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ERIC Number: EJ1134412
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2154-8455
The Use of Photo Elicitation Interviews in Summer Science Programs to Determine Children's Perceptions of Being a Scientist
Scott, Catherine Marie
International Journal of Science Education, Part B: Communication and Public Engagement, v4 n2 p147-171 2014
Reform-based science education emphasizes the need for engagement in authentic science, that is, work that resembles real-life scientific practices. However, few studies address the notion of authenticity from the participants' perspectives. As such, this study addresses the following: What events do young participants view as scientific? To what extent do participant perceptions of authentic herpetology work align with what herpetologists "actually" do in the field? Eighteen children (aged 7-11) were observed in two informal herpetology programs, one program focused on field studies and the other on classroom participation and observation. Through photograph elicitation interviews, a method in which participants take photographs and describe them to others, participants were asked to photograph activities that made them feel "like scientists" as they participated in each week-long program. Perceptions of authenticity were directly linked to program structure and did not always reflect the practices of working herpetologists. The evidence from this study indicated that the methodologies used and experiences provided in the "Herpetology" program offered participants experiences that not only built on their interests, but also engaged them in the practical and informative work of herpetologists in the field. In contrast, the "Reptiles" program limited participant perceptions of herpetology to a broad sense of studying the environment with limited opportunities to engage in herpetological fieldwork.
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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
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A