ERIC Number: ED337359
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Elementary Textbooks versus the Child: Conflicting Perceptions of Biology.
An ethnographic study was conducted with the goal of comparing the botanical knowledge of nine sixth grade students with the botanical concepts developed in the elementary textbook series, Science, by Silver Burdett, 1985. The extent to which the child's conceptual framework resembles that of the scientist and the extent to which the textbook reflects the knowledge base and abilities of the child were determined. Each child's language, meanings, classifications, and interpretations of botanical phenomena were examined. The children participated in a series of six interviews and tasks. The children's names for plants and plant classification schemes were examined using domain analysis, componential analysis, and taxonomic analysis. Concept maps were made from both the children's botanical concepts and those found in the textbook. The concept maps were used to examine the development of each concept. The data revealed that the children have a large body of knowledge about plants and that children's botanical language and meanings appeared to be learned from the lay culture rather than from the textbooks. (28 references) (KR)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Biology, Cognitive Processes, Concept Formation, Concept Mapping, Elementary School Science, Ethnic Groups, Ethnography, Grade 6, Intermediate Grades, Learning Strategies, Misconceptions, Plants (Botany), Science Education, Sex Differences, Teaching Methods, Textbooks
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (Lake Geneva, WI, April 7-10, 1991).