ERIC Number: EJ850487
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Culture and Children's Cosmology
Siegal, Michael; Butterworth, George; Newcombe, Peter A.
Developmental Science, v7 n3 p308-324 Jun 2004
In this investigation, we examined children's knowledge of cosmology in relation to the shape of the earth and the day-night cycle. Using explicit questioning involving a choice of alternative answers and 3D models, we carried out a comparison of children aged 4-9 years living in Australia and England. Though Australia and England have a close cultural affinity, there are differences in children's early exposure to cosmological concepts. Australian children who have early instruction in this domain were nearly always significantly in advance of their English counterparts. In general, they most often produced responses compatible with a conception of a round earth on which people can live all over without falling off. We consider coherence and fragmentation in children's knowledge in terms of the timing of culturally transmitted information, and in relation to questioning methods used in previous research that may have underestimated children's competence.
Descriptors: Scientific Concepts, Foreign Countries, Concept Formation, Astronomy, Knowledge Level, Young Children, Comparative Analysis, Cultural Differences, Science Instruction, Child Development
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; United Kingdom (England)