THE DIDACTIC APPROACH OF THE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCE E-BUG IN THE TOPICS OF MICROBIOLOGY AND HEALTH EDUCATION IN PRIMARY SCHOOL
University of Padova (ITALY)
About this paper:
Conference name: 16th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-8 March, 2022
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:Microorganisms and infections’ spread and prevention are already part of children's daily lives, but in the current context, it has become even more present, although these topics are often marginal in Primary School curricula and textbooks. Basic knowledge of microorganisms and health education, nevertheless, are useful to develop a deeper knowledge of the living world, the responsibility about the care of their own body, and the application of correct behaviours for health protection in daily life. Regarding these topics, innovative and interesting insights are found in the didactic resource e-Bug, sponsored by European Commission since 2009. This resource aim is to make more concrete and understandable to children the world of microorganisms and health education issues, improving young people’s knowledge and fostering an interest in science. On its website E-Bug provides many different didactic materials, adapted to the age of the children and its approach promotes the active participation of students in the learning process in scientific disciplines, which must be characterized by "doing" and "sharing" ideas and experiences.
Therefore, the main purposes of this didactic research were to apply and verify the effectiveness of the approach adopted by the e-Bug educational resource. The hypothesis is that children can learn the notions related to the characteristics and classification of microorganisms by linking them directly to everyday experience, relating them to issues concerning health education.
The didactic experimentation took place in two fourth-grade classes of a primary school in Castelfranco Veneto (TV). They were divided into the experimental and the control groups by giving a pre-test to both classes. A survey was also administered electronically to science teachers and parents, to investigate their opinions about teaching microbiology and health education in primary school. In the experimental group was developed the didactic path based on the educational resource e-Bug, based on an active and interactive teaching methodology with various laboratory activities.
The results obtained in the final test show that it is possible to deal with microbiology and health education topics in primary school using the e-Bug educational resource. Indeed, the e-Bug resource allows the use of an active and stimulating approach based on the application of the scientific method, that proposes important and sometimes complex topics in a pleasant, simple, and effective way, encouraging students’ participation, curiosity, and active learning.
Keywords: e-Bug, didactics, health education, microbiology, primary school, science.