Computer Modelling in Physics Teaching
Science education in Slovakia, in accordance with the goals of running school educational reform reflecting European trends, focuses on the development of knowledge and skills related to the active scientific inquiry. Students’ activities in the classroom should resemble the work of real scientists that is based on experimentation or modelling approach when studying the real world. In this paper we had a closer look on modelling and mathematical modelling with the help of ICT tools (computer modelling), in particular, that we consider an integral part of science education. Based on our previous experience with teaching using computer modelling, we have developed a learning scenario on the systematic implementation of computer modelling at the upper secondary school level. The designed learning path involves a set of activities that combine experimental and theoretical approach to solving physics problems concerning motion with emphasize on development of students’ modelling competencies. The designed learning scenario has been implemented in three classes of different grammar schools. There were several research questions solved: Is the learning scenario appropriate for the first class upper secondary school? Are students able to solve problems with the help of computer modelling tools? What is the effect of learning scenario on the conceptual understanding? The research questions were answered using different tools, as observation of lessons, analysis of students’ worksheets and test on modelling. The conceptual understanding was evaluated by pretest and posttest consisting of conceptual questions selected from TUG-K, MBT, FCI test and a few non-standardized questions. In the paper, the designed learning scenario and the results of research are discussed.
This work was supported by the Slovak Research and Development Agency under the contract no. APVV-0715-12 Research on the efficiency of innovative teaching methods in mathematics, physics and informatics education.
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