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Facilitating Primary Student Teachers’ Development of Critical Thinking Through a Nanotechnology Module

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Paper presented at the 1st International Conference on Technology and Innovation in Learning, Teaching and Education (TECH-EDU 2018), June 20-22, 2018, Thessaloniki, Greece.

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Facilitating Primary Student Teachers’ Development of Critical Thinking Through a Nanotechnology Module

  1. 1. Facilitating Primary Student Teachers’ Development of Critical Thinking Through a Nanotechnology Module Anna Spyrtou Leonidas Manou George Peikos Panagiota Zachou University of Western Macedonia TECH-EDU 2018 International Conference on Technology and Innovation in Learning, Teaching and Education, June 20-22, 2018 - Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
  2. 2. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND • Critical Thinking • Inquiry Learning • Nanotechnology RESEARCH METHODOLOGY • The context of the research • Dara sources • Data analysis RESULTS CONCLUSIONS AND FUTURE WORK REFERENCES Outline
  3. 3. Inquiry learning environment for promoting critical thinking Theoretical Background 1st pylon Aspects of Critical Thinking Aspects of Inquiry Learning Environment
  4. 4. Critical Thinking Theoretical Background “Human beings are more than thinking machines” Skills Dispositions purposeful thinking, analyzing data/arguments, formulating inferences, justifying explanations, solving problems… truth-seeking, self-confidence, willingness to plan, flexibility, open-mindedness… (Facione 2011, Halpern 2014)
  5. 5. Inquiry learning environment Theoretical Background A form of active learning enabling posing questions and discussing problems or scenarios to students that have to identify research issues and questions to develop their own knowledge or provide their own solutions (Lederman & Lederman, 2012)
  6. 6. Inquiry learning environment for promoting critical thinking Theoretical Background Model-based inquiry environment: an example • Students to think about the usefulness and credibility of models Promotes evaluation skills learning outcomes of inquiry environment Scientific skills & Knowledge Critical Thinking Combine (Soulios & Psillos 2016)
  7. 7. Nanotechnology education as a platform for the promotion of critical thinking Theoretical Background 2nd pylon “Nanotechnology [..] demands not only public support but public skepticism and critical thinking as well” • How the abstractness of the nanoscale, the interdisciplinary nature of nanotechnology, the risks and benefits, emerging from this new field and the myriads of practical applications may justify the promotion of CT? • …….. (David & Thompson, 2008) Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) Crucial Questions are revealed
  8. 8. Nanotechnology education as a platform for the promotion of critical thinking skills Abstractness of the nanoscale Theoretical Background 2nd pylon How do we know what is real when we see a picture of a nanoscale object? Evaluation skill (Toumey & Cobb 2012)
  9. 9. Nanotechnology education as a platform for the promotion of critical thinking dispositions Interdisciplinary nature Theoretical Background 2nd pylon Open - mindedness (European Commission 2015)
  10. 10. How nanotechnology can be a vehicle for promoting CT to students? Open question
  11. 11. The purpose of this study We present a module that was designed and implemented for introducing concepts and phenomena of nanoscale Research Question RQ: Which CT skills and dispositions are expected to be developed by engaging PTs in specific educational tasks concerning nanotechnology content? Within the educational materials of the nanotechnology module we seek to identify CT aspects (skills or dispositions)
  12. 12. Research Methodology The context of the research Nanotechnology Module Primary Student Teachers One-semester Course • 6 units • Two-hour Interdisciplinary Phenomena Science Technology Engineering Relations Tools Size- dependent properties Size Science- Technology- Society Models Interdisciplinary Concepts
  13. 13. Research Methodology Data Sources The poster6 lesson plans 8 worksheets 1 poster
  14. 14. Research Methodology Data Analysis Top-down qualitative content analysis 6 Skills 7 Dispositions The most appropriate framework Descriptions Fire-up questions (Elo & Kyngäs 2008, Facione 2011)
