minutes of the 3rd national meeting

In Nicosia, the HIPST symposium was attended by members of the Greek HIPST group (academics and researchers in the field of History, Philosophy and Science Teaching), in-service teachers and curricula designers. The Greek HIPST researchers presented the structure of HIPST, the development of Greek HIPST cases and the evaluation research carried out.

History, Philosophy and Science Teaching:
The HIPST project in Greece

Fanny Seroglou
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Fanny Seroglou opened the symposium with a brief presentation of the HIPST group: 14 researchers coming from the fields of science education, philosophy of science, and history of science, psychology, semiotics and pedagogy. In the context of HIPST, these researchers design, collect, apply and evaluate science teaching cases informed by the history and philosophy of science. In the current symposium the following HIPST are presented:
a) the structure of HIPST project
b) a web-wiki for the support of research work
c) four HIPST cases
d) developed research tools for HIPST
e) comments on how HIPST research in Greece and Europe may affect science curricula and science educational research in Greece and Cyprus

A web-based research and development environment for supporting by-distance co-operation of a research group: the case of the Greek HIPST group

Vassilis Koulountzos & Fanny Seroglou
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

In this presentation the need of the Greek HIPST group to discuss, work and interact at a regular basis although researchers come from various areas of Greece. The fourteen researchers of the group have designed, developed and communicated on atlaswiki by distance instructional e-material inspired by the history and philosophy of science and have presented a variety of activities such as: experiments, role-plays, discussions, debates and teaching strategies that have been designed in the context of theoretical frameworks previously developed by them and realize a three dimensional cognitive, meta-cognitive and emotional approach of teaching science. Each activity has been supported by videos, guidelines, descriptions, worksheets, historical texts and theoretical resources. Atlaswiki offers a dynamic environment for researchers, and teachers involved in the HIPST project to collaboratively design and produce new instructional e-material by distance. In the first six months of 2009 the application of the case studies will be implemented on at many Greek schools all over the country. The monitoring of the discussions and interactions since June 2008 and the study of qualitative data coming from the discussions and the developed e-material as well as quantitative data offers multiple perspectives to understand the way researchers interact with each other, with the designers and facilitators of the atlaswiki and with the atlaswiki environment itself. Furthermore, much fruitful information is brought forward concerning the various ways researchers and teachers perceive and realize in their instructional material, teaching strategies and classroom applications the use of history and philosophy of science in science teaching.

Teaching the subjective content using a scientific controversy

Eleni Paraskevopoulou & Dimitris Koliopoulos
University of Patras

This Greek HIPST case developed focuses on the use of the Millikan - Ehrenhaft controversy in the beginning of the 20th century in the teaching of aspects of the nature of science. The design and application of this HIPST case to 17 year-olds is presented. Pre- and post- questionnaires and worksheets analysis was carried out in order to record the ideas of pupils concerning the subjective characters of scientific knowledge. Statistical analysis of questionnaire shows a significant improvement in pupils understanding of nature of science.

From Hooke’s Michrographia to a simple microscope for science teaching in the primary school

Nektarios Tsagliotis
University of Crete

Another HIPST case has been implemented to 48 pupils attending the 6th grade of primary school (in two individual groups). Pupils construct in couples a simple microscope with everyday modern materials using a plastic tube and two plastic lenses (from used paper cameras), the produced microscopes being actually slightly altered reconstructions of the two-lenses-microscope (magnifying X20) proposed by Istituto e Museo di Storia Della Scienza of Florence that comes from the late 16th early 17th century from the days of Janssen, Galileo and Hooke. Every couple of students makes and reports on a notebook observations using the hand-made microscope and following and observation procedure inspired by Hook’s Micrographia working on a worksheet that includes guidelines with drawings and texts from Hook’s original work that have been didactically transformed to meet students’ language and skills. Students study objects like the peak of a needle, pieces of cloth, crystals of sand, sugar and salt, seeds and parts of plants from the school garden and greenhouse. In the classroom, students exchange their notebooks and discuss and compare their notes and observations discussing about the growing and function of plants and their discussions have been recorded. The analysis of students’ notes and discussion is going to point out aspects of “doing” science in an “authentic” environment and of the argumentation of this school-scientific community.

