Eglstgeest wrote, “The purpose of teachers’ questions should be to promote children’s activity and reasoning” (pp 41) which is why it is up to the teachers of today to establish an understanding of the different sorts of questions that can be used to get different sorts of responses from the children that would initiate participation in science activities on everyday things that seem ‘natural’ to us. (Benbow, A. & Mebly, C. 2002). The focus of this essay is to explain the existing matter in solids, liquid and gaseous states applied to the concept cartoons which are then compared to a child’s conception of the following scientific investigations; sugar added to a cup of tea, when water is boiling, and the reasons behind condensation on the outside of a glass filled with water and ice cubes. I am then to compared the 'correct' answers to my child’s answers and explore where the child is coming from and why they believe their answer is correct.
The child I interviewed is 10 year old Amy. She is currently in year 5. She isn’t like most kids, as she attended a Korean public school in South Korea from years 1 to 3. Her background made it difficult for her to understand most of the scientific words as she probably hasn’t heard them before. She had to learn how to read and write English at the age of 9 while everyone else in her class was far ahead of her.
The particle theory of matter is the answer to many questions about our everyday life that everyday people barely ever think of questioning. “It explains a whole range of phenomena that you encounter in your daily life” (James, M. pp18). Matter is made up of many small particles. These particles differ in size depending on the substance and their speed varies on the temperature of the substance.
Water boiling is the cause of particles moving around each other rapidly as the liquid heats up which enables the particles near the surface to escape into the air creating gaseous...
References: Benbow, A. & Mebly, C. (2002) Planning a Science Investigation in Science Education for Elementary Teachers. Wadsworth/Thomson Learning: California. Pp. 189-196
Eglstgeest, J. (1985) The right question at the right time. In Harlen, W. Primary science: Taking the plunge. Pp. 36-45
Gallagher, R. & Ingram, P. (1989) Chemistry. Oxford University Press, Oxford (‘Particles in solids, liquids in gases’. Pp. 10-11; ‘A closer look at gases’, pp. 10-13)
James, M. (etal). (1999) Matter, the kinetic theory of matter. Chemical Connections 1. Jacaranda. National library of Australia. Pp. 18-20
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