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Tracing young children's scientific reasoning

journal contribution
posted on 31.10.2003, 00:00 authored by Russell TytlerRussell Tytler, S Peterson
This paper explores the scientific reasoning of 14 children across their first two years of primary school. Children's view of experimentation, their approach to exploration, and their negotiation of competing knowledge claims, are interpreted in terms of categories of epistemological reasoning. Children's epistemological reasoning is distinguished from their ability to control variables. While individual children differ substantially, they show a relatively steady growth in their reasoning, with some contextual variation. A number of these children are reasoning at a level well in advance of curriculum expectations, and it is argued that current recommended practice in primary science needs to be rethought. The data is used to explore the relationship between reasoning and knowledge, and to argue that the generation and exploration of ideas must be the key driver of scientific activity in the primary school.

History

Journal

Research in science education

Volume

33

Issue

4

Pagination

433 - 465

Publisher

Kluwer

Location

The Netherlands

ISSN

0157-244X

eISSN

1573-1898

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2003, Kluwer Academic Publishers