SCHOOL USE OF DOCUMENTS Of NONSCHOOL ORIGIN IN PHYSICAL SCIENCES: Elements for an inventory of fixtures and impact study of a targeted accompaniment in French class of second (grade 10).

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Supervisors: Laurence Viennot & Philippe Colin.

Laboratoire de Didactique des Sciences Physiques LDSP, Université Paris Diderot – Paris 7, case 7086 10, rue Alice Domon et Léonie Duquet, 75205 Paris Cedex 13, France.


It is currently advised for to organise some activities in which students can analyse and criticise documents aiming at public understanding of science. Here, we document the use of such documents - in this case paper documents with images - in the classroom. Our perspective is not to envisage only their potential in terms of students’ curiosity but to consider as well possible conceptual benefits. After having collected some elements of investigation about the state of affairs in this respect, in students and teachers in France, we designed and evaluated a teaching sequence, three successive years, each time with a standard group at grade 10 level. Organised with a view to minimising the perturbation of the standard teaching, this sequence comprises three sessions spread over the whole academic year. A special attention is given to the students’ ability to organise a hierarchy among some problematic aspects of the documents, given the corresponding risks of misunderstandings. Another point of special attention is the tendency to reduce the meaning of the document or the activities that can be organised about it to standard aspects of a classic teaching. Beyond the positive changes that have been observed in these respects, some strong clues of a linkage between critical conceptual analysis and students’ intellectual satisfaction suggest that this topic deserves further research.

Key words: didactic – Physics – scientific Popularization – Teaching – Resources nonschool – school Reduction – critical analyze

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