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Exploring children’s ideas about natural phenomena in kindergarten classes: designing and evaluating ‘eliciting activities’

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Author(s): MARIA PAPANDREOU | MARIA TERZI

Journal: Review of Science, Mathematics and ICT Education
ISSN 1791-261X

Volume: 5;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 27;
Date: 2011;

Keywords: Early childhood science education | children’s ideas | communication | drawing activity | group discussion | research methods | Earth’s shape | day/night cycle

ABSTRACT
Young children’s ideas about a number of science topics have been steadily studiedin recent years and the respective research findings have considerably supportedthe development of early childhood science education so far. However, accordingto the sociocultural perspective on young children’s ideas in science, children adopta variety of theories, since they are based on their everyday cultural experiences,which makes classification quite difficult. It is therefore suggested that any teachingintervention should take seriously into account the ideas of the children itaddresses. But such thing presupposes that the teacher’s educational designinvolves ‘eliciting processes’ of his/her students’ ideas. The present study aims toinvestigate methodological issues on the implementation in Kindergarten classes ofsuch processes concerning natural phenomena, as an essential stage of designing therespective teaching interventions. Particular emphasis is put on the “educationalcontext” of these processes, while at the same time the function of the differentkinds of activities exploring the ideas of Kindergarten children about the Earth’sshape and the day/night cycle is studied with a view to formulating concreteproposals on learning and teaching in early childhood science classes.
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