The Mediate(zati)on of Philosophy Subject Matter

A Comparative Case Study

In: Teachers’ Professional Development in Global Contexts

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In order to improve student learning, the teacher’s mediation function works as ‘integration’ of subject matter.
 Referring to the theoretical model of ‘pedagogical (and technological) content knowledge’ and the construction of ‘mediation’, the study addresses the process of integration and transformation that undergoes the school subject matter through the mediation devices used by the teacher.

The contribution presents the research design and first results of an exploratory study accomplished at University of Bari ‘Aldo Moro’ in a High school. The research is inspired by the ‘collaborative’ approach and uses a multiple-cases design through an in-depth study on mediation procedures of two philosophy teachers about same content knowledge – G. B. Vico’s difference between philology and philosophy.

The analysis refers to specific levels of the teacher practice: the integration of the school books and worksheet with other resources (personal notes, digital repository etc.) using the document analysis; the choice of mediators (active, iconic, symbolic, real or virtual) using the video observation and in-depth interview.

First findings are highlighting aspects concerning the dynamic of visual representation as support of students’ learning and the epistemic function of the teacher’s meta-representative competence: as, for example, the use of the criterion of completeness (not of simplicity) in the elaboration of explanatory images to be used in class.

These findings will be useful to the operational definition of the unit of analysis in subsequent study to be conducted on a broader investigation basis and on different learning contents.


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