AN INNOVATIVE APPROACH TO DEAL WITH BIODIVERSITY AT SCHOOL WITH ITS INVESTIGATION IN DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENTS
University of Padova (ITALY)
About this paper:
Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain
Abstract:Nowadays, even though generally teachers recognise the importance of proposing laboratory activities in class, the teaching of biology in primary school very often is still bound to a traditional approach. This method involves the teacher dispensing knowledge only with frontal lessons or eventually with experiments that students must execute in mechanical way, and this doesn’t allow students to reach a real awareness and comprehension of what they are doing. In the teaching of science at school emerges that is fundamental to stimulate the interest and the curiosity of pupils about the theme dealt, as well as adopting active methodologies which give more space to students’ participation and aimed to make them learn the scientific “way to do”. Basing on these insights, it has been made an experimental research focused on the theme of biodiversity and that prove the effectiveness of an active and heuristic approach for the teaching of this topic, making students protagonists of their own learning process and starting from the experimentation of an authentic task. With this didactic purpose it has been possible working not only on knowledge, but also on competences, indispensable so that students acquire the necessary tools to learn in autonomy too, in a lifelong learning perspective. The educational research has been carried out in a fourth class of an Italian primary school in the province of Treviso (Italy). It has provided the experimentation by students of working techniques and methodologies usually used by ecologists to estimate the biodiversity of an ecosystem. Pupils used them in two environments with different characteristics, the schoolyard and a protected park of an ancient villa, in order to compare the data collected. These activities made children discover the variety of species present and made them reflect on the elements which influenced on the results emerged. The theme of biodiversity has been deepened, then, with other activities in class, with a particular focus on the bonds between living beings and food chains and nets. The results obtained proved the effectiveness of the didactic choices and the activities done, benefiting the acquiring of the scientific method. Indeed, they were positive both for the learning of contents and the competences’ acquiring by students and for their participation to lessons and the satisfaction expressed in a survey, administered at the end of the educational purpose, about the educational project.
Keywords: Biodiversity, biology, laboratory didactics, ecology, Italy, primary school.