Connectivism in Science Education with Emphasis on International Collaboration
Eva Trnova and Josef Trna
DOI : 10.3844/jssp.2012.490.496
Journal of Social Sciences
Volume 8, Issue 4
The study presents the results of design-based research on the influence of connectivism on science education, with the emphasis on an international collaboration among/between teachers and students from different countries. Science and technology education is a very important part of culture as a knowledge background of society. Very fast ICT development strongly influences education. The pedagogical theory of connectivism was born as a response to this ICT development. Thus a need occurred to examine these connectivistic influences on science and technology education. This study presents a design-based research which is focussed on the following issues: identification of connectivistic factors and their influence on science education; creation of connectivistic educational methods; implementation of connectivistic educational methods into teaching/learning and teacher’s training. These methods were created within the frame of collaborative action research based on ICT which can be used as a vehicle for international collaboration with effective exploitation of ICT. The collaborative action research based on ICT was carried out by two collaborating teachers and their students in the Czech Republic and in Portugal. Concrete scenarios and strategic planning of the collaborative connectivistic teaching/learning are presented on the topic photosynthesis. Our design-based research results verify that implementation of connectivism in science education is reality. We identify the set of connectivistic factors which influence science education: selection of topic, selection of students, use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), collaboration schedule and elaboration of materials for teaching and learning. Connectivistic educational methods in science education are also presented. Connectivistic teaching/learning methods have a very positive influence on science education. This connectivistic approach can contribute to reducing the gap between educational research and school practice. It will be important to implement our research results into pre-service and especially in-service science teacher training.
© 2012 Eva Trnova and Josef Trna. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.