New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Science Fiction to Enhance Students' Motivation

Laura Weiss, IUFE - Université de Genève (Switzerland)

Abstract

Student motivation has been a concern of teachers for a long time. Moreover, the decline of interest in science among young people is considered alarming for the renewal of scientists for the coming future in the OECD countries and around the world (Rocard, 2007). To enhance student motivation one solution could be building on their interests. As science fiction (SF) literature and filmography are largely present in the cultural landscape of today’s youth, beginning there could be an incentive for learning science. Do students like SF? Which kinds of SF? Would science lessons based on SF situations be attractive to students? Would teachers be ready to choose teaching activities related to SF? To answer these questions, we conducted a survey of 500 secondary school students and 50 science teachers in Geneva, Switzerland about the if and how of using SF at school. Comparisons of age, gender, schools, SF themes and disciplines show patterns in the student population similar to those of the teachers. Moreover, we conducted interviews with some teachers to understand more precisely how they would use SF in the classroom. These interviews cohere with Bradbury’s idea (1976) that “all the important problems of our time are SF problems”.

Keywords

Motivation; Science education; Science fiction; Survey

 

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