UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Children's science learning: a core skills approach

Tolmie, AK; Ghazali, Z; Morris, S; (2016) Children's science learning: a core skills approach. British Journal of Educational Psychology , 86 (3) pp. 481-497. 10.1111/bjep.12119. Green open access

[img]
Preview
Text
Tolmie, Ghazali & Morris (2016) for RPS.pdf - Accepted version

Download (297kB) | Preview

Abstract

Background: Research has identified the core skills that predict success during primary school in reading and arithmetic, and this knowledge increasingly informs teaching. However, there has been no comparable work that pinpoints the core skills that underlie success in science. / Aims and method: The present paper attempts to redress this by examining candidate skills and considering what is known about the way in which they emerge, how they relate to each other and to other abilities, how they change with age, and how their growth may vary between topic areas. / Results: There is growing evidence that early-emerging tacit awareness of causal associations is initially separated from language-based causal knowledge, which is acquired in part from everyday conversation and shows inaccuracies not evident in tacit knowledge. Mapping of descriptive and explanatory language onto causal awareness appears therefore to be a key development, which promotes unified conceptual and procedural understanding. / Conclusions: This account suggests that the core components of initial science learning are (1) accurate observation, (2) the ability to extract and reason explicitly about causal connections, and (3) knowledge of mechanisms that explain these connections. Observational ability is educationally inaccessible until integrated with verbal description and explanation, for instance, via collaborative group work tasks that require explicit reasoning with respect to joint observations. Descriptive ability and explanatory ability are further promoted by managed exposure to scientific vocabulary and use of scientific language. Scientific reasoning and hypothesis testing are later acquisitions that depend on this integration of systems and improved executive control.

Type: Article
Title: Children's science learning: a core skills approach
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/bjep.12119
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjep.12119
Language: English
Additional information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Children's science learning: a core skills approach. British Journal of Educational Psychology, which has been published in final form at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjep.12119. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving (http://olabout.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-828039.html#terms).
Keywords: science learning; scientific thinking; scientific reasoning; science concepts; scientific knowledge; cognitive skills
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Psychology and Human Development
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1502180
Downloads since deposit
261Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item