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Developing and guiding teachers in using historical case studies in nature-of-science education

Grant number: 14/20876-0
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
Duration: July 25, 2015 - November 26, 2015
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - History of Science
Principal Investigator:Maria Elice de Brzezinski Prestes
Grantee:Maria Elice de Brzezinski Prestes
Visiting researcher: Douglas Allchin
Visiting researcher institution: University of Minnesota (U of M), United States
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


This project aims primarily to enrich science education through historical case studies and to develop and assess corresponding strategies for training teachers. The primary focus is designing, implementing and evaluating a discipline at Biosciences Institute of USP, SP, accredited in the Interunit Graduate Program in Science Teaching of USP, as a potential model for effective teacher education there and elsewhere. A central feature will be the assembly of a set of curriculum modules (in Portuguese) that will engage students actively in the scientific thinking and problem-solving of important historical discoveries, and reflective analysis of scientific practices. A secondary project (at UFABC) will engage teachers in shorter workshops for implementing such cases, along with contemporary cases and student-led inquiry activities, all aimed to enhance understanding about how science works. Both methods will be assessed for their effectiveness, as models for future efforts. Finally, there will be additional presentations and discussions in history of science at the History of Biology and Teaching Group of Research of IB-USP, at Physics Institute of USP São Carlos, at Biology Department of USP Ribeirão Preto, and at Biology Institute of UFBA, Salvador, which will ultimately promote interchange with the scholarly community of the State of São Paulo (and Bahia), that will contribute to further such efforts in science education. (AU)

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