In 2001 I started working in Physics and Chemistry education in general, and, in 2009, I started a collaboration in e-lab, a remote lab available in e-lab.ist.utl.pt, and started my research in remote labs and my PhD.
In 2011, after attending an Entrepreneurship course, I started my research in entrepreneurship education.
During all my research activity, technology was always part of my professional path in several ways.
Master Thesis (2003-2006)
This study intended to analyse the perception both from students and teachers regarding organic chemistry subject in secondary school education. From that analysis some important proposals were presented to improve the teaching/learning process in this area of chemistry. Organic chemistry was chosen because this area of chemistry is undervalued in the teaching programmes proposed by the Ministry of Education although it is quite important in the daily life.
This study involved the examination of the programmes proposed by the Ministry of Education in chemistry and biology subjects for the last two curricular amendments and of some textbooks. Also, it revised the quantitative descriptive analysis regarding three questionnaires: the first was answered by the students of secondary schools, the second was given to first-year university students and the third questionnaire was addressed to teachers of the biology and chemistry educational areas from secondary schools. The results of this study pointed out the need of intervention regarding the amendment of the curricular programmes and textbooks in the secondary school in the educational areas in question. Moreover, teachers’ initial and continuous formation at this level was a point to emphasize. For such, it would be necessary to adopt the teaching methodologies to the new learning requirements regarding Science, Technology, Environment and their inter-relations with the Society of Information we are living in nowadays. Having diversified classes with a greater laboratory component and taking advantage of the communication technologies can be the solution.
Science is inherently experimental, and students can gain a better feel and insight into its principles if they are active participants in scientific discovery. Science and technology improvement is a requirement for the development of our society. Science education plays an important role in educational systems and has the goal of enhancing scientific literacy in students and in future citizens. Due to many reasons, it is not always possible for students to perform experiments themselves. However, several studies indicate that the use of an experimental approach can motivate students for learning Physics and Chemistry. Also, the involvement of new technologies can be a catalyst for student’s motivation. This study focuses on remote labs, which can bring together both parts: experimental and technological. The e-lab project is a continuous process, which aims to improve the materials that already exist and create new support materials for teachers and students. The platform is currently aimed for Portuguese speakers only (essentially Portugal and Brazil) but there is already a concern to have all the information in English so that it can be used internationally. In the medium term, we want to have the interface available also in languages other than English and Portuguese.
In chemistry education, often a clear understanding of theory is largely dependent on experimentation. To view the real phenomenon it is sometimes of crucial importance, to understand but also to stimulate. Thus, the importance of real laboratories in chemistry classes is stressed. When this is not possible the use of remote and virtual labs could be a good solution. In addition to promoting inquiry, experimentation can help students to acquire higher-order cognitive skills such as critical thinking, applying, synthesizing, decision making, and creativity, among other scientific skills. The e-lab is a remotely controlled laboratory that allows students of the primary and secondary school to consolidate their knowledge in science and hence develop their scientific skills. The success of this type of approach and platform has been confirmed in the classroom since 2009-2010, based on a pilot study. Chemistry experiments are far more difficult to design, implement and maintain than Physics ones. In this study, an already implemented and a brand new one that is being implemented experiments are described.