What Can Empirical Images of Scientific Practice Tell Us about the Design of Learning Environments in Schools?

By José Antonio (Tony) Torralba.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Educational Studies

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper proposes an empirical-based conceptual framework for designing project-based curriculum in school science. Such framework is constructed using records from a three-year ethnographic study of a scientific project, and encompasses the type of contexts and leading activities taking place inside a scientific laboratory. Its purpose is to capture the everyday work of scientists in ways that can be useful for those designing school-based learning environments. The paper offers a curricular instrument (a matrix) and exemplifies its use in three different project-based science curricular activities.

Keywords: Science Education, Sociology of Science, Learning Environments

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Educational Studies, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp.55-67. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 646.365KB).

Asst. Prof. José Antonio (Tony) Torralba

Assistant Professor of Education, Curriculum Studies Department, College of Education, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Dr. Torralba has an interest in examining issues of learning and development at schools and at work places. His work in this area includes an extended ethnographically-based research project that examined organizational, representational, and developmental issues inside a professional laboratory, and corresponding activities inside a secondary mathematics classroom. He has also focus his research in creating ecological learning environments (based on his extensive examination of scientists) that directly engage secondary students with ongoing research projects conducted by scientists. These efforts have targeted under-represented students with the practical aims of engaging these students in post-secondary education.