a real danger thatInquiry-basedlearningpresentsscientificknowledge as “knowledge in pieces”. Ogborn 2012 • These students ...(France, end upper second. 2013)see physics as disordered and anarchical. Zabulon 2013 • In our search for a possible explanation for the strikingly parallel decline in physics achievements for the «specialist» at upper secondary school, we have established a set of possible factors.(…) Several reports have pointed out that many students do not see the connection between the mathematics in the math class and the mathematics they actually use in physics (…). Lie et al. 2012 NordicStudiesin Ed Without an access to a conceptual structure, canstudentsunderstandthat science aims at a unified(as much as possible) description of the materialword?

    10. Two investigations about a hot air balloon Co-development of critical stance and conceptualunderstanding: a few research investigations Reacting to a teachingritual Viennot 2004 Mathé & Viennot 2009 An investigation aboutradiocarbondating Analysingtextsfrom the internet Viennot & Décamp 2013 Décamp & Viennot 2014

    11. A hot air balloon Viennot 2004 A typical exercise: • A hot air balloon …a total mass of… • Whatever the temperature of the air in the balloon, its pressure willbe the same as the surrounding air. (……….) • …Show that to achieve the lift off…must beheated to about ….° C. pO pO pO pO For instance: Since the balloon is open to the atmosphere, the pressure in the balloon is the same as the pressure outside the balloon. D.C. Giancoli, Physics (6th ed): Instructor Resource Center CD-ROM, Prentice Hall, 2005

    12. Archimedes’ upthrust : a matter of weights Wbasket+… + gMair-inside= gM air-outside-sameV Tin Tout pin = pout= p0 Mair-inside = rair-inside V Mair-outside-sameV = rair-outside V r = Mmolp0/RT W

    13. But… Serious consequences pO pO pO pO g Archimedes, where are you?

    14. Dpin= -ringDh Dpout= -routgDh p rin< rout Local OK Top Dh Global and local reconciled Global Archimedes OK pin > pout Dh pin = pout pin> pout Aperture W Viennot 04

    15. Investigation 1 , about precedingexercise pO pO pO pO University students1styear, individual interviews* N=15 Studentswere not criticalat first(idem for teachersN>100) …, yougot me thinking, me, even if it’sdifficult, it’s fine to think…Welearnmuch more…I have learnt a lot. - Whyisit the first time someone tells me this? - You made me think: thankyou - Providedwe are taught how to do it Then, after an exigent discussion Important? Worth it? YES 15/15 * « Same » results  in groups

    16. Investigation 2 Students journalists' reactions … …to a simulated popularisation paper including the elementsbelow: “ ...The density of a gas depends on the pressure and the temperature. As for the pressure, it is the same inside and outside, because of the opening at the bottom of the envelope, through which the air can spread. As for the temperature, warming the air makes it less dense, therefore less heavy ...” Mathé-Viennot 2009

    17. pO pO pO pO 14 trainee science journalists interviewed. .Steps in students’ intellectual paths: Awareness of the incoherence and critical attitude ‘A’ indicates when the students clearly showed their awareness of the incoherence. ‘C0’ indicates some signs of a critical attitude from the start, not yet focused on the hypothesis (cf. Table 1, col. 4). ‘C’ indicates when the students first used their awareness of the incoherence to criticize the article or to retrospectively criticize their own attitude during the interview Mathé-Viennot 2009

    18. pO pO pO pO Investigation 3 Students journalists' reactions: to sum up Increasedconceptualmastery AwarenesstheeeenCritical stance Increased conceptual mastery Mathé-Viennot 2009

    19. Question To which extent the way students’ critically analyse a very incomplete explanation is linked to , and/or develops along with their comprehension of the topic ?

    20. Co-development of critical stance and conceptualunderstanding Two investigations about a hot air balloon Reacting to a teachingritual Viennot 2004 Mathé & Viennot 2009 An investigation aboutradiocarbondating Analysingtextsfrom the internet Viennot & Décamp 2013 Décamp & Viennot 2014

    21. Investigation 3 Analysingsome internet texts about radiocarbondating N=N0 exp (-t/t ) t=5730 years N0 ??? No decay in the atmosphere?

