NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1156952
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Nov
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8326
Children's Conceptions of Sampling in Local Ecosystems Investigations
Lehrer, Richard; Schauble, Leona
Science Education, v101 n6 p968-984 Nov 2017
This study describes how students' intuitions about sampling are informed by extended experiences in investigating local ecosystems. Elementary students in a rural/suburban district in the upper midwest spent a year conducting first-hand comparative field studies of nearby ponds, prairies, and forests. At the close of the term, we conducted task-based interviews with 26 students at Grades 1/2, 3, and 6 to explore their understanding of the nature and role of samples, particular forms of sampling practices in the field, and the ways in which samples and sampling practices influenced their knowledge about ecosystems. Interviews, which lasted from 60-90 minutes each, were conducted individually. Interviews were designed to address parallel topics at each grade level, although questions were couched in the specific ecosystems investigated by students at their respective grades. Across grades, interview responses reflected transitions in students' understanding of: the concept of a sample, ways to construct a sample, potential sources of sample bias, roles of cause and chance in explaining variability in a sample, ideas about growing sample size, and how to coordinate sample representativeness and sampling variability
Wiley-Blackwell. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8598; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 1
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 0628253