  15. 15. Research Methodology: analysis of dispositions Data Analysis • Truth-seeking • Open-mindedness • Analyticity • Systematicity • Self-confidence • Inquisitiveness • Cognitive maturity Dispositions Educational tasks of the nanotechnology module (Facione 2011) “Was I courageous enough to ask tough questions about some of my longest held and most cherished beliefs?” (Truth-seeking) Fire-up Questions (FUPQ)
  16. 16. Research Methodology: analysis of dispositions Data Analysis • Truth-seeking • Open-mindedness • Analyticity • Systematicity • Self-confidence • Inquisitiveness • Cognitive maturity Dispositions Framework’s Fire-up Questions (FUPQ) “Was I courageous enough to ask tough questions about some of my longest held and most cherished beliefs?” (Truth-seeking) Educational tasks of the nanotechnology module
  17. 17. RESULTS: QUESTIONS TO FIRE-UP CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS IN THE NANOTECHNOLOGY MODULE CT Skills Fire-up Questions Interpretation What is the best way to classify or characterize the three worlds, macroworld, microworld, nanoworld? Analysis Why do you think some surfaces show the super-hydrophobic property? Inference Purifying dirty water with nanofilter, what are the consequences to human health and economy in Africa? What does this experiment about testing different size pores imply? Evaluation Why do you think we can accept this model as an appropriate representation of these nanoscale objects? Explanation How would you explain your reasoning about your classification of macroworld, microworld, nanoworld? You have concluded that the most effective water filter should consist of nanopores. How do you explain this conclusion? Self-regulation Before we create our model, what are we missing? How good is my evidence in order to teach my homegroup classmates about the super-hydrophobicity of plants and materials?
  18. 18. Analysis skill: To identify the inferential relationships among concepts and descriptions… Results Aim: identification of existing relation among the concept of superhydrophobicity, the nanoscale structures (nanobumps) and the self-cleaning phenomenon Why do you think some surfaces show the super-hydrophobic property?FUQ
  19. 19. Explanation skill: Being able to present in a cogent and coherent way the results of one’s reasoning… Results You have concluded that the and the phenomena of the nanoscale affect the macroworld of scale. How do you explain this conclusion? FUQ People (macroscale) Cells (microscale) Virus (nanoscale)
  20. 20. QUESTIONS TO FIRE-UP CT DISPOSITIONS IN THE NANOTECHNOLOGY MODULE Dispositions Fire-Up Questions Truth-seeking Was I courageous enough to ask what is real when we see a picture of a virus? Open- Mindedness Have I showed tolerance towards the divergent representations of the virus that describe the same aspect of it? Inquisitiveness Have I read a newspaper article about how could athletic shoes be superhydrophobic? Have I read online sources whether there are water flasks including nanofilter that we may use in our everyday life? Results
  21. 21. Truth-seeking disposition: To seek the best knowledge in a given context, being courageous about asking questions, honest & objective about pursuing inquiry. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rpj0emEGShQ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHp6iYDi9ko How do we know what is real when we see a picture of a virus?FUQ Results
  22. 22. Directions of Nanotechnology to promote CT Skills & Dispositions The abstractness of the nanoscale The interdisciplinary nature of nanotechnology The myriads of applications Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) 6 Skills 3 Dispositions Conclusions CT Skills CT Dispositions Interpretation Truth-seeking Analysis Open-Mindedness Inference Inquisitiveness Evaluation Explanation Self-regulation
  23. 23. Further research: Interdisciplinary nature of Nanotechnology The abstractness of the nanoscale The interdisciplinary nature of nanotechnology The myriads of applications Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) 6 Skills 3 Dispositions Conclusions Not emphasized An open question How we can build on the inherent interdisciplinarity of nanotechnology to facilitate learners’ CT?
  24. 24. Further research: RRI - Nanotechnology The abstractness of the nanoscale The interdisciplinary nature of nanotechnology The myriads of applications Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) 6 Skills 3 Dispositions Conclusions Risks – Benefits of Nanotechnology An open question How can the perceptions of RRI, increased through the advent of nanotechnology contribute to the promotion of the learners’ CT
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