ERIC Number: ED374012
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Dynamics of Conceptual Change in Small Group Science Interactions.
Fellows, Nancy J.
This paper documents the dynamics of the social interactions within two small groups of sixth grade students as they solved problems and attempted to understand the concepts related to the nature of matter and molecular theory. Similarities and differences of social interactions between the two groups are compared, and interpretations presented for how students might build on one another's ideas to construct their own personal meanings of the scientific concepts. Evidence from videotape transcripts of student interactions and student writing showed that students changed individual language explanations of phenomena. The teacher provided the support necessary to collectively reconstruct scientific explanations. There was no evidence that more knowledgeable peers were present in this sixth grade class, except for those who could remember the scientific language provided by the teacher and the text, which has the implications for how teachers structure experiences, problem solving and group interactions in science. Students constructed more useful and meaningful understanding as a result of sharing ideas in scientific language during problem solving activities. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Conceptual Change
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 5-8, 1994).