The conference “Innovation in science education in primary school and kindergarten: At the crossroads of science and humanities” will be held on November 21-22, 2014, at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, in Italy.
I will be there to give a talk entitled “The role of mental simulation in understanding and creating scientific concepts”.
Hereafter is the abstract of my talk:
Concept comprehension can be examined at different levels of analysis. In instructional contexts, it has mostly been identified with the ability to recognize the instances of a concept, and to differentiate it from other similar concepts. An additional level of complexity is that of representing the map of relations among concepts. In this presentation, I argue that a third level of processing is required for the understanding and use of scientific concepts, i.e., that of mental simulation, a unique cognitive capacity which is grounded on sensorimotor experience and also requires a continuous interaction between simulation and language. Simulation-language interaction might be facilitated by the use of figurative language, analogies and narratives, but might be hampered by a lack of motivation and working memory resources.
If you happen to be there, don’t miss this unique conference which will be combine different perspectives on the important topic of science education for children.