Converging science and literature cultures: learning physics via The Little Prince novella




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Godínez Sandí, Alejandro
Fallas Padilla, Diego Alonso
España Tapia, Sebastián
Zúñiga Villegas, Andrea
Castro Mora, Milena
Herrera Sancho, Óscar Andrey

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Primary level education follows a pedagogy model where literature and science have been historically separated. Natural children processes are disrupted, as learning based on play curiosity is completely transformed by a chalkboard model. Specific experimental realizations can link thinking processes based on science to study problems contextualized by literature. Converging the essences of these two cultures has the potential to enhance the education experience, dramatically. This paper proposes a new didactic strategy using experimental demonstrations based on The Little Prince story, providing a journey through different philosophical questions about nature and Universe laws. Therefore, the story is used as a scientific metaphor applied to a teaching-learning situation. A workshop was implemented to a group of 26 students attending sixth grade (mean age  =  12 years old), from two primary schools located in Heredia, Costa Rica. In order to evaluate the sessions' performance, Pearson's test for independence was used to contrast association within a set of variables related to perception of learning processes and emerging interest in science. Overall 77% of the students perceived an increased interest in science, despite gender characteristics. Curiously, a gender association was observed related to the preferences girls and boys have for specific experimental demonstrations. Additionally, 92% of the students perceived learning of scientific concepts after the sessions delivered. Our research establishes a new didactic strategy with the potential to break historical pedagogical patterns and could pave the way into integration of contrasting disciplines.


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