OTERO Maria Rita
Buscando Modelos Mentales
OTERO, M. R.; BANKS LEITE, L
Lugar: Tandil, Buenos Aires; Año: 2007 p. 241
In this work, a transversal study of a genetic character is carried out in order to detect and characterize mental models and their evolution in the solving of a complex mathematical problem what could be considered as a formal and abstract task. This investigation involves the last five years of Secondary School, in an age range between twelve and eighteen years old. The Johnson-Laird? s Mental Model Theory is assumed and a categorization is performed on the basis of this theory from the subjects? productions in paper-and-pencil testsand clinical interviews. The operationalization of the theoretical term ?mental model? is unheard-of and it could be a very useful contribution to Science Teaching research from this theoretical framework. The categorization made allows us to detect and characterize the mental models performed by the subjects, as well as their evolution in the transit from arithmetical to algebraic models and, to conclude that the construction of mental models could be a general characteristic of thinking, considering they are present in all the analyzed levels. The relations between the performance of these analog models and Logic are discussed, being the latter an acquisition strongly influenced by school and instruction. The possibilities and limitations of the Mental Model Theory are analyzed in order to explain this acquisition and its genesis, as well as the abstraction and generalization processes which are essential for the access to thinking and scientific knowledge and; finally, a set of new questions to be approached in future research is formulated.