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  • 1.
    Andersson, Johanna
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Barns teckningar som utgångspunkt i det naturvetenskapliga samtalet2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    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.

    List of papers
    1. Young children's analogical reasoning in science domains
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Young children's analogical reasoning in science domains
    2012 (English)In: Science Education, ISSN 0036-8326, E-ISSN 1098-237X, Vol. 96, no 4, p. 725-756Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    This exploratory study in a classroom setting investigates first graders (age 78 years, N = 25) ability to perform analogical reasoning and create their own analogies for two irreversible natural phenomena: mixing and heat transfer. We found that the children who contributed actively to a full-class discussion were consistently successful at making analogical comparisons between known objects provided by a researcher and that some of the children could come up with their own analogies for the abstract natural phenomena with which they interacted. The use of full-class and small-group settings, shared laboratory experiences of the phenomena and childrens drawings as different kinds of scaffolding was found to be helpful for the childrens analogical reasoning. As an implication for science education, self-generated analogies are put forward as a potential learning tool within a constructivist approach to education.

    National Category
    Didactics
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-79916 (URN)10.1002/sce.21009 (DOI)000305122800008 ()
    Available from: 2012-08-15 Created: 2012-08-15 Last updated: 2019-05-13
    2. Primary school childrens´s ideas of mixing and heat as expressed in a classroom setting
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Primary school childrens´s ideas of mixing and heat as expressed in a classroom setting
    2014 (English)In: Journal of Baltic Science Education, ISSN 1648-3898, E-ISSN 2538-7138, Vol. 13, no 5, p. 726-739Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    This study investigates primary school children’s (7-8 year-old, N = 25) ideas of mixing of marbles and of heat, expressed in small-group predict-observe-explain exercises, and drawings representing the children’s own analogies in a classroom setting. The children were typically found to predict that marbles of two different colours would mix when rocked back and forth on a board. This idea of mixing is slightly more advanced than previously reported in the literature. The children’s ideas of heat included reference to warm objects, their own bodies when exercising, and the process of one warm solid object heating another object in direct contact. In addition, through scaffolding, some of the children expressed a substance view of heat. Finally, the potential and challenges in probing children’s ideas through a combination of data collection techniques in a classroom setting are reflected upon

    Keywords
    heat, mixing, children’s ideas, primary school, classroom setting
    National Category
    Didactics
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-112423 (URN)000347033100011 ()
    Available from: 2014-11-26 Created: 2014-11-26 Last updated: 2019-05-13Bibliographically approved
    3. What’s in the body? Children’s annotated drawings
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>What’s in the body? Children’s annotated drawings
    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
    Biology education; early years; children’s drawings; human body; internal organs
    National Category
    Other Natural Sciences Educational Sciences
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-156731 (URN)10.1080/00219266.2019.1569082 (DOI)
    Available from: 2019-05-13 Created: 2019-05-13 Last updated: 2019-10-25
  • 2.
    Andersson, Johanna
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Löfgren, Ragnhild
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Tibell, Lena
    Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Media and Information Technology. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    What’s in the body? Children’s annotated drawings2019In: Journal of Biological Education, ISSN 0021-9266, E-ISSN 2157-6009Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 3.
    Andersson, Johanna
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Tibell, Lena
    Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Media and Information Technology. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Exploring childrens' views of what's inside the body2012Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The importance of living a healthy life in an everyday context is promoted in schools and preschools. The discussion often focuses on what food is healthy, and that one should eat enough but not too much. The connection between food and beverages and their role in the body is seldom discussed. Students’ ideas about how the human body functions have been investigated in several studies but few have focused on young children. In this study, we investigate young children’s conceptions related to this topic and how their ideas develop. Seventy-nine pre- and primary school children, aged 4-11, participated in individual focus interviews wherein the children were asked to draw and explain their understanding. Our results confirm several findings observed by other workers. However, in contrast with earlier studies, 10 of seventeen 4-5 year-old children indicated the stomach, and more than half of those children described how food can be utilized in the body to extract energy. Furthermore, the brain was among the most commonly mentioned organs cross all age groups. Interestingly, the level of expertise varied and did not covariate with age. For example, five of eight of the 4 year-old children draw 5-8 organs, while a single 10 year-old child could only mention three. Similarly, two of thirteen 7-year old children provided an almost completely correct description of the digestive tract and its function, while most of the older children expressed a much less developed understanding. The results reflect the wide range of different conceptual ideas that teachers confront in a day-to-day classroom context.

  • 4.
    Andersson, Johanna
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Tibell, Lena A.E.
    Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Media and Information Technology. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Children's reasoning and representations about living and non-living things2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    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. 

  • 5.
    Haglund, Jesper
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Jeppsson, Fredrik
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Andersson, Johanna
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Primary school childrens´s ideas of mixing and heat as expressed in a classroom setting2014In: Journal of Baltic Science Education, ISSN 1648-3898, E-ISSN 2538-7138, Vol. 13, no 5, p. 726-739Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study investigates primary school children’s (7-8 year-old, N = 25) ideas of mixing of marbles and of heat, expressed in small-group predict-observe-explain exercises, and drawings representing the children’s own analogies in a classroom setting. The children were typically found to predict that marbles of two different colours would mix when rocked back and forth on a board. This idea of mixing is slightly more advanced than previously reported in the literature. The children’s ideas of heat included reference to warm objects, their own bodies when exercising, and the process of one warm solid object heating another object in direct contact. In addition, through scaffolding, some of the children expressed a substance view of heat. Finally, the potential and challenges in probing children’s ideas through a combination of data collection techniques in a classroom setting are reflected upon

  • 6.
    Haglund, Jesper
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Jeppsson, Fredrik
    Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science.
    Andersson, Johanna
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Young children's analogical reasoning in science domains2012In: Science Education, ISSN 0036-8326, E-ISSN 1098-237X, Vol. 96, no 4, p. 725-756Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This exploratory study in a classroom setting investigates first graders (age 78 years, N = 25) ability to perform analogical reasoning and create their own analogies for two irreversible natural phenomena: mixing and heat transfer. We found that the children who contributed actively to a full-class discussion were consistently successful at making analogical comparisons between known objects provided by a researcher and that some of the children could come up with their own analogies for the abstract natural phenomena with which they interacted. The use of full-class and small-group settings, shared laboratory experiences of the phenomena and childrens drawings as different kinds of scaffolding was found to be helpful for the childrens analogical reasoning. As an implication for science education, self-generated analogies are put forward as a potential learning tool within a constructivist approach to education.

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