New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Influence of the Illustrations on a STEM Knowledge Diagnostic Test in 4th Grade Primary Education Students

Milagros Mateos Nuñez, Departament of Didactics of Experimental Sciences, University of Extremadura (Spain)

Guadalupe Martínez Borreguero, Departament of Didactics of Experimental Sciences, University of Extremadura (Spain)

Francisco Luis Naranjo, Departament of Didactics of Experimental Sciences, University of Extremadura (Spain)

Abstract

In the current educational framework, the achievement of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics competencies) in the primary education stage (6-12 years old) is limited by the different teaching methodologies employed by the teacher in the classroom. Several authors point out that scientific subjects require a methodological change focused on newer forms of teaching that promote not only significant learning of concepts, ideas and principles, but also raise interest in science and promote the development of competences. The general objective of this work was to assess the level of STEM knowledge of students in the 4th grade of Primary Education and to analyze the influence of the illustration used in the developed diagnostic tests. In particular, illustrations may be a key tool for developing mental representations that help to remember and relate scientific contents that have been previously studied. The sample consisted of 246 students aged between 9 and 10 from different schools in our regional area. The research design was quasi-experimental with pre-test, control group (CG) and experimental group (EG). As measuring instrument, two 13-item STEM tests were designed, one without illustrations and the other with illustrations. The tests were based on the topics “Matter”, “Forces and Energy” and “Machines” taken from several Natural Science textbooks of the chosen level. In both tests, the questions were about the same concepts or presented similar situations, and they were asked in the same order of appearance. The results obtained allowed us, on the one hand, to know the previous ideas and the level of students in relation to STEM competences and, on the other hand, to value visual literacy during the transmission of knowledge and the use of illustrations in the evaluation process. Inferential statistical analysis reveals statistically significant differences (Sig. < 0.05) in the grades obtained in favor of the experimental group. Likewise, it is concluded that supporting scientific teaching with explanatory illustrations of the contents results in a significant improvement in the acquisition of knowledge and its subsequent application in day-to-day situations.

Keywords: STEM, Primary Education, Science Education, Visual Literacy;

References

[1] Martínez, G., Mateos, M. and Naranjo, F. L. "Design and Validation of a Teaching Sequence Based on Concept Maps to Achieve Meaningful Learning of Science Content in Primary Education." In International Conference on Concept Mapping. Springer International Publishing, 2016, pp. 54-65,
[2] Ruiz, J. M. “El uso de imágenes como recurso didáctico”, España: Edinumen, 2013.
[3] Perales, F. J. “Uso (y abuso) de la imagen en la enseñanza de las ciencias”, Enseñanza de las ciencias, 2006, pp. 13–30.
[4] Otero, M.R. “Investigación en imágenes en la educación en ciencias imágenes, palabras y conversaciones”, IV Encontro Nacional de pesquisa em educação em ciencias, 2003.
[5] Caceres, F., Vilchez, J. and Gonzalez, F. “Los contenidos procedimientales y actitudinales en las diferentes leyes educativas en España. La necesidad de colaboraciones científicos-profesores-estudiantes para conseguir la alfabetización científica”, 27 Encuentros de Didactica de las Ciencias Experimentales, 2016, pp. 667-674.
 

 

 

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