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"Exploration and Meaning Making in the Learning of Science" by Bernard Zubrowski

"Exploration and Meaning Making in the Learning of Science" by Bernard Zubrowski
Innovations in Science Education and Technology, volume 18
S餽ing錼 | 2009 | ISBN: 9048124956 9789048124961 9789048124954 | 356 pages | PDF/djvu | 2/3 MB

The main thesis of this book is that the exploratory phase of scientific inquiry is undervalued and its purpose misunderstood. It presents an alternative paradigm that gives more attention to the motivation of students and assigns an essential role for student input. The overall goal is to move the reader to think more holistically about the practice of science education.

This original and unorthodox book summarizes the author's present thinking about curriculum design and direct work with students. The author draws upon his varied experiences to present a case for the importance of direct engagement with phenomena and materials. He argues that this practice is more than a matter of motivating students to become engaged in inquiry.

There is a need for an expanded conception or alternative way of thinking about the so called learning cycle that has been frequently cited as the pedagogical model for a fair number of curriculum programs. A pedagogical model is proposed that recognizes learning cycles as ones that build on each other in an in-depth developmental manner.

The first four chapters lay out different levels of a pedagogical approach and an overall theoretical orientation. The middle chapters focus on what might be called sensory knowledge. These are concerned with the role of different sensory engagement, movement as related to gestural representation and the role of empathy in exploration. The last four chapters are about the role of aesthetic, play, variable exploration and metaphor in their shaping of science education experiences.

Each chapter is introduced with a scenario or case study describing the behavior and talk of elementary or middle school students. The intention of these scenarios is to help the reader stay grounded while considering the more abstract development of research reports and broader philosophical issues.


1 Characteristics of a Genetic Approach to Curriculum Design

Mobiles and Balancing Toys

The First Activity

The Second Activity

The Third Activity

The Second Part - Balancing Objects Horizontally

The Overall Scheme of These Activities

Psychological Movements

Pedagogical Practices

Contextualizing the Object of Study

Archetypical Phenomena and Technological Artifacts

Multisensory Engagement



Exploration and Play

Models and Analogies

Philosophical Framework


2 A Pedagogical Model for Guided Inquiry.

Faraday and Maxwell - Models for Extended Inquiry

Case Study #1 - Michael Faraday

Multisensory Engagement


Explorations and Analogies

Thought Experiments

A Case Study in the Use of Analogies and Metaphors in Science

Case Study #2

Generative Metaphor

The Use of Analogies and Science Pedagogy

A Modified Pedagogical Model as a Developmental Progression

Phases of Inquiry

Exploratory Phase

Data Gathering and Experimental Phase

Meaning Making Phase

Modeling Phase

Extending the Inquiry with a Closely Related Phenomena

Relationship to the Learning Cycle Model

Cycles in Guided Inquiry

Theoretical Rationale


3 A Grade 1-9 Curriculum Framework Composed of Archetypical Phenomena and Technological Artifacts

Scenario #1

Concrete Images in Scientific Thinking

Images as They are Related to Primary Processes and Paleologic Thinking

Key Symbols in Scientific Thinking

The Function of Key Symbols

The Relationship Between Key Symbols, Root Metaphors, and Pedagogical Archetypes

Affective Coherence in a Grades 1-9 Science Curriculum Framework


4 An Alternative Paradigm as a Basis for a Holistic Approach to Science Education

Scenario #2

The Architect as One Model for Curriculum Design and Teaching

Portoghesi and the "Listening Architect"

