What is it for? How question wording influences young children's response to questions about natural phenomena.

Halls, Jonathan (2014) What is it for? How question wording influences young children's response to questions about natural phenomena. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]

[img] PDF - Registered users only - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (821kB)

Abstract

Abstract

Little attention has been given to how young children reason about scientific concepts,

current research indicates that children from around 3-years-old to 8-years-old reason about

natural objects in a teleological manner: the belief that an entity or object has a specific

purpose. However, previous studies have elicited children’s ideas through possible leading

methods, for example, by asking “what is X for?”. A repeated-measures design was used to

investigate the hypothesis that question wording influences children’s (aged 4- and 5-years-

old) responses, with a leading treatment, what is X for?, resulting in more teleological

responses and an open treatment, why is there X?, producing more scientific answers.

McNemar’s test revealed that question wording had a significant effect (p. < .016, n = 24),

with the leading treatment resulting in only teleological responses and the open treatment

providing both teleological and scientific answers. The implications of this result suggest that

future research into children’s scientific reasoning must utilise open questions, which do not

lead participants, and that educators need to ensure they do not question children with

teleologically leading questions.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: Gigg, Diane
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2015 11:25
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2016 19:59
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/28121

Actions (Archive Staff Only)

Edit View Edit View