HOW DO ANIMALS SPEND THE WINTER? A FINNISH STUDY ON THE USE OF VEE HEURISTICS IN A BIOLOGY UNIT FOR EIGHTH GRADERS

TitleHOW DO ANIMALS SPEND THE WINTER? A FINNISH STUDY ON THE USE OF VEE HEURISTICS IN A BIOLOGY UNIT FOR EIGHTH GRADERS
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsKärkkäinen, S
JournalProblems of Education in the 21st Century
Volume47
Start Page69-90
Date PublishedNovember/2012
Type of ArticleOriginal article
ISSN1822-7864
Other NumbersICID: 1020834
Keywordsbiology education, environmental education, secondary school, winter ecology
Abstract

The purpose of this study was to describe the eighth graders’ (N=92) biology learning process and the use of Vee heuristics in six Finnish secondary school classes (age 13-14 years). The teaching unit “How do animals spend the winter?” had an inquiry-based approach by using Vee heuristics. Part of the learning took place in the local Science museum. In this study, Vee heuristics consisted of ten questions related to three different phases; the planning, implementation and evaluation phases. In the planning phase, pupils were interested in animals’ nutrition and external features. In the evaluation phase, pupils made broader generalizations about animals’ behavioural and structural adaptations to winter. They compared, contrasted and evaluated the environmental effects on the ways in which animals have adapted to winter and highlighted the biotic elements in the winter ecosystem. In the planning phase, pupils had multiple goals in their value claims and they reported a sense of independence and dedication during the learning process. Results indicate that Vee heuristics could be considered to be a tool for improving the learning process in pupils. In biology it encouraged learning for understanding, engagement, enjoyment, independence and self-efficacy.

URLhttp://journals.indexcopernicus.com/abstract.php?icid=1020834
Refereed DesignationRefereed
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