Stuck for words: multimodal representations of children’s ideas in science

Callinan, Carol (2016) Stuck for words: multimodal representations of children’s ideas in science. In: New Perspectives in Science Education (Conference proceedings). Pixel/LibreriaUniversitaria Edizioni, pp. 610-614. ISBN 9788862927055, 8862927053

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Research which has aimed to understand how children come to acquire ideas about different science concepts has had a long history [1, 2, 3]. However, these studies have explored conceptual knowledge largely through verbal reports. Whilst these approaches have been successful in revealing what children know the bias towards language and linguistic capabilities at the expense of other forms of communication may prevent a comprehensive understanding of knowledge growth particularly if children are not able to clearly or fully articulate their ideas [4]. This paper uses the results to recent study to discuss how children use gestures and other forms of non-verbal communication in order to demonstrate science ideas that may not appear in their verbal or written language. The results reveal that children frequently use gestures; these gestures can be categorised according to their content [5] and can be task specific or situated in the context of the science topic. Importantly, the content of children’s gestures can change once children’s ideas are challenged using science activities even if their verbal responses do not. These findings help to demonstrate the significance of analysing children’s gesture particularly as the content can be important for revealing children’s knowledge.

Keywords:Science Education, Gesture, Conceptual Change
Subjects:X Education > X300 Academic studies in Education
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Education
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ID Code:25578
Deposited On:11 Jan 2017 16:05

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