Reading Nature from a Bottom-up Perspective

Magntorn, Ola and Helldén, Gustav (2006) Reading Nature from a Bottom-up Perspective. In: Concept Maps: Theory, Methodology, Technology. Proc. of the Second Int. Conference on Concept Mapping. Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica, pp. 485-493. ISBN 9977-15-148-2

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This paper reports on a study of ecology teaching and learning in a Swedish primary school class, (age 10-11yrs). A teaching sequence was designed aiming at helping the students to read nature in a river ecosystem. The teaching sequence had a bottom up approach in the sense that it took its starting point on a common key organism- the freshwater shrimp. From this species and its ecology the perspective was broadened to involve studies of the interrelations between organisms and finally to the relation between the biotic and abiotic factors. A large part of the instruction took place outdoors. The main objective for the study was to follow students developing ecological understanding. Each student was interviewed early, in the middle and late in the teaching sequence. The interviews were semi-structured and resembled the construction of a concept map. Students were asked to describe and link a large number of objects on a tray. The objects related to the river ecosystem and comprised a large number of living organisms together with non living objects such as water, air and pictures of the sun and of humans. The task for the student was to identify the objects and to describe the ecosystem by linking them up in as many relevant ways as possible and explain their reason for the linking. These tray interviews were translated by the researchers to concept maps which graphically represent the researchers’ interpretation of the interviews. Concept maps together with a revised SOLO-taxonomy are used to illustrate students developing ability to read nature. Results indicate how students relate several abstract processes and correlations back to the key organism studied early in the teaching sequence.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Paper, CMC2006
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Depositing User: Mr. Ernest Prats
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2012 18:27
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2012 20:16

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