    22. beyond N=N0 exp (-t/t ) t=5730 years [14C ]living organisms+ atmosphereuniform [14C]living organisms+atmosphereconstant in time ????? Radioactive decay14C 14N + electron+ antineutrino Creation« Cosmic » neutrons +14N  14C + proton Time rate decay14C = time rate creation14C« same t-rate » ????? Time rates V/sexistingnumbers, 14C dNC/dt= - NC(1/t ) exp (-t/t ) Total number [14C] + [14N] NTconstant in time Transitory phase adaptation through factor NC Radio carbondating : some crucial conceptual items …

    23. Adaptation through factor N: an analogy In a country Number of people living in towns U Number of people living in countryside C U+C= constant in time Move fromtown to countryside 10% per year Move fromcountryside to town 40% per year Steady state: 0,1 Uss = 0,4 Css Uss = 4Css Transitory states: U > Uss  dU/dtexit> 0,4 Uss and dC/dtexit0,1 Css U↓ and C U Uss  dU/dtexit 0,4 Uss and dC/dtexit> 0,1 CssU and C↓

    24. Investigation 3 Radiocarbondating, beyond N=N0 exp (-t/t ) … ????? A series of texts (T1, …, T6) from popularisation literature + web, providing more and more elements of information to the reader.

    25. Sometexts about radiocarbondating: more and more complete

    26. Prospective teachers, 4th year at university Ten interviews Goal: observingtheir successive reactionsafterreadingeach of thesetexts

    27. The interviews: overall structure

    28. Coding the interviews (thematicanalysis) • Conceptuallevel Extendedlist of conceptualstatements « cci »+ « emergent» ones , e.g. 14C12C + … • Critical and meta cognitive-affective level(« mca ») Agreement in the end of a step  Half-hearted  agreement in the end of a step ≈ Question posed about a detail dl Question posed about a « crucial » point cq Satisfaction afteradditional information m+ It iswhat I needed. I hadforgotten. It’s more precise. Frustration because of insufficientexplanationm- I wanted an answer, itdoesn’t tell us anything more. It doesn’texplainwhy … It leaves more questions unansweredthanbefore.

    29. Someresults Presentationrestricted to results about: Critical attitude and meta cognitive affective aspects : « mca »

    30. Questions asked by students

    31. « mca » aspects

    32. Typicalprogression At first, agreement expressed (strong or half-hearted agreement, questions about « details », new pieces of information welcome, (« I hadforgotten », «  it’swhat I wasmissing ») After the first crucial question, only crucial questions, no agreement , frustration expressed(I wanted an answer, itdoesn’t tell us anything more. It doesn’texplainwhy … It leaves more questions unansweredthanbefore.) In the end, strong satisfaction expressed, anecdotal questions explicitlyleftaside.

    33. Co-development of critical attitude and conceptualunderstanding Conceptualprogress Questions about « details » Critical attitude First crucial question Only crucial questions Time

    34. Question To which extent the way students’ critically analyse a very incomplete explanation is linked to , and/or develops along with their comprehension of the topic ? Researchresultssuggest: • To a large extent: these two processes are strongly interdependent

    35. In teaching practice Interest of promoting a Co-development of conceptualunderstanding (including a math component) and critical stance Stressingcoherence and links (in particular) The value of « concept-driven interactive pathways »

    36. Concept-driven interactive pathway • Centered on conceptualdevelopment and criticalattitude, coherence • Interactive: intellectual interaction withteacher and/or otherstudents • Progressive: eachstepmay serve to construct the nextstep • Examples in next talk • Fromsubtractive to multiplicative

    37. pO pO pO pO Concludingremarks • Extremeconceptualreduction: There is a price to pay, risks of inconsistency, of consistency not beingvalued. • Keep simplification under control , needto beverycareful in case of extremeconceptualreduction, mindrituals • Students’ reactions: Theyappreciateconsistency, need to reach a threshold of comprehensionbeforedaring to express their frustration in this respect ,need: co-development of criticalthinking and conceptualcomprehension .Providedwe are taught how to do it • Goal: reconcilingvariousreasons for liking science, • Showingthat science aimsat a unified « description » of the world: value of stressingconceptualcoherence and links, role of math.

