OTERO Maria Rita
Imágenes y Enseñanza de la Física: Una visión Cognitiva
Lugar: Burgos; Año: 2004 p. 376
This work investigated how the external images (statics, animations, simulations and applets) affect -facilitate, make difficult or inhibit- the construction of appropriate mental representations in order to understand, explain and predict in Physics, particularly about Oscillations. The idea of mental representation and mental model proposed by Johnson-Laird (1983, 1990, 1996) was adopted. Cognitive Psychology research was analyzed on the mental image (Kosslyn, 1986, 1996) and the conceptions of mental imagery supported by the usual image theories. These theories adopt a spatial, kinematics approach of mental images which turns out to be non suitable to describe the dynamic, physical imagery. The differences between mental images and mental models are discussed, pointing out why mental models are necessary to explain the mental imagery and modeling. The approach of dynamic imagery proposed by Schwartz (1999) and the notion of depictive model of the same author are adopted. The depictive models for the dynamic imagery would explain how and under what conditions people are able to simulate "in their head" the interactions of the physical objects and carry out inferences only available for them in that way. The characteristics of images and the way they are used in books of University Basic Physics and textbooks for Secondary School were described and typologies were constructed, using multi-varied statistics. These identified uses of the external image would be supported by misconceptions called "popular psychology". From these conceptions, image uses would be inferred, relied on the idea that using images -showing them- improves students´ understanding and performance. It was investigated if there were differences in the scholar performance between two class groups, using many external images (animations, simulations and applets) in one group and very few in the other. The performance was measured by the answers to situations requiring the construction of mental representations and mental models in order to understand, anticipate and draw inferences when teaching Oscillations. The covariance analysis (ANOVA-ANCOVA) did not throw statistically significant differences between both groups. Finally, three cases were approached to analyze how the visual representations with computer support (animations, simulations and applets) affected mental representation. The results show that students´ dynamic, on-line visualizations were not influenced by software and their external pictorial representations, such as drawings of physical systems, were not substantially modified either. They also show that the dynamic visualizations would happen when students face a "new" situation and do not have conceptual information, nor perceptive information to derive the answer. These results allow to establish some interesting questions for Teaching and Research in Science Teaching.