Children's reasoning and representations about living and non-living things
2013 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Understanding of the concept ‘life’ and what characterise ‘living things’ is important as a foundation for learning in biology. In a more general view, this understanding can make children develop awareness, respect and responsibility for life as members of a society and in decision making for sustainable development. The present pilot study aim to investigate 5-6 year old pre-school children’s reasoning and representations about living and nonliving things. In cognitive developmental research, the concept of life is well investigated but, questions still remain regarding how children reason around and represent these concepts. Previous research has found that children have difficulties in including plants as living things. Moreover, it is found that young children include e.g. the sun, clouds and rocks as living things. The methods that have been used are often quantitative and use picture-cards with different objects for the children to categorize. In the present pilot study a modified methodology was applied. Children’s drawings of what they consider as living and non-living were collected and picture-cards were used as point of departure for reasoning. In interviews the children were encouraged to explain and express their ideas. The drawings and the cards mainly worked as a meaning making tool for the children. Results from the study will be presented and discussed.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Didactics Other Biological Topics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122578OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-122578DiVA: diva2:868201
ESERA conference, September 2-7, Nicosia Cyprus, 2013