SCIENTIFIC COMPETENCE FOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHERS
In the so-called society of knowledge and information, Drucker, 1993, has stated that intelligence and knowledge are factors of social and economic progress. In most countries, scientific education is recognized as a necessity. In Mexico, the National Plan for Development has, among others, the objective of "Promoting the scientific education from the basic education”.
Scientific education should be seen as to get citizens to achieve a new form of looking, thinking, and acting about this kind of society; then understanding how the rapid development of sciences and technology impact our planet, and ultimately, acting subsequently, in an individual and collective form, in order to build a more fair and sustainable world.
Education for action requires the engaging of the educative community in identifying problems and in the generation of proposals, same that should be analyzed and assessed before implementation. It also requires a flexible curriculum, which addresses the complex culture of globalization, aimed to the development of competences, and from there, to construe the interrelationships between social, political, and economic phenomena, hence their impact on several sites in the planet.
This paper has the purpose of showing the structure and some results from the Module: "The learning of science based on the development of scientific competence” given to elementary school teachers.
Definition of Scientific Competence
“The capacity to use scientific knowledge, to identify questions and to draw evidence-based conclusions in order to understand and help make decisions about the natural world and the changes made to it through human activity”. (PISA, 2000)
In this Module the development of scientific competence includes contextualized problems, communication, modeling, and self-assessment; all this developed through collaborative work. It also includes a didactic sequence composed by some before-activities readings, instruments to acknowledge previous ideas and concepts, and experiments aimed to train in prediction, observation and explaining different phenomena.
Teachers shall prove that communication promotes evolution and progress of previous ideas and modeling improves the explanation of observed phenomena. The teachers will understand the differences between see, observe and look and how the models can progress and approach to the scientific model. They, in thought provoking, realize the "think how you think" (self-regulated learning) in order to improve it.
Some of the projects developed and presented by the teachers were:
“Knowing my town and appreciating the importance of citizen participation in its conservation and development” (5th grade), with the intention of creating conscience and preventing water contamination, Moral Muñoz, Esperanza, et al, Mexico 2008.
“Mexican caviar: ahuautle eggs”. (5th and 6th grades) with the objective of producing an alternative, highly nutritive and cheap meal in Atenco. By: Sandoval Cuatepotzo, Alejandro, Mexico 2009.
"A world full of colors, textures, shapes, and shadows" (2nd grade) aimed to understand temporary and permanent transformation of different materials, by Chavez Rojas, Xochiquetzal, Mexico, 2009.