The ideas that children have about science concepts have for the past decade been the subject of a wealth of international research. But while the area has been strong in terms of data, it has suffered from a lack of theory.
Children's Informal Ideas in Science addresses the question of whether children's ideas about science can be explained in a single theoretical framework. Twelve different approaches combine to tackle this central issue, each taking a deliberately critical standpoint. The contributors address such themes as values in research, the social construction of knowledge and the work of Piaget in a rich contribution to the debate without claiming finally to resolve it. The authors conclude with a discussion of how a theory can be built up, along with suggestions for ways ahead in the research.

chapter 4|19 pages

Four frames for a field

ByJoan Solomon

chapter 3|17 pages

Minitheories: a preliminary model for learning science

ByGuy Claxton

chapter 4|23 pages

An alternative conception: representing representations

ByTerry Russell

chapter 5|17 pages

The social construction of children’s scientific knowledge

ByJoan Solomon

chapter 6|18 pages

A view of ‘understanding’

ByJon Ogborn

chapter 7|14 pages

A common-sense theory of motion

Issues of theory and methodology examined through a pilot study
ByJoan Bliss, Jon Ogborn

chapter 8|14 pages

Constructing knowledge from fragments of learning?

ByArthur Lucas

chapter 9|24 pages

Vernacular science: something to rely on in your actions?

ByNeil Ryder

chapter 10|18 pages

Schematic representation in optics

ByJayashree Ramadas, Michael Shayer

chapter 11|18 pages

The interplay of values and research in science education

ByGuy Claxton

chapter 12|22 pages

How can we specify concepts for primary science?

ByPaul Black, Wynne Harlen

chapter 13|7 pages

Ways ahead?

ByPaul Black, Arthur Lucas