Context effect in climatic seasons and moon observation conception in the French West Indies

Abstract : Sciences curriculum, official instructions and scholar books are the same for all French pupils. Some official scientific aims of secondary schools (11–18 years old) like seasons and moon observation may not fit with nature observation in French West Indies. To overcome this obstacle and improve sciences education in French West Indies, a better understanding of representation of students seems necessary. A questionnaire was fulfilled by 124 first year students from Guadeloupe. European seasons descriptions are significantly more precise than Caribbean ones in year period as in climatic characteristics (temperature and humidity). More than 75% of answers do not take in account the relationship between moon orientation and latitude. The majority of students seem to perceive the moon as represented in the models of education or cultural product from temperate areas and not as they see it. Here we seem to face a kind of inverted obstacle in the epistemological sense. It is not the naive observation of nature that makes it more difficult to understand scientific concepts but universal selection of content (examples, models, order of ideas) that explains science taught imperfectly observable in specific educational setting.
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Thomas Forissier. Context effect in climatic seasons and moon observation conception in the French West Indies. ESERA 2011 Science Learning and Citizenship, 2011, Lyon, France. ⟨hal-01539485⟩

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