Residency Period: 02/01/2009 to 01/31/2010

Eduardo Fleury Mortimer is a CNPq Research Productivity Scholar, level 1B. Graduated in Bachelor and Degree in Chemistry, at UFMG, in 1980, he is also a Technician in Chemistry, graduated from the Technical College of UFMG. Before joining the Faculty of Education at UFMG in 1983, as a professor of Chemistry Teaching Practice, he worked for 3 years as a chemist in industries and taught chemistry in high school for 5 years in schools in Belo Horizonte. As a professor at UFMG, he completed his master’s degree in education at home, completed in 1988. In 1994, he defended his doctoral thesis at USP entitled Evolution of atomism in the classroom: changing conceptual profiles. This thesis was later expanded and published by Editora da UFMG, in 2000, under the title of Language and concept formation in Science Teaching. In 1992/93 he performed a ‘sandwich’ at the University of Leeds, England, where he worked with Rosalind Driver. Together with the Leeds group he published Constructing Scientific Knowledge in the Classroom ’na Educational Researcher, which was later translated and published in New Chemistry at School. This article has numerous citations in the international literature and has become a reference in socio-constructivism. In 1998/99 Mortimer worked with Professor James Wertsch at Washington University in St. Louis, USA. In 2003 he published, together with Professor Philip Scott, from the University of Leeds, England, the book Meaning Making in Secondary Science Classrooms, which was published by Open University Press. Among his research interests are: the relationship between the elaboration of scientific concepts and the use of language in chemistry and science classrooms. He also works in research on teacher training, since he coordinates a group of continuing education at UFMG – FoCo – with a wide tradition of research, production of materials and professional development of teachers. He is also interested in philosophy and history of science. He regularly teaches, at graduate level, the disciplines Language and Cognition in the Classroom and Education and Knowledge. He advises master’s and doctoral students. Its work with FoCo generated didactic material for secondary education, the result of more than 10 years of research on concept development. This material generated, in 2002, the book Chemistry, for high school, from the Parameters series by Editora Scipione, written in partnership with Andréa Horta Machado. Eduardo Mortimer was also coordinator of the Graduate Program in Education at UFMG, director of the Teaching Division of the Brazilian Society of Chemistry and member of the Board of CNPq in the area of Education. He is currently President of the Associação Brasileira de Pesquisa em Educação em Ciências, Editor of Educação em Revista, Contributing International Editor for Latinamerica and Caribe de Science Education, member of the Editorial Boarding of the International Journal of Educational Research and of the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, in addition to to act as a member of the Editorial Committee and referee in several national and international journals in the areas of education and science education. He was co-editor of the Brazilian Journal of Research in Science Education from 2001 to 2005 and coordinating editor of New Chemistry at School from 2000 to 2007. He is also an I-B researcher at CNPq and an advisor to Capes and FAPESP. Furthermore, in 2004/2005 he was in Lyon, France, as a guest lecturer and researcher by the CNRS and INRP.


The project envisages the synthesis of the “Conceptual Profiles” model, which has been under development for over 10 years. The proposal is to synthesize the paths of empirical work, carried out through doctoral theses and master’s dissertation, to characterize: 1) The determination of the zones that constitute the conceptual profile of central concepts in science and beyond: matter, energy, life , mind and the musical concept of harmony; 2) the investigation of how these zones appear in different people, in order to characterize individual conceptual profiles; 3) and the investigation of the relationships between different ways of thinking and ways of speaking in real classrooms. Since its launch in 1995, with the article Conceptual Change or Conceptual Profile Change (Mortimer, 1995), the research program has been developed mainly in Brazil, with the production of some theses defended at UFMG and with a diverse production in several regions of the country. country.

Three main products are foreseen to be developed during the project: the publication of a work, in English, to be published by Springer; the production of a work, in Portuguese, with the aim of explaining how the conceptual profile model, built with the purpose of explaining the conceptual development related to some central onto-concepts in science – matter, energy and life – can be extrapolated to other disciplinary fields, the human sciences and the arts, in order to cover a broader spectrum of concepts, including the concepts of mind and the musical concept of harmony. The third product is the publication in the International Handbook of Science Education of the article “The heterogeneity of discourse in the science classroom: the conceptual profile approach.”