    38. Concludingremarks … • Nourish a more balanceddiscussion about the objectives (content/ competences) and modalities of physicsteaching (withMOOCs, critical dialogue to bepreserved) • In particular, see « active learning » as compatible withseveraltypes of learningactivities, includingcritical dialogue. You made me think • Relativise the merits of any « method », choices to be content-related, thorough discussions needed, banishrigidity • Needto propose various approaches and means to be used in class practice, thus enlarging the range of teachers’ choices. ex: “More Understanding with Simple Experiments” • www.EPS.org Education, MUSE Springer 2014

    39. Thankyou for your attention

    40. Un grand acteur de développements curriculaires (UK) Thus in the UK, the issue became how to develop science courses genuinely designed for the whole school population. This became something of a national obsession, not shared by other countries. One slogan devised for this was “Relevance”. Complex issues need complex solutions, but they generally get simple slogans to encapsulate and make memorable these solutions: “Relevance”, “Ask Nature”,“Science for All”, “Hands On”, “Science Workshop”, “Learning by Doing”. MaoZedong had a genius for inventing them, in a very different context. Be wary of these slogans. They are needed, even essential, to help people remember the point and perhaps to focus energy and enthusiasm. But they rarely speak plainly. I remember being asked near the start of my second development project Advancing Physics, what its slogan would be. I was at first embarrassed to find that I had no good answer. Maybe “Variety”, I said – if you want to appeal to more people you have to offer more ways of being attractive. The answer suggests its own limits. It cannot be right to focus a whole course on being attractive, at any cost. So there must be a basic truthfulness to the nature of the subject – in this case physics. But now this is not a slogan, but the statement of a complex problem. I cannot say that I am sorry, even if it makes it hard to tell people what is the ‘essential new idea’ behind Advancing Physics. In fact, I am suspicious of any educational development that passionately believes in its own slogans. I do not much believe in one-shot solutions – ‘magicbullets’. I conclude that a theory that provides guidance on producing teaching materials will suffer the same difficulty: that simple slogans encapsulating its ideas are needed, but are also dangerous. Ogborn, J. 2010. Curriculum development as practicalactivity In K. Kortland (ed.): Designing Theory-Based Teaching-Learning Sequences for Science Education. Utrecht: Cdβ press,69-90.

    41. MUSE - more understandingwithsimpleexperiments The main goals • to go beyond excitement by helping students to get more understanding from simple experiments; • to propose teachers various approaches and means to be used in class practice thus enlarging the range of their choices. The target audience includes: • In-service teachers • Pre-service teachers • Physics education and physics education research communities

    42. Alarming reports On the linking between secondary teaching and higher education in physics and chemistry  Thomas Zabulon Still worth, most of the students think that there is no link between mathematics and physics, a domain in which all the results are easily obtained (without any work or reflection!) and “with the hands”. An example: students who had to choose freely a topic for scientific investigation in a scientific module where surprised and disappointed to discover than the notion of worm’s hole necessitated to call on physical concepts and mathematical tools presently out of their reach, that they would see at best in Master 1 or 2. In practice, it would seem that the “intuitive” approach, that was thought motivating because modern, turned into a disaster on several respects. It leads the less brilliant students to believe that physics can be understood without any effort, just with words. This induce students into building by themselves intuitive models (most of the time erroneous) to apprehend various physical phenomena, without giving them a view of physical concepts as organized in a hierarchy. These students don’t have even the bases that their predecessors previously acquired, and they see physics as disordered and anarchical. 61e National Conference of Union of Physics and Chemistry Teachers (UdPPC)Reports on round tables BUP, Dec. 2013, pp-2011-2016 

