The child perception of the questions related to the theory of the evolution: a study with children of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The evolution contents is very important to the teaching of biology. However, there are few studies that seek to better understand the design and the perceptionthat young people have about the theory of evolution, especially in the brazilian scenario as regards the child public. According Castelfranchi et al (in press) to doscience with children and for children is important, first of all, listen to them, understand what they know about science and scientists, and from there, build a dialogue. Therefore, the objective of this work is to investigate what are theperceptions that children have on issues related to the theory of evolution. We used focus groups as qualitative methodology research technique to gather data. Wecarried out five focus groups, each group including an average eight children with ten years old. The activities with the children included: discussion around rubber animals;a draw-history preparation; writing a collective letter. The questions that guided the activities were: Have animals always existed? How they emerged on Earth? The firstanimals came from what or from whom? Are today animals equal or different to that first appeared on Earth? If they got different, how they got? Why? Over the time newanimals appeared? If yes, how this happened? Why there are so many different animals from each other today? For data analysis, we used the content analysis.Among the results, we observed that children have basic knowledge about the classification of animals (arthropods, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals).Geological time is not clear to several of the children in our study; they have notion that the Earth is old, but they don?t know to say how old it is. Most children arguedthat the animals emerged after the Earth already exist, but also have emerged creationist conceptions. We also see, that children are familiarized with term evolution and associated it with transformation, but in general do not know how toexplain what is it. It seems important to build new ways to teach the contents of evolution, through games, drawings, websites, etc., so respecting and reconciling thebeliefs and religions of each one.
Advisor:Luisa Medeiros Massarani
School:Faculdades Oswaldo Cruz
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:04/24/2008