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ERIC Number: EJ1039227
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Aug
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 50
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0157-244X
Small Talk: Children's Everyday "Molecule" Ideas
Jakab, Cheryl
Research in Science Education, v43 n4 p1307-1325 Aug 2013
This paper reports on 6-11-year-old children's "sayings and doings" (Harré 2002) as they explore molecule artefacts in dialectical-interactive teaching interviews (Fleer, "Cultural Studies of Science Education" 3:781-786, 2008; Hedegaard et al. 2008). This sociocultural study was designed to explore children's everyday awareness of and meaning-making with cultural molecular artefacts. Our everyday world is populated with an ever increasing range of molecular or nanoworld words, symbols, images, and games. What do children today say about these artefacts that are used to represent molecular world entities? What are the material and social resources that can influence a child's everyday and developing scientific ideas about "molecules"? How do children interact with these cognitive tools when given expert assistance? What meaning-making is afforded when children are socially and materially assisted in using molecular tools in early chemical and nanoworld thinking? Tool-dependent discursive studies show that provision of cultural artefacts can assist and direct developmental thinking across many domains of science (Schoultz et al., "Human Development" 44:103-118, 2001; Siegal 2008). Young children's use of molecular artefacts as cognitive tools has not received much attention to date (Jakab 2009a, b). This study shows 6-11-year-old children expressing everyday ideas of molecular artefacts and raising their own questions about the artefacts. They are seen beginning to domesticate (Erneling 2010) the words, symbols, and images to their own purposes when given the opportunity to interact with such artefacts in supported activity. Discursive analysis supports the notion that using "molecules" as cultural tools can help young children to begin "putting on molecular spectacles" (Kind 2004). Playing with an interactive game (ICT) is shown to be particularly helpful in assisting children's early meaning-making with representations of molecules, atoms, and their chemical symbols.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A