ERIC Number: ED230365
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
A Constructive Alternativist View of Children's Science.
Watts, D. Michael
Part of the Concepts in Science Project at the University of Surrey is to explore the complex structure and organization of ideas and meaning that children bring with them to their science lessons. To examine these ideas and meanings, a distinction is made between children's intuitive understanding of their world (children's science) and the conceptual understanding of physics held by the science teacher (scientist's science). The scientific concept of force is then used to further illustrate (by means of interviews with children) the distinction between these two views, and the misunderstanding that can occur when the two forms of science fail to encompass each other. One feature of children's science identified is the tendency to endow inanimate objects with a will or purpose, a process described by Piaget as "animistic thinking." It is suggested that animism is incompatible with traditional scientific objectivity unless both points of view are considered from a constructive alternativist philosophy. It is further suggested that children are more concerned with construing situations and events and that, in their flow of language, they fail to limit the implications of their words or appreciate the metaphors of physics. (JN)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Animism; Great Britain; Science Education Research
Note: Paper presented at the International Congress in Personal Construct Psychology (4th, St. Catherines, Canada, August 1981).