Use of different external mediating mechanisms of the Bohr atom model: Evidence of Meaningful Learning through verbal-gestural analysis in elementary school students

Savana dos Anjos Freitas, Agostinho Serrano


The present article sought to investigate if the use of different external mediation mechanisms to teach the Bohr Atom model in elementary education with the didactic methodology of the Potentially Significant Teaching Units (PSTU) can result in Meaningful learning.  Therefore, we naturally use the theoretical contribution of the Ausubelian Meaningful Learning Theory, in particular by discussing elements that indicate evidence of meaningful learning.  This theory was adopted with the purpose of understanding and analyzing whether or not there is evidence of meaningful learning with elementary level students after about a year of using the didactic methodology. The didactic methodology used was the application of didactic sequences inspired by the PSTU model, modified to be applied in Elementary School.  We also use different external mediation mechanisms that independently reproduce the Bohr atom model, such as model building (psychophysical mediation), teacher explanation on a blackboard (social mediation), use of textbooks (cultural mediation)  and computer simulations (hypercultural mediation).  Data analysis was carried out through two semi-structured interviews according to the Report Aloud protocol followed by the depictive gestural analysis, performed with an interval of almost one year, both interviews were carried out after the application of the didactic methodology, in order to assess the retention of the learning residue.  We argue that the students' verbal-gestural production indicates that there was meaningful learning of the Bohr Atom model, especially related to social and hypercultural mediations.


Meaningful learning; Bohr atom; Elementary School; PSTU; Verbal-gestural analysis

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Direitos autorais 2019 Savana dos Anjos Freitas, Agostinho Serrano

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