STUDY OF PLANTS THROUGH LABORATORY TEACHING BASED ON THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD WITH PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN
University of Padova (ITALY)
About this paper:
Conference name: 14th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2022
Location: Palma, Spain
Abstract:The research project has been carried out with a class of 19 students of the second grade of the primary school, at a Comprehensive Institute. The project consists of an innovative didactic intervention in the field of sciences.
The objective is to verify the validity of the didactic project structured according to an experimental methodology for pupils' learning. It consists of an observation path of vegetal elements, the plants, and the analysis of their structure and characteristics. Therefore, the aim is to confirm the effectiveness, for the students' development, of laboratory teaching based on the scientific method. In addition, it aims to expand the feasibility of a scientific approach and a laboratory format in teaching biology at school, even in a situation full of restrictions such as that due to Covid-19. The promotion of practical activity can induce the pupils to become active subjects in the construction of their own learning. Practical activity may also increase pupils' interest and curiosity towards the world of plants through understanding the importance and the necessity of plants protection. In addition, they may get the scientific method as a method to approach reality.
The path, linked to the plexus project "A classroom in the garden”, made it part of the annual program. Among the reasons for the choice of this research project, the desire to instil in children a passion for science and nature stands out. Furthermore, the goal is to ensure that kids maintain their consideration of the discipline, which, arousing wonder towards nature, favours the development of the scientific culture. An adequate scientific culture is fundamental for our society nevertheless it is, unfortunately, missing in the "average citizen”. The referential theoretical framework consists of the specific disciplinary contents relating to the subject. To encourage inclusion, several theoretical, pedagogical normative, and didactic references are identified.
The project, divided into eight meetings lasting two hours each, presents multiple laboratory activities that constitute a linear path of discovery of the life cycle of plants: from seed germination to its formation. The management methodology adopted is mainly based on practical experiences; It consists of manipulation and exploration through the senses, cooperative work, playful activities supported by technological assistance. In addition, another common element of the proposed activities is the application of the classical scientific method. It starts from the systematic observation of a research object, it then passes through the collective discussion, the hypotheses formulation, the experiment design and implementation, the results analysis, and the final discussion. It concludes with the formulation of the conclusions and the knowledge construction.
Thanks to various tools, in compliance with the trifocal evaluation, the experimentation results have been collected. Thanks to various tools, in compliance with the trifocal evaluation, the experimentation results have been collected. Furthermore, besides competencies development, it resulted in fundamental the acquisition of the scientific method as a method of investigation. It has been seen that this approach increases pupils' interest and curiosity about the world of plants, from the data analysis to the development of knowledge in the biological field. During all the experience pupils used always participated actively and gladly.
Keywords: Primary school, scientific method, nature, inclusion, laboratory activities, investigation, plants.