University of Extremadura (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN18 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Pages: 7594-7603
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.1774
Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain
The European Commission has highlighted as one of the problems of today's society the growing lack of scientific vocations and the dropping out of these subjects as the age of students increases. Likewise, if we analyse the results obtained in the PISA tests, we can see the need to improve the teaching and learning processes of scientific subjects such as physics from an early age. Within physics, we focus on the teaching of concepts related to optics, such as light and colour, considered relevant for the acquisition and development of basic scientific skills. However, in the current educational system, the concepts related to optics constitute a block of content that is not addressed in depth at the different academic levels. For this reason, despite the formal instruction received, students reach the upper grades of their academic training with little basic scientific knowledge related to physics in general and to optics in particular. This is the case, for example, with the Bachelor's Degree in Primary Education. Throughout their school years, negative emotions and attitudes towards the learning of these subjects were generated. This is a problem for the current education system, since this group must provide their future primary school students with a set of scientific contents that they themselves do not master, which generates stress, anxiety and low levels of teaching self-efficacy. On the other hand, new research and projects have emerged that promote the development of scientific and technological competencies from primary school through a comprehensive education that brings together the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, known as STEM competencies. Taking these considerations into account, the general objective of this research has been to improve the teaching of contents related to the concepts of light and colour by means of hyperrealistic simulations and STEM experiences. An experimental design with pre-test and post-test has been followed in order to diagnose the initial level of knowledge of the sample and to validate from a didactic point of view the usefulness of the learning outcomes designed. The sample was selected through a non-probability sample due to its ease of access and was made up of students from the Primary Education Degree. Specifically, 69 students participated, divided into working groups that constituted the control and experimental group to compare the research hypotheses. As measuring instruments, questionnaires were designed to analyse the increase in learning achieved by the students after the didactic interventions. The descriptive and inferential statistical analysis of the data obtained reveals an improvement in the cognitive domain of the students in the scientific concepts under study. The results also show a positive evolution in the emotional domain of the participants. Based on this, we can conclude that the use of the hyperrealistic simulations and the STEM experiences designed promotes the acquisition of scientific competence in the teacher in training, combating the misconceptions found and significantly increasing the learning of optics with respect to more conventional teaching. We therefore consider it important to carry out these types of activities and workshops with teachers in training, so that they can increase their levels of teaching self-efficacy and foster their future professional development.
STEM experiences, simulations, optics, teachers in training, primary education.