The development of a scientific motive: how preschool science and home play reciprocally contribute to science learning

Judith Gomes, Marilyn Fleer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    There are a growing number of studies that have examined science learning for preschool children. Some research has looked into children’s home experiences and some has focused on transition, practices, routines, and traditions in preschool contexts. However, little attention has been directed to the relationship between children’s learning experiences at preschool and at home, and how this relationship can assist in the development of science concepts relevant to everyday life. In drawing upon Hedegaard’s (Learning and child development,2002) cultural-historical conception of motives and Vygotsky’s (The collected works of L.S. Vygotsky: problems of general psychology, 1987) theory of everyday and scientific concept formation, the study reported in this paper examines one child, Jimmy (4.2 years), and his learning experiences at home and at preschool. Data gathering featured the video recording of 4 weeks of Jimmy’s learning in play at home and at preschool (38.5 h), parent questionnaire and interviews, and researcher and family gathered video observations of home play with his parents (3.5 h). Findings show how a scientific motive develops through playful everyday learning moments at home and at preschool when scientific play narratives and resources are aligned. The study contributes to a more nuanced understanding of the science learning of young children and a conception of pedagogy that takes into account the reciprocity of home and school contexts for learning science.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)613-634
    Number of pages22
    JournalResearch in Science Education
    Volume49
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

    Keywords

    • Play
    • Concept formation
    • Science
    • Cultural-historical theory
    • Early childhood

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