University of Extremadura (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN18 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Pages: 7532-7541
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.1757
Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain
Today's society is immersed in an increasingly technological and audio-visual culture, and for this reason some research has been carried out in recent years to analyse the use of images in education in the different areas of knowledge. Specifically, in this research we will focus on the use of images in the field of didactics of experimental sciences, since their didactic value can be influenced by their choice according to the different educational aims that are sought. Previous studies related to this field of research indicate that when the image is used as a didactic resource, some variables must be taken into account, such as the information they provide to the written text or the possible complexity of its interpretation. The main objective of this study has been to analyse the influence of external images in evaluative tests on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) content in Primary Education. The research methodology used has been quasi-experimental with a mixed qualitative and quantitative analysis of the data collected. The pupils participating in the study belonged to the 4th and 6th grades of Primary Education, and they were selected through a non-probabilistic sample for convenience. This sample was divided into two control groups and two experimental groups with the purpose of contrasting the research hypotheses proposed. The evaluation instruments used were two equivalent evaluation tests on STEM content, one for the experimental groups (with images to facilitate understanding of the questions) and one for the control groups (with the same questions, but without images). The results obtained indicate, first of all, that students of these academic levels have misconceptions in the scientific field. The descriptive statistical analysis carried out reveals that the use of external images in STEM evaluation tests influences the answers to certain questions according to the type of image provided, the content selected and the age of the students. However, the inferential analysis carried out to verify the existence of statistically significant differences according to the type of questionnaire variable revealed that it did not lead to statistically significant differences in all the questions. On the other hand, it was detected that, depending on the image selected in the different items, the distractors found in the evaluation tests were modified, either because the image did not adjust to reality or because it acted as an obstacle to the answer, creating confusion of the concepts in the students. Inferential analysis based on the gender variable indicated that there were no statistically significant cognitive differences. The study stresses the importance of choosing carefully the images used as a didactic resource for the understanding of STEM content in the classroom, so that students do not encounter difficulties or hindrances when it comes to relating writing to the accompanying image.
Images, STEM, primary education, science teaching, misconceptions.