Inquiry-based physics education in French middle school.
- Publisher: HAL CCSD
[SHS.EDU] Humanities and Social Sciences/Education | science education | IBSE | [ SHS.EDU ] Humanities and Social Sciences/Education
International audience; Developed countries are facing a long-standing phenomenon of students deserting science studies. In response, many international reports have been published to improve science education in compulsory schooling (High Level Group, 2007). They often encourage important evolutions regarding the final objectives for science education (Osborne & Dillon, 2008). Thus an unders tanding of the nature of science and its practices in classrooms holds a significant position, as does the learning of scientific knowledge. These changes have shaped the role of laboratory activities, leading to science teaching through scientific inquiry in the 60s in the United States (Schwab, 1962). They led to the development of new curricula in the United States from the early 90s (Science for All Americans (AAAS, 1989) ; National Science Education Standards (NRC, 1996)), and more recently in Europe (Eurydice, 2006). These curricula aim at emphasizing a scientific literacy for all, giving a broader image of scientific methods. They promote teaching methods with activities of higher cognitive level where students are given more autonomy by using more open tasks. Hands on activities or scientific inquiry are often used in order to increase students' motivation and interest in science. They use (not always explicitly) specific teaching models such as socio-constructivism, calling upon real-life contexts. This implies a change from activities focused on conceptual or manipulative learning often involving stereotyped methods, to open activities based on methods of inquiry with questions to be addressed, hypotheses, etc