An Education in Critical Analysis

Part of the Contributions from Science Education Research book series (CFSE, volume 7)


This chapter provides some elements that may be useful for teacher educators who wish to promote critical analysis in physics. Firstly, it is argued that conducting a critical analysis is useful for any text, whether highly debatable or not, in order to maximise its comprehension. It is suggested that you can give the students both a classic exercise and its answers and ask them a series of questions about it. We characterize the types of questions that are useful to ask. A similar activity involving a less traditional text (public understanding of science) is also illustrated with excerpts from a class discussion at the grade 10 level. In order to facilitate teacher preparation so that they themselves can foster critical activity in their students, a text bank is proposed (Appendix J), in association with our dual grid for analysing obvious defects (Chap. 2) and risk factors (Chap. 3). We also illustrate teachers’ comments when they discuss how their new critical experience can influence their teaching practice. Predictable obstacles are illustrated and commented on.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Matter and Complex Systems UMR 7057University of ParisParisFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Didactique André Revuz EA 4434University of ParisParisFrance

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