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ERIC Number: ED257675
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Children's Explanations.
Solomon, Joan
Examples of explanations students give during science lessons are used to demonstrate that there are a number of very different modes of explaining. In addition, it is suggested that the peculiarly scientific method of explanation is fraught with difficulties, some of which current learning theories may just be able to describe. Areas discussed include: (1) questions children ask which are primarily not requests for reasons but requests for reassurance; (2) explaining a meaning by replacing one word with a simpler one with the same meaning; and (3) the use of metaphors and similes. The examples are also used to illustrate some stages in the developing art of explanation. However, no claim is made either that suggested demarcations are sharp or that the stages are strictly developmental. Reaffirming that things are as they are, looking for the purpose of events, trying to find life-world synonyms for concepts, close comparison, seeking causes, and using distanced analogies can easily merge each other; furthermore, the different ways of explaining may continue to be used in some contexts long after the more sophisticated methods have, apparently, been mastered. (JN)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A