Historical Networks in Science Education A Case Study of an Experiment with Network Analysis by High School Students

Marlon Cesar Alcantara, Marco Braga, C.M.J.M. van den Heuvel

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

This paper discusses the potential of the creation and analysis of historical networks as didactic strategies in science education. To this end, we first argue the importance of combining critical approaches of the history of science with historical network research. This will be followed by a report of an empirical experiment in which the history of science high school students created historical networks of human and non-human objects using the ePistolarium platform in combination with other network visualization tools (Available at http://ckcc.huygens.knaw.nl/epistolarium/. Accessed on November 20, 2018). Finally, following this empirical exploration, we will explain how the creation of historical networks are in line with academic recommendations in Brazil, encouraging the development of projects by students and also using historical collections and computational tools, interdisciplinary teaching methodologies and approaches that can support the formulation of reflective questions about science. Negotiations between small groups of students that shape their historical networks in combination with mediations by the teacher in plenary meetings are the main characteristics of this educational project. Networks were made from students’ observations, their research and their presentations. In successive meetings, the whole process was evaluated and the contribution of these historical networks to the history of science was discussed. Although we argue that historical networks can be a powerful instrument of collaborative learning, it will be demonstrated that their creation requires the supervision of teachers to prevent manipulations of historical data and biased interpretations hereof.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
JournalScience & Education
Early online date09 Jan 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 09 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • historical networks
  • science education
  • circulation of knowledge
  • collaborative learning

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