Fernanda Cavaliere Ribeiro Sodré

University of São Paulo – Brazil

Thesis: A proposal of conceptual profiles assessment of space and time

Research supervisor: Cristiano Rodrigues de Mattos

My name is Fernanda Cavaliere Ribeiro Sodré and I am from São Paulo/Brazil. I have been teaching physics in elementary schools in São Paulo for many years and since august of 2013 I am a PhD student in Science Education at the University of São Paulo under the supervision of Cristiano Rodrigues de Mattos.
Since 2005 I am member of ECCO – Research Group on Education in Science and Complexity, which is dedicated to explore socio-historical and cultural aspects of Science Education in different levels of education. Research developed by the group is grounded on Activity Theory, Conceptual Profile Model and Complex Systems Theory.

My master dissertation was about food, that is a complex issue and involves many kinds of relationships. Food can be seen through different perspectives: social, political, economic, nutritional, biological, physical, psychological, artistic, religious, etc., which reflects particular ways to understand, give meanings/purposes and set values to food.

In the face of the myriad of perspectives in which food can be analyzed, I worked with the particular framework that takes into account the relationships between physical and nutritional aspects, considering also that these relations are entrenched with their socio-cultural-historical contexts. I used Garcia (1998) and his hypothesis of integration between scientific and daily knowledges (that he calls “enrichment of everyday knowledge”) as one of my most important reference, as well as the dimensions of the conceptual profile to help me to establish criteria for food selection.

Regarding to my PhD research, I am drawing on Vygotsky and his genetic method to understand how the concepts of space and time emerge, develop and are manifested by future physics teachers (in formation). I intend to develop a conceptual profile of space and time for these teachers. In this sense, I am also involved with a complex issue, since concepts of space and time are inter/multidisciplinary.

So far, pilot interviews have been designed and implemented based on my bibliographic research. From the interviews, I have established categories that are related to epistemological, ontological and axiological dimensions of concepts and to the levels of Vygotsky’s genetic method. The purpose of these initials interviews was, by analyzing the collected answers, to eliminate questions that produced no answers in the direction of the construction of the conceptual profile. My aim is, through the questionnaires, to make questions that allow me to identify the correlation between a specific zone of the conceptual profile and context.

At the current stage of my research, this summer school is a rich opportunity and an important experience to learn in depth the theoretical framework that I am using in my research and to discuss methodological issues, which are fundamental to prepare questionnaires and collect more data to finish my investigation.

Thus, this course appears as an important moment to put together several aspects that are relevant to my research, providing feedbacks and a deep contact with experts in the Vygotskian perspective. In addition, this experience occur precisely during elementary school holidays, when I can dedicate myself full-time to my research.

 Presentation “An investigation about pre-service Physics teacher’s conceptual profile of time”

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