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ERIC Number: EJ810483
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Oct
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0950-0693
From Flowers to Fruits: How Children's Books Represent Plant Reproduction
Schussler, Elisabeth E.
International Journal of Science Education, v30 n12 p1677-1696 Oct 2008
Children's trade books about science may be playing an increasing role in science instruction; however, the potential effects on student learning are unknown. To investigate whether a subset of books would be appropriate for classroom instruction about a specific science topic (plant reproduction), a selection of children's books about plants was analysed to identify how plant reproduction was portrayed and whether the book could generate misconceptions about the topic. Three types of data were collected from 69 children's books: growth progression of the plant, textual passages describing reproduction, and descriptions of illustrations related to reproduction. These data were then sorted twice: once to identify coding categories for how plant reproduction was shown in the books, and a second time to identify potential misconceptions in the books. Most of the books showed plants progressing through a lifecycle that generated a fruit or seed. However, there were three categories of explanations for this process: no mechanism, implicit mechanism, and explicit mechanism. The analysis also identified five inaccuracies in the books that could support misconceptions about plant reproduction. Overall, students could learn from these books that plants make flowers that generate fruits or seeds, and that pollination or bees support this process. However, the gaps in the explanations of plant reproduction would require the teacher to supplement, or in some cases correct, the text. It is recommended that content experts analyse children's books in their area of specialty and provide teachers with recommendations about the use of the books in classrooms. (Contains 2 figures.)
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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