    43. Interpreting the Norwegian and Swedish trend data for physicsin the TIMSS Advanced Study In our search for a possible explanation for the strikingly parallel decline in physics achievements for the «specialist» at upper secondary school, we have established a set of possible factors. Through various methods of analyses we can to some extent find possible explanations. In Norway, it is difficult to single out any one pronounced factor within the advanced physics courses themselves, with regards to enrolment and to the selection of students taking the courses, or the way in which physics is taught. However, the somewhat larger decline in Sweden can be partly explained by curriculum factors, since the most advanced mathematics course is no longer obligatory for those students who are studying advanced physics. Consequently, the interdependencebetweenmathematics and physics is weakened in the present curriculum in Sweden compared to 1995 (Skolverket, 2009). And, as pointed out in the introduction, the scientific literacy and «science for all» movement might have weakened the use of mathematics in physics. The need for good mathematical competence for being able to master the actual physics courses has been addressed in this paper. Several reports have pointed out that many students do not see the connection between the mathematics in the math class and the mathematics they actually use in physics (e.g.Taber, 2006). S.LIE, C. ANGELL & A. ROHATGI 2012 NordicStudiesin Education, Vol. 32, pp. 177–195 Oslo

    44. pO pO pO pO • Viennot L. 2006. Teaching rituals and students' intellectual satisfaction, Phys. Educ. 41, 400-408. http://stacks.iop.org/0031-9120/41/400. • Mathé, S., & Viennot, L. 2009. Stressing the coherence of physics: Students journalists' and science mediators' reactions, Problems of education in the 21st century. 11 (11), 104-128. • Viennot, L. 2009. Physics by inquiry: beyond rituals and echo-explanations, In New Trends in Science and Technology Education, G. Santoro (Ed.): “New Trends in Science and Technology Education” Conference, Modena, CLUEB, Bologna • Viennot, L. 2010. Physics education research and inquiry-based teaching : a question of didactical consistency, In K. Kortland (ed.): Designing Theory-Based Teaching-Learning Sequences for Science Education. Utrecht: Cdβ press, 37-54. • Viennot, L. & de Hosson 2012. Beyond a dichotomic approach, the case of colour phenomena. International Journal of Science Education, 34:9, 1315-1336. • Viennot, L. 2014. Thinking in Physics, The pleasure of reasoning and understanding in physics. Springer/Grenoble Science. • Viennot, L. & Décamp, N. 2013. Analysing texts about radiocarbon dating: co-development of conceptual understanding and critical attitude, ESERA 2013. (+ Viennot FFPER 2013) • More Understanding with Simple Experiments, Koupilova, Müller, Planinsic, Viennot : http://www.eps.org/education, MUSE • See also in Frenchhttps://grenoble-sciences.ujf-grenoble.fr/pap-ebook/viennot/

    45. Ogborn, J. 2012. WCPE Istanbul, keynote address, Curriculum Development in Physics: Not quite so fast! Zabulon, T. 2013 On the linking between secondary teaching and higher education in physics and chemistry 61e National Conference of Union of Physics and Chemistry Teachers (UdPPC)Reports on round tables BUP, Dec. 2013, pp-2011-2016  Lie, S., Angell, C. & Rohatgi, A. 2012 Interpreting the Norwegian and Swedish trend data for physicsin the TIMSS Advanced Study, NordicStudiesin Education, Vol. 32, pp. 177–195 Oslo Editorials, reports Léna, P.2009b. Europe rethinkseducation, Science, 326, 23-11-2000 Rocard, Y. 2007, Science Education Now, Report EU22-845, European Commission, Brussels, http://ec.europa.eu/research/science-society/document_library/pdf_06/report-rocard-on-science-education_en.pdf Osborne, J.. Dillon, J. 2008. Science Education in Europe: Critical Reflexions. Nuffield Foundation, ,. www.nuffieldfoundation.org/fileLibrary/pdf/Sci_Ed_in_Europe_Report_Final.pdf Allende, J.E. 2008. Academies Active in Education, Science, 321, 29-8-2008. Editorial.“(…) through science education that is based on inquiry, an approach that reproduces in the classroom the learning process of scientists: formulating questions, doing experiments, collecting and comparing data, reaching conclusions, and extrapolating these findings to more general situations