Title: On the nature of continuity or discontinuity between lay and scientific conceptualizations in physics
Authors : Fuchs, Hans Ulrich
Corni, Federico
Conference details: 9th International Conference on Conceptual Change, Bologna, Italy, 26-29 August 2014
Issue Date: 2014
License (according to publishing contract) : Licence according to publishing contract
Type of review: Peer review (Abstract)
Language : English
Subjects : Physics education research; Cognitive science; Cognitive linguistics
Subject (DDC) : 530: Physics
Abstract: In this symposium we wish to discuss the question about the extent of continuity between everyday and scientific concepts in physics. We claim that in macroscopic physical systems and processes, continuity is much stronger than is commonly accepted in school science and in science education research. This claim is supported by our research in physics teaching, conceptual structures in physics and the human mind. For example, modern continuum physics uses a conceptual integration network (i.e., a figurative metaphoric structure) that is closely related to everyday conceptualizations of the physical world. We will present evidence for strong continuity in cases of primary science education (and the training of primary school teachers) and college physics courses for engineers. We will stress, however, that continuity of underlying conceptualizations alone does not make learning of a science simpler. The task of education shifts from one where we - however gently - bend human minds to conform to school science to one where students learn to use their own conceptual networks and make them productive. One particular educational approach for accomplishing this is the progressive differentiation of aspects of perceptual gestalts of physical phenomena. These examples of continuity between lay and scientific conceptualizations in physical science call for a careful reevaluation of models of conceptual change. Indeed, we prefer to think of conceptual growth and differentiation rather than change. It is not clear, however, how far this confluence of scientific and everyday conceptualizations can go in quantum physics and in the science of complex systems. Narratologists commonly assume that narrativity breaks down in quantum and complex systems. Since narrativity of science seems to be a necessary ingredient for connecting everyday reasoning to science, only further research can show what kind of conceptual change is necessary for the learning of quantum physics.
Further description : Symposium
Departement: School of Engineering
Organisational Unit: Institute of Applied Mathematics and Physics (IAMP)
Publication type: Conference Other
URI: https://digitalcollection.zhaw.ch/handle/11475/16672
Appears in Collections:Publikationen School of Engineering

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