Polytechnic Institute of Castelo Branco, College of Education (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2017 Proceedings
Publication year: 2017
Page: 3122 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-697-6957-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2017.0868
Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain
The present communication is part of a larger investigation that has as general problem to investigate: "What are the contributions of the message disseminated by scientific dissemination books in the promotion of scientific literacy in children?” The research was based on theories of the fields of sociology and epistemology, resorting predominantly on two conceptual frameworks, respectively, Bernstein's theory of pedagogical discourse (1990, 2000) and Ziman's theorizing (1984, 2000) about the construction / nature of science.

In line with this problem, several objectives were listed, among which: (i) To ascertain the influence of a teacher training course, based on a book of scientific dissemination, in the conceptions and practices that primary school teachers have about pedagogical practice and teaching-learning aspects of the construction / nature of science; (ii) To what extent scientific divulgation books can contribute to students' scientific education in order to develop a more correct idea of what the scientific endeavour is.

In order to obtain data to respond to these objectives, several methodological steps were taken:
(a) a teacher training course was conceptualized, built and implemented;
(b) the training sessions were recorded, transcribed and analyzed;
(c) (semi-structured) interview surveys were constructed, applied and analyzed;
(d) it was applied a teaching unit also based on books of scientific dissemination in the classroom, to a group of primary school students. The sample in this study includes a future primary school teacher and a class of 24 students.

The results suggest that, in relation to the objective:
(i), teacher training proved to be very positive in the professional development of the future teacher in both her conceptions and her pedagogical practice. The data also revealed that, in what comes to the practice, the aspects where the future teacher had more difficulty were those related to: the evaluation criteria and the exploration of the historical dimension of science;
(ii) the teaching unit implemented was also very positive in the evolution of students' conceptions about the construction / nature of science.

The students, however, had greater difficulty in learning aspects related to internal sociology. A common result obtained both with the future teacher and with the students was that the books of scientific divulgation have proven to be excellent resources for learning aspects related to the construction / nature of science.

The data obtained in the research contribute to a better knowledge about: the training of teachers; the potential of science dissemination books in formal learning contexts; the selection / evaluation of books of scientific divulgation which promote different dimensions of scientific literacy.

[1] Bernstein, B. (1990). Class, codes and control: Volume IV, The structuring of pedagogic discourse. London: Routledge.
[2] Bernstein, B. (2000). Pedagogy, symbolic control and identity: Theory, research, critique (rev. ed.). London: Rowman & Littlefield.
[3] Ziman (1984). An introduction to science studies – The philosophical and social aspects of science and technology. Cambridge: Cambridge Universiy Press.
[4] Ziman (2000). Real science: What it is and what it means. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Books, Nature of science, Primary school, Scientific dissemination, Teacher training.