Key Notes

Moritz M. Daum,
Intuitive physics: Integrating information from infants to adults

Agnieszka Czejkowska
"Power is everywhere" – Aspects of science communication for children

Research on the development of physical knowledge has resulted in seemingly conflicting findings that, on the one hand, infants seem to be equipped with a set of initial knowledge resulting in the term of the “competent infant”. On the other hand, these early findings are in stark contrast to misconceptions about physics that are present until adulthood. In my talk I will give an overview of the development of physical knowledge with a specific emphasis on the topic of how children develop the ability to integrate various information and the mechanisms how new and potentially conflicting information is interpreted within a current knowledge framework or how this framework is altered through development

Prof. Dr. Moritz M. Daum was born in Switzerland in 1973. He studied Biology and Psychology at the University of Zurich, where he obtained his doctoral degree in 2005 for his theses on “Dynamic mental representations in children and adults”. Just 6 years later, he finished his habilitation thesis on “Mechanisms in the early development of action understanding”. In his employment history, Prof. Daum was a Visiting Researcher at the Infant EEG Lab of the Cognitive Development Unit (EKUP) at the University of Oslo, Norway and a Senior Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences – where he became the head of the “Infant Cognition and Action” research group at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany. He then returned to the University of Zurich as a Professor for Developmental Psychology, at the Department of Psychology. Amongst others, his research interests are in cognitive development in infants and children, the interrelation of language and action in development as well as the development of the perception of causality and of intuitive knowledge.

Science communication for children demands a great deal, in particular when it comes to moral commitment. There is no one who could possibly be against institutions like Children’s Universities. They introduce our youngsters into the noble world of science. The earlier they are able to participate in this resource of value within society the better. That is more or less the plan, no doubt there. However, the reality of science communication for children teaches us different, at least in terms of our goals. How do we deal with the taboos within the scientific epistemology? How do we deal with the limited access of the participants when not everybody has the opportunity to join in. How do we represent the idealism of Enlightenment when our own involvement into power stands in the way? How should we communicate the cruel complexity of the world, when hope is looking at us through the eye of the parental beholder? Let’s take one step after another and see…

Prof. Dr. Agnieszka Czejkowska was born in Kraków/Poland and emigrated to Austria in 1982. After her studies of educational science, sociology and political science at the University of Vienna, she worked as a science editor and science journalist and as scientific assistant at the department of educational science. Her doctoral thesis was on autonomy in the educational sector, followed by a range of research activities and scientific counseling in the area of education policy, institutional reform and cultural and media pedagogy. She was appointed to a professorial post in pedagogy, arts and culture with a focus on teacher education at the Institute of Education in the Arts, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in 2008. Since 2012 she is professor and founding head of the Institute of Professionalism in Education with focus on school research, teacher education and cultural education at University of Graz. Her main areas of research are critical theory of professionalism, differences and tension fields in education and communication, informal learning and educational processes in a world of globalization. Amongst others, she is appointed member of the German Educational Research Association (DGfE) and the International Association for Development of the Information Society (IADIS). She is currently living in Graz, Vienna and London.

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