Research in Science Education

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 276–285 | Cite as

“The sun is sleeping now”: Early learning about light and shadows

  • Gilda Segal
  • Mark Cosgrove


To keep intuitive knowledge fluid for an extended time, we wish to encourage young children to examine continuously those intuitive explanations for natural phenomena which later become hard wired, highly resistant to development or change. To assist this we designed a learning package which integrated three extensively researched educational strategies (cooperative learning, informal inquiry and familiar context) for children to explore their notions about the topiclight. Children in a kindergarten class were encouraged to share their ideas about shadows and shadow formation with peers, as they took part in explorations of shadow formation inside and outside their classroom. Whole class discussions, small group conversations and final conversations between researcher and small groups provide insights into social and individual construction of knowledge, young children's abilities to be scientific and the social construction of gender.


Natural Phenomenon Social Construction Extended Time Cooperative Learning Class Discussion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Australasian Science Education Research Association 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gilda Segal
    • 1
  • Mark Cosgrove
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Teacher EducationUniversity of Technology, SydneyLindfield

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