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Katalin Radnóti and Éva Wagner: Practical problems in science education

We cover in our study some unfavourable phenomena coming up when teaching physics and chemistry. Different surveys done in Hungary show that these two subjects are the least liked by our students, and also are the most problematic part of teaching science. We question if our students really get the knowledge needed for finding the way in our complicated world when studying the over-doctrinefocused syllabus in our everyday practice. We raise problems most of which are worth searching, also offering suggestions to those. These questions cover a wide range, just as science education does. Our main aim is to collect the problems, state hypothesis, set questions for deep studies. We also recommend ways to renew science education. We find very important considering the elements of children's science, putting the material into the contexts of the children's lives, focusing on the leading role of theories when getting experience from experiments, supplying social possibilities when constructing personal knowledge, introducing nature as a whole. The basic ideas of our work are of the constructivist pedagogy. We show examples of development of children's science. We carried out empiric research to show the changes of the concepts of conservation of materials, mass, volume, density. We also discuss opportunities about handling mock-scientific views in schools.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 99. Number 3. 323-342. (1999)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Radnóti Katalin, ELTE TFK Fizika Tanszék, H-1075 Budapest, Kazinczy u. 23-27. E-mail:
Wagner Éva, Deák Diák Iskola, H-1089 Budapest, Orczy út 3/5. E-mail:


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia