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Physics for Street Children – An International Project – Manuela Welzel & Elmar Breuer University of Education Heidelberg Background International Collaboration:

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Presentation on theme: "Physics for Street Children – An International Project – Manuela Welzel & Elmar Breuer University of Education Heidelberg Background International Collaboration:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Physics for Street Children – An International Project – Manuela Welzel & Elmar Breuer University of Education Heidelberg Background International Collaboration: University of Education Heidelberg (Germany) and Escuéla Normal Superior Maria Auxiliadora in Medellín (Colombia). Education for Street Children at “patio 13”, a safe place in Medellín, where street children can spend for the day, get food, shelter and health services. Teacher Education: pre-service teacher stu- dents have to participate in teaching practicals – e.g. in a patio. Objectives To develop teaching sequences for street children in co-operation with primary teacher students of the Colombian institution To get more information about learning characteristics of street children compared to those of the teacher students Methods The activities of both, the students and the street children, have been observed and photo- graphed. Acknowledgment This project was made possible by grants from the German Academic Exchange Service, from the Landesstiftung Baden-Württemberg and from the University of Education Heidelberg. 1 Teacher Students Learn Physics The project starts with a two week instruction for a group of Colombian pre-service teacher students. They learn physics through a hands-on-approach, for example the basics of electrical circuits and electro- magnetism. A variety of material and possible actions is offered and used, as well as ideas for successions of experi- ments. All the time the students work in small groups. The students learn by interactive situations and reflections on the teaching-learning situations, how to get from experimental experiences to theoretical explanations. 2 Teacher Students Develop Lessons The teacher students develop an instructional design to teach the street children at “Patio 13”. They reflect the specific teaching-learning situation in a patio and discuss their experiences with street children. The teacher students construct learning sequences taking into account the special abilities and beha- viour of street children. 3 Teacher Students Teach Street Children Boys in „Patio 13“ Escuéla Normal Superior Maria Auxiliadora Findings Experimental Design Both groups benefited by the interactive offers. The students used the experimental devices intensively and came to theoretical discussions about the rules in electrical circuits. Street Children's Learning Characteristics Hands-on-activities are better than frontal teaching situations. Rivalries within small groups got visible, because everybody wanted to get material and to do everything by himself. They have been motivated by the experimental devices. Sequences of concentrated experimental work over about 30 minutes got possible. Rapidly after solving a problem new experimental ideas have been tested out. They asked for more material to make additional experiments. Teacher Students’ Learning Characteristics They had no problems with frontal situations. Group working: roles have been distributed rapidly: writer, experimenter, explainer They asked for further explanations and used textbooks. They did not use theoretical knowledge from former physics instruction. They stopped their activities after having solved a problem and waited for further instructions. Reflection on Teaching the Street Children Teacher students mixed ideas and tasks from the instructions they got from us, from further experiences with street children, and from their own learning at school. Teacher students rapidly realized the difficulty of starting a lesson frontally. Teacher students had problems to keep the street children motivated and concentrated listening. Teacher students learned that the experimental approach leads to an extensive engagement in physics problems. The teacher students start a lesson using a frontal situation. The students explain the hands-on material. The street children take the material and they start working in small groups. The students help the street chil- dren solving physics problems. Co-operating street Children Experimental results are proudly presented. The experimental equipment is motivating.


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