ERIC Number: ED403135
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Jan-10
Engagement, Wonder, and Learning by Jerks in Science: Perspectives of Pre-Service Elementary Education Students, Medical Students, and Research Science Doctoral Students.
Pelaez, Nancy; And Others
How do good science students perceive the process of learning science? What occurs in the learning process that motivates students to accept the challenge of pursuing a career in science? This paper reports on panel discussions held by teams of medical students, research science doctoral students, science education students, and high school chemistry students who described themselves as good science learners. The students discussed what part of science learning is acquiring knowledge, what part is scientific method, and whether learning difficult scientific concepts occurs as a gradual process or in quantum leaps. Conversations were transcribed and responses classified to identify consensus or unifying themes. One conclusion made is that good science learning involves an emotional process beginning with frustration at not understanding a given concept. Good students use frustration to focus their attention to work through the concept, sometimes through repetition using different perspectives, until a broader general meaning within a context becomes clear. Understanding in science comes in jerks, sometimes in a flash of insight, and is accompanied by feelings of elation. The breadth-rather-than-depth approach currently used in teaching science in schools rarely allows students the opportunity to experience this process. (PVD)
Publication Type: Reports - General; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Educators of Teachers of Science (Cincinnati, OH, January 10, 1997).