Conceptual change at school

Aurora Lacueva.


Short-term strategies for conceptual change, based in the generation of a cognitive conflict, have proved unsuccessful in many cases. So called alternative conceptions extended and mixed in diverse fields beyond the sciences, tend to be organized in more or less diffuse lay mini-theories, have components at different levels of specificity and consciousness, and may be based in strong framework theories. Lay theories differ from scientific ones not only in their content, but also in the nature of their conceptualizations, in their methodology and even in their epistemology. Although the embryos of scientific theories can be constructed during the basic school years, the main effort has to be directed towards the complexification of everyday theories. That calls for a rich, warm and democratic school environment, centered in project-learning and open to the outside world.


Key words: Primary education, science education, conceptual change, alternative conceptions, everyday cognition, complex thinking.

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