Research in Science Education

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 104–112 | Cite as

A study of conceptual development in early childhood

  • Marilyn Fleer
  • Warren Beasley
Article

Abstract

This paper reports part of a study which investigated young children's conceptions of scientific and technological phenomena and the conceptual change that occurs during the teaching of science in pre-school, Transition/Year One and Year Two/Three classrooms. Science lessons from each school/centre were audio and video taped for a period of six months. Informal interviewing of teachers occurred in direct response to lessons observed. Informal interviewing of children was conducted to determine current scientific thinking in relation to the science lessons presented by the teacher.

Two main elements emerged. First, different types of teacher-child interactions were evident during the science lessons observed and it was found that specifically focused interactions led to conceptual development in young children. Second, children's views (whether scientific or not) were maintained over a three month period.

Keywords

Young Child Early Childhood Conceptual Change Main Element Direct Response 

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Copyright information

© Australasian Science Research Association 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marilyn Fleer
    • 1
  • Warren Beasley
    • 2
  1. 1.The University of CanberraCanberraAustralia
  2. 2.The University of QueenslandQueenslandAustralia

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