ERIC Number: ED235028
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Gravity. Learning in Science Project. Working Paper No. 20.
Stead, Keith; Osborne, Roger
One area explored in the second (in-depth) phase of the Learning in Science Project was "children's science," defined as views of the world and the meanings for words that children have and bring with them to science lessons. The investigation reported focuses on students' thinking regarding their views on gravity. Students (N=42) were individually interviewed using a variation of the interview-about-instances procedure. Eight cards (included in an appendix), each illustrating a single situation where gravity may or may not occur, were shown to students to elicit their views. Data are presented and discussed under the following headings: gravity and force; gravity and weight; gravity and reaction forces; gravity and buoyancy; gravity and height; gravity and air; and gravity and space. Additional views presented and discussed focus on gravity as it relates to: children's everyday language; self-centered and human-centered viewpoints; animistic views; and reified views. Findings indicate that students believe that: weight and force of gravity are different; reaction forces and buoyancy forces are aspects of gravity; gravity varies with height in a way different from the scientific view; gravity results from the presence of air pushing down; gravity doesn't exist in space (including the moon); and gravity is caused by the earth spinning. (JN)
Descriptors: Cognitive Processes, Comprehension, Concept Formation, Curriculum Development, Elementary School Science, Elementary Secondary Education, Gravity (Physics), Interviews, Learning, Science Education, Science Instruction, Scientific Concepts, Secondary School Science, Weight (Mass)
University of Waikato, Science Education Research Unit, Hamilton, New Zealand.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Researchers; Administrators; Policymakers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: Waikato Univ., Hamilton (New Zealand).
Identifiers: Learning in Science Project; New Zealand; Science Education Research
Note: For related documents, see ED 226 976 and ED 235 011-030. Some pages are marginally legible.