Evaluating the use of qualitative reasoning models in scientific education of deaf students


Paulo Salles, Mônica M. R. Pereira, Gisele M. Feltrini, Lilian Pires and Heloisa Lima-Salles

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The present work describes a case study on evaluation of qualitative reasoning (QR) models as a tool for the acquisition of scientific concepts, the improvement of linguistic skills and the development of inferential reasoning of deaf students. Specific didactic material was developed in a DVD and presented to explain in LIBRAS (Brazilian Sign Language) and in Portuguese how to build and to use qualitative models to deaf secondary school students. After using the material, their performance was compared to a control group. The experimental group showed significant improvement in tests exploring environmental science concepts; their ability to follow long chains of causal relations and to make inferences also improved, as shown in written texts. Besides the learning results, the paper also contributes for the discussion about methodological aspects regarding the preparation of didactic material based on QR models and how to bring it into the classroom.


deaf, qualitative models, science education