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ERIC Number: ED526508
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 93
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1245-2600-3
Kindergarten Students' Explanations during Science Learning
Harris, Karleah
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Purdue University
The study examines kindergarten students' explanations during science learning. The data on children's explanations are drawn from videotaped and transcribed discourse collected from four public kindergarten science classrooms engaged in a life science inquiry unit on the life cycle of the monarch butterfly. The inquiry unit was implemented as part of a larger intervention conducted as part of the Scientific Literacy Project or SLP (Mantzicopoulos, Patrick & Samarapungavan, 2005). The children's explanation data were coded and analyzed using quantitative content analysis procedures. The coding procedures involved initial "top down" explanation categories derived from the existing theoretical and empirical literature on scientific explanation and the nature of students' explanations, followed by an inductive or "bottom up" analysis, that evaluated and refined the categorization scheme as needed. The analyses provide important descriptive data on the nature and frequency of children's explanations generated in classroom discourse during the inquiry unit. The study also examines how teacher discourse strategies during classroom science discourse are related to children's explanations. Teacher discourse strategies were coded and analyzed following the same procedures as the children's explanations as noted above. The results suggest that, a) kindergarten students have the capability of generating a variety of explanations during inquiry-based science learning; b) teachers use a variety of classroom discourse strategies to support children's explanations during inquiry-based science learning; and c) The conceptual discourse (e.g., asking for or modeling explanations, asking for clarifications) to non-conceptual discourse (e.g., classroom management discourse) is related to the ratio of explanatory to non-explanatory discourse produced by children during inquiry-based science learning. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Kindergarten
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A