ERIC Number: ED252395
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Children's Ideas about "Metals." Learning in Science Project (Primary). Working Paper No. 112.
Biddulph, Fred; Osborne, Roger
The topic of metals is frequently taught in primary schools. However, when metals are suggested as one of a series of topics for study, students often initially show little enthusiasm for the topic. To determine the ideas that children have about metals the Learning in Science Project (Primary)--LISP(P)--interviewed thirty-eight 9- to 10-year-old children. Each child was presented with a range of metallic and non-metallic objects and asked to put them into metal or non-metal groups, and to give their reasons for each categorization. Results indicate a wide range of reasons why objects were considered to be made of metals. They are discussed under these headings: heaviness; shiny or silvery color; hardness or strength; magnetic quality; texture and temperature; and intuitive knowledge. Additional data were obtained by analyzing 211 questions about metals provided by students in nine classes. These questions focused on the identification, range/nature, properties, uses, origin/location, and manufacturing, of metals. Overall results clearly show that most students have a restricted concept of a metal, exemplified by a large heavy piece of steel; heavy, silvery in color, magnetic, and hard, typifies a metal object to most children. Implications of this conclusion for science instruction are briefly addressed. (JN)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Researchers; Administrators; Policymakers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: Waikato Univ., Hamilton (New Zealand). Science Education Research Unit.
Identifiers: Learning in Science Project (Primary); New Zealand; Questions; Science Education Research
Note: For related document, see SE 045 303.