This study aims at highlighting young children's reasoning about human interventions within a forest ecosystem. Our focus is particularly set on whether preschoolers are able to come up with any basic ecological interpretations of human actions upon forest plants or animals and how. Conducting individual, semi-structured interviews with 70 preschoolers (age 4-5), we first tested their ability to consider the forest as a habitat and recognize simple food chains in it, and then we traced their reasoning about the consequences that human actions upon plants or certain forest animals may possibly have for other animals that also live in the forest. The analysis of our qualitative data with "NVivo" software does reveal an ecological aspect in preschoolers' reasoning, which is thoroughly discussed in the paper.
This paper reports on a phenomenological study that aims at exploring students' own perception of their participation in a "Philosophy for/with Children" program. The program was comprised of eight philosophy sessions designed for stimulating interesting and fairly disciplined discussions. The implementation of the program took place at a village high school in a rural part of west Greece, with 16 teenager students (age 14 -16). The students gave us individual semi-structured post-interviews concerning (a) the expectations they had from the program, (b) their experience from it, (c) their understanding about its purpose and outcomes, and (d) their suggestions for possible changes with regard to it. The qualitative analysis of students' interviews showed that they had a very positive view of the program, as thoroughly discussed in the paper.
This paper is concerned with highlighting young children's ideas about the nature, location and appearance of germs, as well as their reasoning strands about germs' ontological category and biological functions. Moreover, it is concerned with exploring how all these could be taken into account for shaping a potentially fruitful learning environment. Conducting individual, semi-structured interviews with 35 preschoolers (age 4.5-5.5) of public kindergartens in the broader area of Patras, we attempted to trace their ideas about what germs are, where they may be found, whether they are good or bad and living or non-living and how they might look like in a drawing. Moreover, children were required to attribute a series of biological functions to dogs, chairs and germs, and finally to create a story with germs holding a key-role. The analysis of our qualitative data within the "NVivo" software showed that the informants make a strong association of germs with health and hygiene issues, locate germs mostly in our body and the external environment, are not familiar with the 'good germs'-idea, and draw germs as 'human-like', 'animal-like' or 'abstract' entities. Moreover, they have significant difficulties not only in employing biological functions as criteria for classifying germs in the category of 'living', but also in just attributing such functions to germs using a warrant. Finally, the shift from our findings to a 3-part learning environment aiming at supporting preschoolers in refining their initial conceptualization of germs is thoroughly discussed in the paper.
This paper reports on a case study with three dyads of high school students (age 14 years) each collaborating on a plant growth modeling task in the computer-supported educational environment 'ModelsCreator'. Following a qualitative line of research, the present study aims at highlighting the ways in which the collaborating students as well as the facilitator who supported them are engaged in the computer-based modeling 'activity'. The analysis is carried out with a two-level analytic tool that has been derived within the theoretical framework of 'activity theory'. Our results show that a wide range of modeling 'operations' is activated in the context of the three major modeling 'actions' of 'analysis', 'synthesis' and 'testing-interpreting', which take place in the light of the facilitator-driven 'action' of cognitive and technical support. Moreover, these actions are combined into 'modeling units' of various forms which are repeated several times until the modeling process comes to an end. These many-fold repeats of the 'modeling unit' appear to shape a pattern which characterizes the computer-supported shared 'activity' as a whole.
scite is a Brooklyn-based organization that helps researchers better discover and understand research articles through Smart Citations–citations that display the context of the citation and describe whether the article provides supporting or contrasting evidence. scite is used by students and researchers from around the world and is funded in part by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health.