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ERIC Number: EJ1140403
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jun
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0157-244X
Kindergarten and Primary School Children's Everyday, Synthetic, and Scientific Concepts of Clouds and Rainfall
Malleus, Elina; Kikas, Eve; Marken, Tiivi
Research in Science Education, v47 n3 p539-558 Jun 2017
The purpose of this research was to explore children's understandings of everyday, synthetic and scientific concepts to enable a description of how abstract, verbally taught material relates to previous experience-based knowledge and the consistency of understanding about cloud formation. This study examined the conceptual understandings of cloud formation and rain in kindergarten (age 5-7), second (age 8-9) and fourth (age 10-11) grade children, who were questioned on the basis of structured interview technique. In order to represent consistency in children's answers, three different types of clouds were introduced (a cirrus cloud, a cumulus cloud, and a rain cloud). Our results indicate that children in different age groups gave a similarly high amount of synthetic answers, which suggests the need for teachers to understand the formation process of different misconceptions to better support the learning process. Even children in kindergarten may have conceptions that represent different elements of scientific understanding and misconceptions cannot be considered age-specific. Synthetic understanding was also shown to be more consistent (not depending on cloud type) suggesting that gaining scientific understanding requires the reorganisation of existing concepts, that is time-consuming. Our results also show that the appearance of the cloud influences children's answers more in kindergarten where they mostly related rain cloud formation with water. An ability to create abstract connections between different concepts should also be supported at school as a part of learning new scientific information in order to better understand weather-related processes.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Kindergarten; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education; Grade 2; Elementary Education; Grade 4; Intermediate Grades
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A