Capturing children’s ideas in science through the use of mini whiteboards: A case study of children with SEND

Callinan, Carol and Johnston, Jennifer and Fotou, Nikolaos (2017) Capturing children’s ideas in science through the use of mini whiteboards: A case study of children with SEND. In: ESERA 2017, 21-25 August 2017, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland.

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Capturing children’s ideas in science through the use of mini whiteboards: A case study of children with SEND
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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

Research which has aimed to understand how children come to acquire ideas about different science
concepts has had a long history (Vosniadou, 2008, Driver et al, 1994). However, these studies have
explored conceptual knowledge largely through verbal reports, whilst successful, these approaches were
critiqued as they did not capture a comprehensive understanding of knowledge growth particularly if
children are not able to clearly or fully articulate their ideas (Goldin-Meadows, 2000). In more recent
research this bias towards language has been challenged and investigations have begun to consider
multimodal aspects of children’s communication in science lessons (Jewitt, 2011). Multimodal research has
begun to demonstrate how other communication strategies can provide a more holistic understanding of
children’s knowledge growth (Callinan, 2015). This paper discusses the results drawn from a recent case
study which aimed to explore how children with SEND use mini whiteboards in order to express their ideas
about floating and sinking. The case study focused on a four week science intervention undertaken with a
class of 8 children (10 – 11 years old) with behavioural needs and attending a special needs school. The
children were encouraged to capture their ideas about the topic throughout the course of the intervention,
this paper focuses on how the children used mini whiteboards to demonstrate increasingly complex scientific
ideas. The children’s whiteboard representations were captured using a camera throughout the lessons.
Preliminary findings indicated that the children preferred to discuss their ideas using the whiteboard rather
than in the formal test and through verbal discussions. These findings demonstrate that the children were
more confident when drawing on other multimodal resources than those typically used in school
assessments (e.g. spoken or written word forms). This presentation will explore the initial findings from this
pilot study and will discuss plans for further development of the intervention.

Keywords:Primary Science, Multimodal research, SEND
Subjects:X Education > X320 Academic studies in Primary Education
X Education > X900 Others in Education
X Education > X990 Education not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Science
ID Code:33253
Deposited On:20 Oct 2018 21:58

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