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ERIC Number: EJ866573
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 65
ISSN: ISSN-0950-0693
Supporting Scientific Conceptual Consciousness or Learning in "A Roundabout Way" in Play-Based Contexts
Fleer, Marilyn
International Journal of Science Education, v31 n8 p1069-1089 May 2009
Little change has been noted over 10 years of research into teacher knowledge and confidence to teach science in the early and primary years of schooling. There is a significant body of research demonstrating that early childhood and primary teachers lack confidence and competence in teaching science. However, much of this research blames the victim, and offers little analysis for the systemic reasons for teachers' confidence and competence in science education other than a lack of science knowledge. This paper reports on a study that examined teacher philosophy and pedagogical practices within the context of an analysis of children's concept formation within playful early childhood settings. Through teacher interviews, video recordings of science play, and photographic documentation of children's science activities in one rural preschool, it was noted that teacher philosophy about how young children learn is a significant contributing factor to learning in science. It is argued that teacher philosophy makes more of a difference to children's scientific learning than does teacher confidence to teach science or knowledge of science. The study also shows that without a mediational scientific framework for using materials in play-based contexts, children will generate their own imaginary, often non-scientific, narratives for making sense of the materials provided. (Contains 2 tables.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A