ERIC Number: ED396913
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr-2
Reference Count: N/A
Can Parents Effectively Assess Their Children's Ideas about Science?
Chidsey, Jennifer L.; Henriques, Laura
The purpose of this study was to determine parent/caregiver effectiveness at finding out their child's ideas about sinking, floating, and displacement. The quality and richness of responses obtained by the parent/caregiver were compared with responses from interviews of the same fourth grade students conducted by project staff. Twenty four students completed a unit-related activity and answered questions at home with their parent/caregiver before beginning a science unit at school. Science educators interviewed these same students after the home activities, but prior to instruction. Findings indicated that both parent/caregivers and science educators can elicit student ideas about specific science topics, however, the data obtained by the parent/caregiver was less informative. We speculate that this is a result of inadequate questioning strategies. Specifically, the parents/caregivers failed to ask follow-up questions when the child gave incomplete or irrelevant responses. This article provides a series of potential follow-up questions, ideas for helping parents/caregivers develop better questioning strategies, and outlines how these will be tested in the near future. Contains 17 references. (Author/MKR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (69th, St. Louis, MO, April 2, 1996).