USING SENSES AND SENSORS IN THE ENVIRONMENT TO DEVELOP ABSTRACT THINKING – A THEORETICAL AND INSTRUMENTAL FRAMEWORK

TitleUSING SENSES AND SENSORS IN THE ENVIRONMENT TO DEVELOP ABSTRACT THINKING – A THEORETICAL AND INSTRUMENTAL FRAMEWORK
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsSilva, MJ, Lopes, JB, Silva, AA
JournalProblems of Education in the 21st Century
Volume53
Start Page99-119
Date PublishedApril/2013
Type of ArticleOriginal article
ISSN1822-7864
Other NumbersICID: 1046371
Keywordsabstract thinking, environmental education, sensors
Abstract

The authors of this paper present a framework developed in a project that explores the use of senses and sensors in environmental education, to develop children’s abstract thinking. The research started with a brief formulation of a framework that was used to guide the cross-analysis of six case studies, in order to explore its usefulness. This analysis showed that it was possible to teachers to support the development of children’s abstract thinking by facilitating the use of senses and sensors in inquiry activities; and by scaffolding complex tasks, using concreteness fading, and bridging representations, with different levels of abstraction. The analysis also showed that the assessment of the development of abstract thinking can be based on the analysis of children’s epistemic practices, like observing, describing, interpreting, and creating multiple representations. Furthermore, the cross-analysis showed that sensorial information was used as a concrete basis to abstraction. After that, an improved framework is presented, showing how senses and sensors may be used in authentic activities to develop abstract thinking: (a) making it possible to observe the unobservable (for human senses), (b) scaffolding the understanding of patterns resulting from the influence of independent in dependent variables, (c) facilitating epistemic practices.

URLhttp://journals.indexcopernicus.com/abstract.php?icid=1046371
Refereed DesignationRefereed
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