In Newton’s chambers - A proposal for teaching optics using historical experiments

Flora Paparou
University of Athens

This HIPST case is an instructional proposal focused on teaching optics with the use of historical experiments. Based on the notes and drawings of Newton, we recreate four experiments concerning the analysis and synthesis of (white) light. The way that Newton moves from his ideas and thoughts to his experiments, the way he tests his insights, creates his abstract drawings and interprets data coming from his experiments may be used as a successful instructional tool for introducing students to the nature and methodology of science. Through the proposed activities, students meet Newton’s scientific way of thinking and become familiar to the simplicity, the freedom and the clarity of Newton’s reasoning.

From the geocentric to the heliocentric system: A teaching scenario informed by the history of science and the audiovisual language of animation

Panagiotis Piliouras1 & Spyros Siakas2
1 National Primary Education Council
2Greek Open University

In this HIPST case the design of a teaching scenario is presented, appropriate for 12 years old pupils in the primary school aiming to a better understanding of scientific concepts and scientific methods, linking the development of individual thinking with the development of scientific ideas in the history and philosophy of science and facilitating a better understanding of the nature of science. The design of the instructional material supporting this scenario has been based on the study of the history of astronomy and especially on: a) The various theories concerning the movement of Earth, our solar system and the universe. b) Key-stories highlighting the evolutionary character of scientific knowledge as well as the cultural interrelations of science and society. In this case, pupils are asked to produce their own narratives: animation movies concerning the geocentric - heliocentric debate inspired by the history of science, as the animation technique presents strong expressional dynamics and currently has many applications in the field of educational multimedia. The development of pupils’ animation movies carrying aspects of the history of astronomy with a strong focus on the understanding of the nature of science creates a dynamic educational environment that facilitates pupils’ introduction to a demanding teaching content (e.g. planet, model, retrograde motion) placing it in context (key-stories from the history of science) and at the same time offers to pupils the opportunity to engage their personal habits, interests and hobbies in the development of their science movies.

Developing research tools for the analysis and the evaluation of case studies concerning the contribution of history and philosophy of science in science teaching

Fanny Seroglou1, Giorgos Vleioras2 & Panagiotis Pandidos3
1Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
2University of Thessaly
3University of Crete

There is a demand for developing research tools for the analysis and evaluation of instructional material and activities for science teaching that are inspired and/or informed by the history and philosophy of science. Such research tools should provide us with quantitative and qualitative ways to measure the contribution of history and philosophy of science in science teaching. We attempt to join expertise from science education, developmental psychology and classroom semiotics in order to design and develop a questionnaire and a framework of analysis for the study and analysis of research data coming from the field of history and philosophy of science in science teaching. Both research tools are currently activated in the context of the evaluation of the HIPST research project and aim on recording and analyzing data concerning nature-of-science understanding, science related attitudes and values, interest/motivation and self-concept in science learning. The developed questionnaire is used for pre- and post- HIPST case application data gathering, while the developed framework that is called EVA (an acronym for Education Via Adaptation) and combines nature-of-science from science education with classroom semiotics is used for the analysis of videotaped data during HIPST case applications. In this paper, we are presenting fruitful interpretations coming from the study and analysis of the flow of data before, during and after the application of HIPST cases, challenging a discussion concerning research design in the field of history and philosophy of science in science teaching.


The Head of the Educational Reform Committee, Prof. Giorgos Tsiakalos in Cyprus as well as members of the Committee attended the symposium and participated in discussion expressing their interest in HIPST cases and their intention to incorporate HIPST cases in the New Curricula currently being developed in Cyprus. Many Greek and Cypriot researchers and academics in science education as well as science teachers in secondary education and teachers in primary education took part in the discussion pointing out the functionality in classroom or science museum settings of the developed case studies and requested for a constant flow of information from the Greek and the International HIPST research project and its developments. Fanny Seroglou, the head of the Greek HIPST research group and her colleagues guaranteed that through the hipst site and the hipstwiki all HIPST cases will be not only communicated to teachers and researchers but also after the end of the program hipstwiki may stay as a forum for discussion and by-distance cooperation of science education researchers and teachers on how to develop and implement instructional material and teaching strategies inspired and informed by the history and philosophy of science for the science classroom. Also, a list of names and e-mails of researchers and teachers was made for expanding the communication and cooperation network of the HIPST Research Project in Greece and Cyprus.

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