ERIC Number: EJ915457
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 59
Principles Supporting the Perceptional Teaching of Physics: A "Practical Teaching Philosophy"
Science & Education, v20 n3-4 p211-243 Mar 2011
This article sketches a framework of ideas developed in the context of decades of physics teacher-education that was entitled the "perceptional approach". Individual learning and the scientific enterprise are interpreted as different manifestations of the same process aimed at understanding the natural and social worlds. The process is understood to possess the basic nature of perception, where empirical meanings are first born and then conceptualised. The accumulation of perceived gestalts in the "structure of the mind" leads to structural perception and the generation of conceptual hierarchies, which form a general principle for the expansion of our understanding. The process undergoes hierarchical development from early sensory perception to individual learning and finally to science. The process is discussed in terms of a three-process dynamic. Scientific and technological processes are driven by the interaction of the mind and nature. They are embedded in the social process due to the interaction of individual minds. These sub-processes are defined by their aims: The scientific process affects the mind and aims at understanding; the technological process affects nature and aims at human well-being; and the social process aims at mutual agreement and cooperation. In hierarchical development the interaction of nature and the mind gets structured into a "methodical cycle" by procedures involving conscious activities. Its intuitive nature is preserved due to subordination of the procedures to empirical meanings. In physics, two dimensions of hierarchical development are distinguished: Unification development gives rise to a generalisation hierarchy of concepts; Quantification development transfers the empirical meanings to quantities, laws and theories representing successive hierarchical levels of quantitative concepts. Consequences for physics teaching are discussed in principle, and in the light of examples and experiences from physics teacher education.
Descriptors: Physics, Scientific Enterprise, Interaction, Birth Order, Models, Teacher Education, Learning Strategies, Perception, Science Education, Theories, Teaching Methods, Evaluation Methods
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A