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Making sense of science in the reception class

Glauert, Esme (2005) Making sense of science in the reception class. International Journal of Early Years Education, 13 (3). pp. 215-233. ISSN 0966-9760

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Abstract

In the context of growing awareness of young children’s capabilities, and debates about the nature of their reasoning in science, this study set out to explore the ways in which reception children make sense of classroom experiences in science. A particular challenge of the study was to develop appropriate and productive approaches to investigating young children’s developing thinking. The first phase of research, reported in this paper, concentrated on the topic of electricity. A series of case studies was undertaken to examine children’s learning in a classroom context. Classroom sessions were video recorded and transcribed to examine the development of children’s practical competence in circuit making, and interviews were carried out to elicit children’s views about electric circuits. Analysis of the classroom sessions revealed children’s growing competence in circuit making through their self-directed efforts. The interviews prompted predictions and explanations that were not offered spontaneously. Responses indicated a range of models of the circuit and forms of explanation for what was happening in the circuit. The relationship between children’s practical competence, predictions and explanations was not straightforward. Analysis revealed marked differences in models of the circuit and forms of explanation in children with the same levels of practical competence. This has important implications for the ways in which children’s views are assessed.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an electronic version of an article published in Glauert, Esme (2005) Making sense of science in the reception class. International Journal of Early Years Education, 13 (3). pp. 215-235. International Journal of Early Years Education is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09669760500295862
Controlled Keywords: Early years , Informal learning , Science
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Early Years and Primary Education
Depositing User: IOE Repository Editor (2)
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2010 09:27
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2013 11:49
URI: http://eprints.ioe.ac.uk/id/eprint/2193

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