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What’s in the body? Children’s annotated drawings
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5711-260X
Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Media and Information Technology. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4694-5611
2019 (English)In: Journal of Biological Education, ISSN 0021-9266, E-ISSN 2157-6009Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This paper presents a study of children’s ideas of the body’s internal structure. Children between four and 13 years (N = 170) individually produced drawings. During each drawing session the children explained their drawings to a facilitator and added written labels either by them- selves or, if they were too young to write, with the facilitator’s help. The results provide an updated comprehensive picture of children in differ- ent age groups and their views on the internal structure of the body. The type and numbers of organs drawn are similar to those documented in previous studies. However, in comparison to recent studies, the children drew more organs, the brain was indicated almost as often as the heart, and the Valentine heart was frequently used as a symbol. In contrast with previous research, children drew connections between organs. This result calls for caution regarding conclusions made from decontextua- lized questions. The importance of providing children with the opportu- nity to clarify their drawings is emphasised since it otherwise becomes a question of the researcher’s interpretation. The connections they draw, and explanations they give to their drawings, have interesting implica- tions for understanding children’s ideas, and hence both for teaching and learning and for science education research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2019.
Keywords [en]
Biology education; early years; children’s drawings; human body; internal organs
National Category
Other Natural Sciences Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-156731DOI: 10.1080/00219266.2019.1569082OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-156731DiVA, id: diva2:1315352
Available from: 2019-05-13 Created: 2019-05-13 Last updated: 2019-05-13
In thesis
1. Barns teckningar som utgångspunkt i det naturvetenskapliga samtalet
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Barns teckningar som utgångspunkt i det naturvetenskapliga samtalet
2019 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
Children’s Drawings as Starting Point for Dialogues in Science
Abstract [sv]

Barns föreställningar utgör en viktig del i deras begreppsbildning inom naturvetenskap vilket betonas inom konstruktivismen. I denna avhandling utgör en socialkonstruktivistisk syn på lärande det teoretiska ramverket. Det övergripande syftet med avhandlingen är att i samtal med barn i åldrarna 4–13 år och med utgångspunkt i deras teckningar, utveckla kunskap om de föreställningar de ger uttryck för inom fyra naturvetenskapliga områden: värme, blandning, människokroppen och vad som är levande/inte levande. Två forskningsfrågor behandlas i avhandlingen: Vilka föreställningar ger barn uttryck för i teckningar och i samtal om naturvetenskapliga fenomen? Vilka metodologiska förutsättningar och utmaningar finns det när det gäller att använda teckningar som utgångspunkt och som meningsskapande redskap för att fånga barns föreställningar? En multimodal metod bestående av teckningar, samtal och barnens aktivitet användes vid datainsamlingen, vilket är i linje med ett socialsemiotiskt perspektiv.

Avhandlingen består av fyra studier. Resultatet i de två första studierna visar att barns föreställningar om blandningar var något mer utvecklade än vad som visats i tidigare studier, medan deras föreställningar gällande värme överensstämde med vad som tidigare rapporterats.Den tredje studien visar att barnen känner till fler organ i människokroppen och visar, till skillnad från vad som framkommit i tidigare forskning, förmåga att rita kopplingar mellan organen. I den fjärde studien talar en majoritet av barnen om död som en motsats till liv och några ritade att det som inte lever tidigare har levt. Barn som är medvetna om mikroskopiska objekt klassificerar dem som levande. Förklaringarna visar på en inkonsekvens i barnens resonemang om växter lever eller inte.

Metodologiskt framkom att barns föreställningar med fördel fångas genom deras egna teckningar tillsammans med deras förklaringar av dessa. Teckningarna fungerar även som hjälpmedel för att föra fram och delge olika resonemang. I avhandlingen diskuteras barns lösningar på rittekninska problem som de mötte vid sidan av den naturvetenskapliga uppgiften. I studien om människokroppen handlar dessa problem om svårigheten i att överföra den tredimensionella människokroppen till två dimensioner. En annan svårighet var att kroppens organ, skelett, muskler och vävnader ligger ovanpå varandra. Där använde barnen strategin att rita röntgenbilder för att visa det som ligger dolt. Barn i olika åldrar löste ofta dessa rittekniska problem på ett mycket kreativt sätt i kombination med deras muntliga/skriftliga kommentarer. Förutom teckningarnas betydelse diskuteras skillnaden mellan kontextualiserade och dekontextualiserade uppgifter. De olika områdena som studerats i avhandlingens artiklar befinner sig på olika abstraktionsnivåer vilket påverkar barnens föreställningar och hur detta uttrycks in bilder. Naturvetenskap innefattar olika dimensioner där det handlar om att både lära sig strukturell och processuell kunskap. Den multimodala metoden gav barnen hjälp med att samla, strukturera och uttrycka sina tankar

Abstract [en]

Children's conceptions are an important part of their conceptualisation in science, something that is emphasized in constructivism, in this thesis a social constructivist view of learning constitutes the theoretical framework. The overall purpose is to contribute to the knowledge development within science education. This was done by investigating 4-13-year-old children’s conceptions of phenomena in natural science within four areas: heat, mixing, the human body and what is living/non-living. The following two research questions are addressed: What conceptions do children express in drawings and in conversations about natural science phenomena? What methodological possibilities and challenges are there in using drawings as a starting point and as a meaning-making tool for capturing children's conceptions? A multimodal method including drawings, conversations and children's activities was used in the data collection, which is in line with a social semiotic perspective.

The thesis consists of four studies. The results of the first two studies show that children's conceptions about mixing were somewhat more developed than shown in previous studies, while their conceptions about heat were in line with what was previously reported.

The third study shows that the children know more organs in the human body and, unlike in previous research, show an ability to draw connections between the organs. In the fourth study, a majority of the children talk about death as the opposite to life and some draw that what does not live should have lived before, such as dinosaurs. Children who are aware of microscopic objects classify them as living. Additionally, the explanations show inconsistency in their reasoning about plants as living or no-living things.

Methodologically the results in the studies show that the children's drawings in combination with their explanations are valuable tools for capturing their conceptions. The drawings also serve as a tool for presenting and sharing different reasoning. Furthermore, children's drawing techniques are discussed in connection with problems that they faced alongside the scientific task. In the study of the human body, these problems deal with the difficulty of transferring the three-dimensional inside of the human body to two dimensions. Another difficulty was that the body's organs, skeleton, muscles and tissues are on top of each other. Here the children used X-ray drawing to show what is hidden. Children of different ages often solved these technical problems in a very creative way in combination with their oral/written comments. In addition to the significance of the drawings, the difference between contextualized and decontextualized tasks during data-collection is discussed. Further, different dimensions of science, such as structural and processual knowledge, are discussed. The four areas studied are also on different abstraction levels which affect the children's conceptions and representations in their drawings. In conclusion, learning in science involves different dimensions of both structural and processual knowledge. The multimodal method helped the children focus, structure and express their thoughts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2019. p. 99
Series
Studies in Science and Technology Education, ISSN 1652-5051 ; 106
Keywords
children, drawings, conceptions, heat, mixning, human body, living/min-living, barn, teckningar, föreställningar, värme, blandning, människokroppen, levande/inte levande
National Category
Educational Sciences Other Natural Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-156715 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-156715 (DOI)9789176850459 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-06-14, K3, Kåkenhus, Campus Norrköping, Norrköping, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-05-14 Created: 2019-05-13 Last updated: 2019-06-10Bibliographically approved

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Andersson, JohannaLöfgren, RagnhildTibell, Lena

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