Resource use in science explorations by grade 4 students in primary school
Fleur Prinsen, Learning Sciences Lab, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University of Singapore, Singapore
The main research question is the following: How do students use textual/visual/ material/experiential/human resources to inform their explorations, aimed at acquiring a deeper understanding of scientific concepts? Multiple data-sources were used for the study. Data were collected by video-recordings of both the students and the whole class, supplemented by voice-recordings of the students. A measure of students’ prior knowledge about heat was taken and student work was collected throughout the unit and rated on indicators of understanding to map their progress. As much as possible, the integration of concept-relevant information, taken from the resources, into students work is described.
This study will gain insight into how different resources are picked up and used by the students and how the use of these different resources adds to the students understanding of science concepts. Furthermore it will provide insight into the differences between provided, emerging and brought in resources and their function in supporting students’ exploratory/inquiry learning. It will show where information, taken from the resources, is successfully integrated or fails to be integrated into the students’ work and will suggest ways to make better use of resources in science class.