La rappresentazione dei concetti fisici: energia e forza

Alberto Greco, Valeria Buscaglia

Disa – Laboratorio di Psicologia e Scienze Cognitive
Università di Genova

Technical Report 0601
Gennaio 2006

This paper examines cognitive processes involved in physics learning, using the concept of schema as a knowledge representation model. Its purpose is to study the relations among acquired concepts and especially to analyse how prescientific common sense conceptions are replaced or integrated by scientific conceptions taught in classroom. In order to understand how schemata are constructed, two approaches were pursued: the first (bottom-up) started from the teaching aspect, by testing in classroom a physics teaching project in Italian middle school (“progetto ORA”). From classroom observations some primitive schemata were derived, concerning physics concepts of energy and force. In the second (top-down) approach, previously outlined schemata were revised considering answers to questions about relevant concepts given by physics teachers and students. Results show a considerable difficulty in modifying already learnt conceptions, in particular when following notions are abstract. The most effective modifications that replaced primitive conceptions were suggested by concrete activity and even experts always represented such concepts concretely.

Full paper (in Italian)

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