ERIC Number: ED439948
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Apr-30
Primary Children Talk about Plants in the Garden.
Johnson, Sue; Tunnicliffe, Sue Dale
Visits to gardens can contribute not only to children's science learning, but also to meeting other curricular objectives. When school groups visit a garden, they do so with curricular objectives in mind. However, little work has been done on the early experiences of children in gardens. What do children bring to such visits? How do they interpret and communicate their experiences? How do the accompanying adults enhance or inhibit the children's spontaneous interaction with the plants? Conversations of groups of primary school children were collected while they visited the Royal Horticultural Society Garden Wisley. Transcripts were initially analyzed using a systemic network which yielded the major topics of conversation. Additional analysis involved reading and re-reading the transcripts in order to identify which curricular objectives were addressed. From the preliminary data analysis we suggest that children talk spontaneously about the easily observed features of plants such as color, shape and smell and offer past experiences with garden plants. When cued by adults or other children in the group, children attend to do less obvious aspects. The quality of children's interactions with accompanying adults strongly influences the science learning and curricular objectives realized. Implications for the preparation of teachers and parents are presented. (Contains 46 references.) (Author/CCM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; 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 (New Orleans, LA, April 28-May 1, 2000).