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ERIC Number: EJ1171479
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Apr
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0020-4277
Exploring the Effects of Concreteness Fading across Grades in Elementary School Science Education
Jaakkola, Tomi; Veermans, Koen
Instructional Science: An International Journal of the Learning Sciences, v46 n2 p185-207 Apr 2018
The present study investigates the effects that concreteness fading has on learning and transfer across three grade levels (4-6) in elementary school science education in comparison to learning with constantly concrete representations. 127 9- to 12-years-old elementary school students studied electric circuits in a computer-based simulation environment, where circuits remained concrete (bulbs) throughout the learning or faded from concrete to abstract (bulbs to resistors). The most important finding was that the outcomes seemed to be influenced by a developmental factor: the study found a significant interaction between condition and grade level in relation to learning outcomes, suggesting that the outcomes generally improved as a function of grade level, but that there were notable differences between the conditions regarding the improvement of outcomes across the three grades. According the results, learning with constantly concrete representations either took less time or resulted in better learning compared to concreteness fading. Because transfer is one of the central arguments for concreteness fading, a somewhat surprising finding was that the concrete condition succeeded at least as well as the fading condition on transfer tasks. The study also discusses why the results and issues related to the conceptualisation and operationalisation of central concepts in the study call for caution towards generalization and for more research with young learners across different grades.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A