Ed209 Tma06 Essay

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ED 209 A small-scale experimental study of the development of scientific thinking in young children, focusing on their ideas and predictions about why a variety of objects might float or sink and by ibentifying and analyzing the causal themes they invoke in their rationalizations of the facts. Abstract This paper describes an experiment to explore the development of scientific thinking in children as they look at the behavior of objects in the water. Participants were shown a variety of objects and asked to predict whether they would sink or float and to explain why. Their predictions were tested empirically and they were asked to explain what happened. Using Piagetian approach, ‘cognitive conflict’, they were asked to explain oppositions in their thinking. Following scaffolding, they were asked to explain again. The frequencies of causal themes in their explanations were recorded and analysed. The children demonstrated an improvement in their scientific thinking. Introduction Essential to understand the term ‘floating’ is the understanding that the mass of an object that floats must be less than the mass of the liquid in which it is floating.Selley (see Selley 1993) gives a view that requires the up thrust of the fluid to be equal to the weight of the object. In Piagetian terms for a person to explain floating they must have achieve –at around adolescence-proportional reasoning that indicates a level of thinking that called’ formal operations’ and so to be able to give reasons in theoretical ways without indication to real experience. Child before this will connect in real actions, in oreder to be able to think logically without the hypothesize. Selley (1993) offers a series of five hypotheses that a child might discover as they work through the dilemma of ‘why do things float’. The change in cognition might be explained by Piaget’s view of

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