New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Teaching Interference, Diffraction and Polarization of Light in Brazilian High School in the International Light Year

Samia Abadia Dantas, Universidade Federal de Uberlândia (Brazil)

Debora Coimbra, Universidade Federal de Uberlândia (Brazil)


A teaching learning sequence (TLS) to approach the light diffraction, interference and polarization phenomena, taking the holographic images as a subject was developed. The TLS includes key concepts such as amplitude, wave length and frequency, required for the desired operativity of the models.

It was applied within about 300 second year students of public regular High School located in Uberlandia, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Based on the theory of conceptual fields by Vergnaud, a wide range of situations was proposed, allowing students to progressively experience and dominate them.

The discussion of contents was supported in analysis of images, videos and animations, running simulations, ludic materials and handling activities. For the mathematical treatment for the waves (interpretation of mathematical expressions and graphs), it was applied Modellus software for its easy handling and free distribution.

The performed TLS promoted effective participation and involvement of students, even when topics with a strong mathematical nature were considered. Although the process of creating holographic images have not been deeply understood by the majority of the students, something which would be expected given complexity of the issue, questionnaires answers pointed out an understanding of the characteristics of the wave phenomena. In addition, students’ answers evinced a demystification process of holograms’ technology creation, as well as the scientist's figure as a “genius”, whose knowledge is a divine gift.

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