Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

Search results for: didactical

3 Engineering Academics’ Strategies of Modelling Mathematical Concepts into Their Teaching of an Antenna Design

Authors: Vojo George Fasinu, Nadaraj Govender, Predeep Kumar


An Antenna, which remains the hub of technological development in Africa had been found to be a course that is been taught and designed in an abstract manner in some universities. One of the reasons attached to this is that the appropriate approach of teaching antenna design is not yet understood by many engineering academics in some universities in South Africa. Also, another problem reported is the main difficulty encountered when interpreting and applying some of the mathematical concepts learned into their practical antenna design course. As a result of this, some engineering experts classified antenna as a mysterious technology that could not be described by anybody using mathematical concepts. In view of this, this paper takes it as its point of departure in explaining what an antenna is all about with a strong emphasis on its mathematical modelling. It also argues that the place of modelling mathematical concepts into the teaching of engineering design cannot be overemphasized. Therefore, it explains the mathematical concepts adopted during the teaching of an antenna design course, the Strategies of modelling those mathematics concepts, the behavior of antennas, and their mathematics usage were equally discussed. More so, the paper also sheds more light on mathematical modelling in South Africa context, and also comparative analysis of mathematics concepts taught in mathematics class and mathematics concepts taught in engineering courses. This paper focuses on engineering academics teaching selected topics in electronic engineering (Antenna design), with special attention on the mathematical concepts they teach and how they teach them when teaching the course. A qualitative approach was adopted as a means of collecting data in order to report the naturalistic views of the engineering academics teaching Antenna design. The findings of the study confirmed that some mathematical concepts are being modeled into the teaching of an antenna design with the adoption of some teaching approaches. Furthermore, the paper reports a didactical-realistic mathematical model as a conceptual framework used by the researchers in describing how academics teach mathematical concepts during their teaching of antenna design. Finally, the paper concludes with the importance of mathematical modelling to the engineering academics and recommendations for further researchers.

Keywords: modelling, mathematical concepts, engineering, didactical, realistic model

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2 Federal Center for Technological Education of Minas Gerais (CEFET-MG)

Authors: María González Alriols, Itziar Egües, María A. Andrés, Mirari Antxustegi


Several collaborative learning proposals were prepared to be applied in the laboratory sessions of chemistry in the first course of engineering studies. The aim was to engage the students from the beginning and to avoid absenteeism as well as to reach a more homogeneous level in the class. The students, divided into small groups of four or five mates, were asked to do an exercise before having the practical session in the lab. Precisely, each one of the groups was asked to study the theoretical fundamentals and the practical aspects of one lab session and to prepare a didactical video with this content, including the materials, equipment and reactants required, and the detailed experimental procedure. Furthermore, they should include the performance of the experiment step by step, indicating the faced difficulties and the obtained results and conclusions. After watching the video of this precise activity, the other groups of students would go to the lab to put into practice the session following the commands explained in the video. The evaluation of the video activity that is worth the 50% of the total mark of the laboratory sessions, is done depending on the success that the other groups of students had while doing the practical session that was explained in the video. This means that the successful transmission of knowledge to the rest of the mates in the class through the video was compulsory to pass the practical sessions and the subject. The other 50% of the mark depended on the understanding of the other students’ explanations and the success in the corresponding practical sessions. The experience was found to be very positive, as the engagement level was considerably higher, the absenteeism lower and the attitude in the laboratory much more responsible. The materials, reactants and equipment were used carefully, and no incidents were registered. Furthermore, the fact of having peer experts was useful to encourage critical thinking in a more relaxed way, with the teacher figure in a secondary position. Finally, the academic achievements were satisfactory as well, with a high percentage of students over the level required for passing the subject.

Keywords: collaborative learning, engineering instruction, chemistry, laboratory sessions

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1 Pibid and Experimentation: A High School Case Study

Authors: Chahad P. Alexandre


PIBID-Institutional Program of Scholarships to Encourage Teaching - is a Brazilian government program that counts today with 48.000 students. It's goal is to motivate the students to stay in the teaching undergraduate programs and to help fill the gap of 100.000 teachers that are needed today in the under graduated schools. The major lack of teachers today is in physics, chemistry, mathematics, and biology. At IFSP-Itapetininga we formatted our physics PIBID based on practical activities. Our students are divided in two São Paulo state government high schools in the same city. The project proposes class activities based on experimentation, observation and understanding of physical phenomena. The didactical experiments are always in relation with the content that the teacher is working, he is the supervisor of the program in the school. Always before an experiment is proposed a little questionnaire to learn about the students preconceptions and one is filled latter to evaluate if now concepts have been created. This procedure is made in order to compare their previous knowledge and how it changed after the experiment is developed. The primary goal of our project is to make the Physics class more attractive to the students and to develop in high school students the interest in learning physics and to show the relation of Physics to the day by day and to the technological world. The objective of the experimental activities is to facilitate the understanding of the concepts that are worked on classes because under experimentation the PIBID scholarship student stimulate the curiosity of the high school student and with this he can develop the capacity to understand and identify the physical phenomena with concrete examples. Knowing how to identify this phenomena and where they are present at the high school student life makes the learning process more significant and pleasant. This proposal make achievable to the students to practice science, to appropriate of complex, in the traditional classes, concepts and overcoming the common preconception that physics is something distant and that is present only on books. This preconception is extremely harmful in the process of scientific knowledge construction. This kind of learning – through experimentation – make the students not only accumulate knowledge but also appropriate it, also to appropriate experimental procedures and even the space that is provided by the school. The PIBID scholarship students, as future teachers also have the opportunity to try experimentation classes, to intervene in the classes and to have contact with their future career. This opportunity allows the students to make important reflection about the practices realized and consequently about the learning methods. Due to this project, we found out that the high school students stay more time focused in the experiment compared to the traditional explanation teachers´ class. As a result in a class, as a participative activity, the students got more involved and participative. We also found out that the physics under graduated students drop out percentage is smaller in our Institute than before the PIBID program started.

Keywords: innovation, projects, PIBID, physics, pre-service teacher experiences

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