ERIC Number: EJ994346
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
Naive Theory of Biology: The Pre-School Child's Explanation of Death
Vlok, Milandre; de Witt, Marike W.
Early Child Development and Care, v182 n12 p1645-1659 2012
This article explains the naive theory of biology that the pre-school child uses to explain the cause of death. The empirical investigation showed that the young participants do use a naive theory of biology to explain function and do make reference to "vitalistic causality" in explaining organ function. Furthermore, most of these participants gave an external explanation for the cause of death (e.g. gunshots, poison, sticks), but those participants who gave an internal (biological) explanation for the cause of death were well-informed about the biological teleology of body organs. These findings concluded that education, socioeconomic factors and culture influenced the acquisition of a naive theory of biology. Regarding the view of educators, all emphasised the need for guidance in how to explain the concept of death to young children. The research approach was conducted from a qualitative paradigm and was based on the strategy of phenomenology and grounded theory approach. The researcher chose two cultural settings (urban and suburban milieu) and used eight pre-school children and four educators as her participants.
Descriptors: Biology, Grounded Theory, Death, Phenomenology, Comprehension, Preschool Teachers, Preschool Children, Theories, Socioeconomic Influences, Cultural Influences, Teacher Attitudes, Urban Areas, Suburbs, Foreign Countries
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa