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ERIC Number: EJ907323
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jun
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 22
ISSN: ISSN-1449-6313
The Use of Magnets for Introducing Primary School Students to Some Properties of Forces through Small-Group Pedagogy
Carruthers, Rebecca; de Berg, Kevin
Teaching Science, v56 n2 p13-17 Jun 2010
Seventeen Grade Six students were divided into small groups to study the concept of forces in the context of magnets and their properties. The researcher, a pre-service primary school teacher, encouraged the students into conversation about magnets and it was found that, without hesitation, they talked about their prior experience of magnets. The words, "pushing" and "pulling", endemic to an early introduction to the notion of force, were used spontaneously by the students when referring to the repulsion and attraction properties of magnets. In conversation, the students were prepared to make claims or hypotheses about magnet behaviour and often sought evidence for these. This study indicates that, given the right context, the rudimentary elements of argumentation can be appropriated naturally by children. In this paper, the focus is on the push-pull character of forces and the fact that forces appear to interact in pairs. (Contains 1 figure.)
Australian Science Teachers Association. P.O. Box 334, Deakin West, ACT 2600, Australia. Tel: +61-02-6282-9377; Fax: +61-02-6282-9477; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 6; Primary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia