Journal of Elementary Science Education

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 67-78

First online:

Moving beyond the lone scientist: Helping 1st-grade students appreciate the social context of scientific work using stories about scientists

  • Azza SharkawyAffiliated withScience Education, Queen’s University Email author 

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While several studies have documented young children’s (K-2) stereotypic views of scientists and scientific work, few have examined students’ views of the social nature of scientific work and the strategies effective in broadening these views. The purpose of this study is to examine how stories about scientists influence 1st-grade students’ views of the social nature of scientific work. Analysis of student work, drawings, and semistructured interviews indicate that students developed an appreciation for three aspects of the social nature of scientific work: (1) scientists work collaboratively, (2) scientists communicate with the public, and (3) scientists draw on socially constructed resources.