Knowledge Construction in Physics




Normand, Louis

In order to stimulate his students’ interest in science, the author experimented with an alternative teaching approach in a course on Électricité et magnétisme. The project approach means devising learning situations that emphasize the construction and mobilization of knowledge, as proposed by the competency-based approach that challenges the traditional role of the teacher. In this article, the author begins by explaining that selected problem situations must integrate the general goals and favour transdisciplinarity. To do so he proposes using technosciences. Then he describes the knowledge construction process that corresponds to the essential attitude we wish to develop in students in order to condition their way of approaching concepts. Applying this process to the Electricité and magnétisme course with the support of several tables, he then describes a five-stage planning process based on constructivist principles: identification of concepts and contents; determination of one or more situations; explanation of the problem solving process; definition of a conceptual framework; and analysis of students’ concepts. In concluding, he mentions certain important consequences of this approach for teaching.


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