ERIC Number: ED236009
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Physical Change. Learning in Science Project. Working Paper No. 26.
Cosgrove, Mark; 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' (N=43) views of physical change associated with boiling, melting, dissolving, evaporating, and condensing. Data were obtained using the "interview-about-events" method in which students were asked to describe and then explain what happened during each of six events. Student responses are presented, discussed, and analyzed for each event: bubble formation; steam condensing on saucer; water evaporating from saucer; sugar dissolved in water; condensation occurring on outside of jar containing ice; and melting ice. One finding reported indicates that although students can often associate the appropriate technical term with an event (such as "boiling"), many students, including older ones, have no sound scientific concepts underpinning these labels. In addition, several clearly identifiable examples of "children's science" were found (such as believing that oxygen/hydrogen are found in bubbles of boiling water), emphasizing the point that teachers need to be aware that children's views can be modified by science lessons in ways not intended. Implications related to understanding of the particle model are also discussed. (JN)
Descriptors: Change, Cognitive Processes, Comprehension, Concept Formation, Curriculum Development, Elementary School Science, Elementary Secondary Education, Interviews, Learning, Matter, 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 - Location: New Zealand