Learning science in a STS perspective: a didactic experience with 5th grade students
Many schools’ practices are still centred on a traditional transmission-reception model, leading students to have a deformed image of Science, not facing it as a living body of knowledge, not relating it to their day-to-day problems and not discussing the relations between Science, Technology and Society. Besides, students lose interest on science classes. This was the case of a 5th grade class which we observed. To address this problem a pedagogical action was prepared, on the theme “The Cell- the basic unit of life”, that would allow students to discuss the Science, Technology and Society (STS) relations. Several didactic materials were created, developed and applied, seeking to incorporate the syllabus to real day-to-day life situations, in order to improve student’s science and technology literacy and enhance skills, attitudes and values acquisition, decisive to raise informed and democratically active citizens, capable of taking decisions in regards to scientific, technological and sociological events. The aim of the study was to understand the impact of this pedagogical approach in the student learning and perceptions about STS interactions. A qualitative methodology was used. Data collection was based on observation, field notes, questionnaires, group interviews, document-analysis and video and audio- recordings. Data analysis indicates that the developed intervention strategy, with STS orientation, contributed to students learning, improving in parallel, their conceptions about STS interactions and the image they have on the subject of Natural Sciences.
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