DISENGAGEMENT WITH SCHOOL: CLASSROOM INVESTIGATIONS AS A POSSIBLE SOLUTION
Authors: Sofia Freire, Mónica Baptista, Carolina Carvalho, Ana Freire, Teresa Oliveira, Mário Azevedo
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We live in a highly complex society that presents its citizens with many challenges and problems. In order to respond it, by making informed decisions, citizens have to appropriate certain key competencies, for instance, reasoning, communication, lifelong learning, among others. So education has never been seen such a central issue to promote individual growth as nowadays, and also a central issue to enact societal and economical growth. Despite education playing a central role in the international agenda, the failure of the school systems to teach all the students has never been so visible. Nowadays, one of the greatest challenges is to provide an answer to those students who have dropped out of school, or to those who have disengaged from it. Several actions have been developed, some of which concern pedagogic actions. Activities based on investigations in science classes are seen nowadays as a way to enact key competencies, but also to involve students with their own learning. But, what make these activities so successful in getting to all students and, even more, to those who have disengaged from the school system? In this paper, we will discuss the impact of activities based on investigation in secondary students’ involvement with school. Its efficacy seems to be related to identity issues. By changing classroom practices and relationships, not only among teachers and students, but also between students and school knowledge, this kind of activity allows the students to reconstruct new identities, where they can envisage new future paths.