The rationality island as a promising model for theoretical generalization

Article de colloque


État de publication: Publiée (2016 )

Titre des actes: Electronic Proceedings of the ESERA 2015 Conference. Science education research: Engaging learners for a sustainable future

Intervalle de pages: 1494-1505


Résumé: Since 2006, the Quebec science and technology curriculum has been implemented in every high school and rends mandatory the development of competencies. We will present the results of a 2- year formative intervention conducted with two science teachers and 256 10th grade high school students (2010-2012). We have focused our interest on the way students made use and gave meaning to concepts as they engage in an open-ended learning task, namely the rationality island. A rationality island is a metaphor representing how students elaborate an island of informed opinion amidst an ocean of ignorance. The learning task proposed by the teachers was open enough that it made possible for students’ development of a sense of ownership with relation to the scientific concepts and other resources they chose as key elements to build their representation of climate change. The results of the formative intervention lead us to believe that the teaching task fostered theoretical abstraction as defined by Davidov (1990) and seems coherent with some prescriptions of the Quebec science curriculum. Working in teams, students were able to co-operate and communicate their representation of climate change to their peers.