Preschool children’s mental representations of clouds

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Authors

Fragkiadaki, Glykeria
Ravanis, Konstantinos

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Journal of Baltic Science Education

Abstract

Children construct representations of concepts and physical phenomena and these representations are critical to education. The natural phenomenon of clouds is perceivable and also observable by young children in everyday life. Moreover, it is a subject approached by the early childhood science education curriculums. However, in several studies it is noticed that the related children’s representations are often incompatible with the scientific model, mainly because of its character, which is macroscopic and not immediately observable. In this research, clouds representationsframed by children aged 4.5-6 years old are studied. The sample consisted of sixteen (16) children (7 boys and 9 girls) from one public kindergarten in an urban area of Greece. Data were collected through expanded, open type conversations between children pairs and one of the researchers. The results of the qualitative analysis of the conversations show that these children use different types of representations, the majority dominated by the nature of the substance under study. The outcome of the research results indicates the potentials of preschool children to perceive clouds as autonomous natural entities.

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Keywords

Pupils’ representations, Clouds, Preschool education, Science education

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