ERIC Number: ED236008
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Electric Current. Learning in Science Project. Working Paper No. 25.
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 the concept of "electric current" held by 43 elementary school pupils and 2 teachers college students. Data were obtained by the "interview-about-instances" procedure in which students were shown cards with diagrams which represented different instances and non-instances of the concept. Responses are presented, discussed, and analyzed in relation to: (1) scientific viewpoint of electric current; (2) non-scientific views, considering nature of electricity, current direction, and others; (3) where electric currents are found; and (4) influences of children's egocentric and human-centered viewpoints. A theoretical consideration of electrical current and implications for science instruction based on findings are included. Among the findings are those indicating that knowing/agreeing with statements (such as "In a metal an electric current is a flow of electrons.") may not substantially change a person's concept, and that many students associate presence/absence of electric currents with whether or not they can feel the current. (Interview cards used and summary of other research studies are included in appendices.) (JN)
Descriptors: Cognitive Processes, College Science, Comprehension, Concept Formation, Curriculum Development, Electric Circuits, Electricity, Elementary School Science, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Interviews, Learning, Science Education, Science Instruction, Scientific Concepts, Secondary School Science
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, ED 229 442, ED 230 594, ED 235 011-030, SE 043 285-302, and SE 043 305-315. Document contains some marginal legibility.