Curriculum Design and Teaching as a Dialectical Process: An Alternate Paradigm

Engineering Versus Artist Paradigm

The Alternative Paradigm and Constructivism

Students Prior Knowledge and Conceptual Change

Pedagogical Practices for a Constructivist Approach to Teaching Science

Authenticity and Science Education

A Holistic Approach to Science Education - Meaning Making in the Broader Sense


5 The Body Image and Feelings in Science Learning

Scenario #3

A Rationale for This Approach

The Body as Ultimate Image and Basis for Physical Intuition

Embodied Cognition

Metaphoric Projection and the Embodied Mind

Nonverbal Thinking and the Role of Emotions and Feelings in Learning

Emotions and Feelings

Body Image and Spatial Orientation

The Embodied Curriculum and a Holistic Education


6 Sensory Understanding

Scenario #3 - Exploring with Siphon Bottles

Alternative Pedagogical Practices in Science Teaching

Scientific Imagination and the Role of Intuition

The Multimodal Imagination of Creative Scientists and Inventors

Nonverbal Thought: Vision and Its Relationship to the Other Senses

Thinking Without Language

Case Study #3

The Neurophysiology of Intuition

The Role of Vision in Exploring a Phenomenon

Visualism, Language, and Science Pedagogy

Authenticity in Science Education


7 Movement in Explorations, Gestural Representations, and Communication

Scenario #4

Movement During Explorations

Movement in Communication - Hand Gestures and Thinking

Gesture and Talk

Gestures, Body Movement, and the Focusing of Attention

Expressive Movements and Expressive Stories


8 Empathy

Scenario #5

The Art Experience and Empathy

The Relative Contributions of the Visual, Kinesthetic, and Tactile to Empathy

Intrinsically Interesting Phenomena and Archetypical Images

Difference/Distance and a Holistic Approach to Science Education


9 Aesthetics in the Learning of Science

Scenario #6

Historical Examples of the Impact of Aesthetic Impulses on Scientific Thinking

A Broad Historical View

A Case Study of a Historical Period

Case Studies of Individual Scientists and Inventors

Shaping Experiences Aesthetically

Aesthetics in the Selection and Organizing of Science Curriculum Experiences

Choosing Aesthetically Interesting Phenomena

Aesthetics and Exploratory Behavior

Structuring a Sequence of Experiences to Have an Aesthetic Orientation

Representing Experiences with Aesthetics in Mind

Aesthetics in Conceptualization

Aesthetics Experiences as a Model for Science Education Experiences

Aesthetic Experience as a Model for Holistic Science Education Experiences


10 Play and Exploration in the Teaching and Learning of Science

Scenario #7

Conditions for Play: Play and Intrinsic Motivation

Conditions for Play - Frames and Contexts

The Boundaries of After-School Programming

The Boundaries of School Activities

Differentiating Play and Exploration

Exploration and Play During Different Time Intervals

The First Few Minutes

During a 45-50 Min Class Session

Over Multiple Sessions of an Extended Investigation

Over a 9-Year Period.

Symbolic Play and Conceptual Change

Fusion, Empathy and the Anthropomorphic Involvement and Projection of Children and Adults

The Evolution of Generative Symbols

The Transitional Zone as the Primordial Play Situation - Role Model for a Holistic Science Education

The Transitional Zone and Conceptual Change


11 Play and Variations in Explorations and Representations:

The Stereoscopic Principle and Montage in the Design of Science Educational Experiences

Scenario #8

Collage and Visual Perception

Proust and Stereoscopic Vision

Goethe's Alternative Approach to Understanding the Natural World

Goethe and Contemporary Science Education

Variable Exploration of Children

Science Curriculum and Exhibits Using Multiple Examples

Stretch a Bubble

Large Bubble Dome

Small Bubble Dome

Frame a Bubble

Bubble Cells

Bubble Writing

A Bubble Investigation in the Classroom

Juxtaposition of Phenomena

Analogies as Juxtapositions


12 The Role of Metaphor, Models, and Analogies in Science Education

Scenario #9

Mile-Wide-Inch-Deep Versus Narrow Focus and In-Depth.

Defining a Domain and Subdomains

Domain Specificity and the Learning of Analogies

Analogies Within Domains and Subdomains

Accessing Analogies

Models and Modeling

Simple Physical Models Related to Real Objects

Current Problems with Design Challenges


Conflating Design and Inquiry

Visual Representations


Visual Modeling

Visual Modeling Combining Hands-On Activities with the Use of a Computer

Modeling with Computers

The Modeling of the Particulate Nature of Matter

First or Second Grade - Dyes and Pigments

Third or Fourth Grade - Crystals

Sixth Grade - Salad Dressing Physics

Seventh Grade - Chromatography

Eighth Grade - Investigating Special Inks

Comparison Across Subdomains

Concluding Comments



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