Knowledge restructuring in the development of children's cosmologies

E. Blown, T.G.K. Bryce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The development of children's cosmologies was investigated over a 13-year period, using multi-modal, in-depth interviews with 686 children (217 boys, 227 girls from New Zealand and 129 boys, 113 girls from China), aged 2-18. Children were interviewed while they observed the apparent motion of the Sun and Moon, and other features of the Earth; drew their ideas of the shape and motion of the Earth, Moon and Sun, and the causes of daytime and night-time; then modelled them using play-dough; which led into discussion of related ideas. These interviews revealed that children's cosmologies were far richer than previously thought and surprisingly similar in developmental trends across the two cultures. There was persuasive evidence of three types of conceptual change: a long-term process (over years) similar to weak restructuring; a medium-term process (over months) akin to radical restructuring; and a dynamic form of conceptual crystallisation (often in seconds) whereby previously unconnected/conflicting concepts gel to bring new meaning to previously isolated ideas. The interview technique enabled the researchers to ascertain children's concepts from intuitive, cultural, and scientific levels. The evidence supports the argument that children have coherent cosmologies that they actively create to make sense of the world rather than fragmented, incoherent "knowledge-in-pieces".
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1411-1462
Number of pages51
JournalInternational Journal of Science Education
Volume28
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Fingerprint

restructuring
interview
evidence
New Zealand
China
cause
trend

Keywords

  • astronomy
  • longitudinal studies
  • cross cultural studies
  • elementary secondary education
  • science education
  • piagetian theory
  • statistical analysis

Cite this

@article{5810b060fa9f4726b6656ab0c021db19,
title = "Knowledge restructuring in the development of children's cosmologies",
abstract = "The development of children's cosmologies was investigated over a 13-year period, using multi-modal, in-depth interviews with 686 children (217 boys, 227 girls from New Zealand and 129 boys, 113 girls from China), aged 2-18. Children were interviewed while they observed the apparent motion of the Sun and Moon, and other features of the Earth; drew their ideas of the shape and motion of the Earth, Moon and Sun, and the causes of daytime and night-time; then modelled them using play-dough; which led into discussion of related ideas. These interviews revealed that children's cosmologies were far richer than previously thought and surprisingly similar in developmental trends across the two cultures. There was persuasive evidence of three types of conceptual change: a long-term process (over years) similar to weak restructuring; a medium-term process (over months) akin to radical restructuring; and a dynamic form of conceptual crystallisation (often in seconds) whereby previously unconnected/conflicting concepts gel to bring new meaning to previously isolated ideas. The interview technique enabled the researchers to ascertain children's concepts from intuitive, cultural, and scientific levels. The evidence supports the argument that children have coherent cosmologies that they actively create to make sense of the world rather than fragmented, incoherent {"}knowledge-in-pieces{"}.",
keywords = "astronomy, longitudinal studies, cross cultural studies, elementary secondary education, science education, piagetian theory, statistical analysis",
author = "E. Blown and T.G.K. Bryce",
year = "2006",
doi = "10.1080/09500690600718062",
language = "English",
volume = "28",
pages = "1411--1462",
journal = "International Journal of Science Education",
issn = "0950-0693",
number = "12",

}

Knowledge restructuring in the development of children's cosmologies. / Blown, E.; Bryce, T.G.K.

In: International Journal of Science Education, Vol. 28, No. 12, 2006, p. 1411-1462.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Knowledge restructuring in the development of children's cosmologies

AU - Blown, E.

AU - Bryce, T.G.K.

PY - 2006

Y1 - 2006

N2 - The development of children's cosmologies was investigated over a 13-year period, using multi-modal, in-depth interviews with 686 children (217 boys, 227 girls from New Zealand and 129 boys, 113 girls from China), aged 2-18. Children were interviewed while they observed the apparent motion of the Sun and Moon, and other features of the Earth; drew their ideas of the shape and motion of the Earth, Moon and Sun, and the causes of daytime and night-time; then modelled them using play-dough; which led into discussion of related ideas. These interviews revealed that children's cosmologies were far richer than previously thought and surprisingly similar in developmental trends across the two cultures. There was persuasive evidence of three types of conceptual change: a long-term process (over years) similar to weak restructuring; a medium-term process (over months) akin to radical restructuring; and a dynamic form of conceptual crystallisation (often in seconds) whereby previously unconnected/conflicting concepts gel to bring new meaning to previously isolated ideas. The interview technique enabled the researchers to ascertain children's concepts from intuitive, cultural, and scientific levels. The evidence supports the argument that children have coherent cosmologies that they actively create to make sense of the world rather than fragmented, incoherent "knowledge-in-pieces".

AB - The development of children's cosmologies was investigated over a 13-year period, using multi-modal, in-depth interviews with 686 children (217 boys, 227 girls from New Zealand and 129 boys, 113 girls from China), aged 2-18. Children were interviewed while they observed the apparent motion of the Sun and Moon, and other features of the Earth; drew their ideas of the shape and motion of the Earth, Moon and Sun, and the causes of daytime and night-time; then modelled them using play-dough; which led into discussion of related ideas. These interviews revealed that children's cosmologies were far richer than previously thought and surprisingly similar in developmental trends across the two cultures. There was persuasive evidence of three types of conceptual change: a long-term process (over years) similar to weak restructuring; a medium-term process (over months) akin to radical restructuring; and a dynamic form of conceptual crystallisation (often in seconds) whereby previously unconnected/conflicting concepts gel to bring new meaning to previously isolated ideas. The interview technique enabled the researchers to ascertain children's concepts from intuitive, cultural, and scientific levels. The evidence supports the argument that children have coherent cosmologies that they actively create to make sense of the world rather than fragmented, incoherent "knowledge-in-pieces".

KW - astronomy

KW - longitudinal studies

KW - cross cultural studies

KW - elementary secondary education

KW - science education

KW - piagetian theory

KW - statistical analysis

UR - http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09500690600718062

U2 - 10.1080/09500690600718062

DO - 10.1080/09500690600718062

M3 - Article

VL - 28

SP - 1411

EP - 1462

JO - International Journal of Science Education

JF - International Journal of Science Education

SN - 0950-0693

IS - 12

ER -