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ERIC Number: EJ914842
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0002-4805
Children Thinking about Models: Analyzing a Globe
Gustafson, Brenda J.; Shanahan, Marie-Claire
Alberta Journal of Educational Research, v56 n4 p436-458 Win 2010
The purpose of this study was to explore to what extent 87 grade 5 (10-12-year-old) children, supported by instruction about scientific models, could engage in thinking beyond a naive realist level about a globe. A qualitative framework allowed analysis of children's responses to worksheet questions in which they identified analog-target correspondence and how models act as tools for thinking. Children's responses were further analyzed using visual factors (Goldsmith, 1984) and interacting components (Mathewson, 2005) organized to highlight semiotic challenges associated with the models. The data demonstrated a beginning sophistication in thinking about models that for more than half the children was beyond a naive realist level. Further research with children working with models of less familiar targets and multiple models of the same target is recommended.
University of Alberta, Faculty of Education. 845 Education Centre South, Edmonton, AB T6G 2G5, Canada. Tel: 780-492-7941; Fax: 780-492-0236; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 5
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A