The Damage Done

I came across a paper on Piaget cognitive levels and learning in physics. There were lots of interesting things to think about from this paper but one thing in particular caught my attention. The concept behind this paper is that people go through stages of cognitive development. In high school we typically get students that arrive with concrete operational thinking, and they hopefully leave as formal operational thinkers. The following two math problems are good ok examples for comparing concrete to formal.

Concrete vs. Abstract Scientific Thinking

This year in Science 9 I wanted the students to be able to perform a task for their final assessment in the electricity unit. Besides all the theory and concepts, I felt that after studying dc circuits the kids should be able to do something with it. Enter the Black Box Test. The general idea is that each black box has 3 to 4 light bulbs on it with the wires hidden.