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ERIC Number: EJ870521
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 55
ISSN: ISSN-0950-0693
What Does the Skill of Observation Look like in Young Children?
Johnston, Jane Susan
International Journal of Science Education, v31 n18 p2511-2525 Dec 2009
Fifty-six children, aged between 4 and 11 years, in seven groups, were videoed playing with, being questioned about and sorting a collection of toys in order to identify what skills of observation looked like in young children, how observations influenced other scientific skills and what supported the skill of observation. Children's skills of observation were found to be similar across all ages and included affective, functional, social and exploratory comments, actions, and questions. These initial observations led to the use of other scientific process skills: classification, prediction, hypotheses, along with explanation for younger children and interpretations for older children. There was generally a greater sophistication of observation skills with increasing age of the children. Observations in young children were found to be tactile and developed in two ways: by engaging in more unique close observation and interpreting observation by utilising previous knowledge and experiences. Important factors affecting the development of observational and other scientific skills were found to be the context (activity, environment, resources) and combination of social interactions between individuals, peers, and adults. This combination supported the development of both observational and other scientific skills, although the nature and amount of this interaction appeared individual to different groups of children and could not be predicted. (Contains 3 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A