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Preschool Teachers’ Design for Learning Physics in Early Childhood Science Education
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science, Curriculum studies. (ROLE)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4696-4142
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science, Education.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4439-6169
2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper reports on an ongoing practice-based research project in which preschool teachers and researchers collaborate on the content in physics. The aim is to contribute to a deeper knowledge of preschool teachers’ design for teaching physics (friction) and how children create meaning of the content. The research questions are: How do the preschool teachers design learning opportunities so that the children can create meaning about friction? How do young children create meaning from the teaching aids that are offered to them? A number of studies have reported on preschool children’s (aged 5-6 years) and older children’s misconceptions in their reasoning about natural phenomena and how this differs from accepted scientific ideas. Previous research has also shown that there is a gap in preschool teachers’ knowledge of natural science and physics. Most of the research in this field has focused on the effect of preschool teachers’ teaching of natural phenomena rather than children´s meaning-making and learning processes. Research on young children´s (aged 3-7) learning often highlights their individual knowledge and emphasises cognitive understanding and conceptual development. The most common methods used are interviews, pre- and post-tests that aim to show cognitive understanding and scientific conceptual development as an effect of the teaching intervention. When it comes to preschool education and young children’s learning, children´s experiences of natural phenomena are seldom verbal, but are instead physical and practical. In this respect, there is a need to use different methods to investigate preschool activities in order to acquire more knowledge about preschool teachers’ teaching and young children’s meaning-making of natural phenomena. In order to deal with these challenges, this study adopts a multimodal design-oriented qualitative approach and makes use of the concepts of representation and transformation. Here, the focus is on preschool teachers’ and children’s creation of symbols as a social activity. The use of symbols combines content and form in order to carry meaning and create and express conditions for meaning-making. The data consists of audiotaped video self-reflection seminars (focusing on children’s verbal, physical and practical actions) and semi-structured interviews with nine preschool teachers. The findings indicate that preschool teachers’ teaching of physics is closely linked with their vision of how the subject will stimulate the children’s learning. They also show how friction is represented in connection with play, outdoor activities and experimental activities. The results of the children’s meaning-making show that they become familiar with friction as a notion in relation to everyday experiences and are in that way introduced to what friction means in scientific terms. Further, the children relate their experiences of play to their own bodies and preferences, for example, by learning that icy slopes are slippery (low friction), that surfaces are slippery or rough (have different friction) and friction has force (over-under effect). These findings address the relevance and implications for science education and research by moving from the idea of focusing on children’s verbal communication and their conceptual understanding of natural phenomena towards an approach that includes their learning processes and physical experien

 

 

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
design, multimodality, preschool, learning, natural science
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-31060OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-31060DiVA, id: diva2:1372729
Conference
ATEE 2019 Winter Conference Science and Education in the 21st Century. University of Minho, Braga, Portugal. 15-17 April 2019
Available from: 2019-11-25 Created: 2019-11-25 Last updated: 2019-11-28Bibliographically approved

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Elm, AnnikaLiljestrand, Johan

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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  • ieee
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