A Social Constructivist Approach to Teaching about Floating and Sinking for Early Childhood Education

By Constantina Frantzeskakis and Michael Skoumios.

Published by The International Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Learning

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: June 20, 2016 $US5.00

Despite the fact that students’ conceptions about floating and sinking have been investigated, research regarding preschoolers’ alternative conceptions about floating and sinking in liquids, based on a socio-constructivist approach to science learning, is limited. The purpose of this study is the design and evaluation of research-based instructional materials, based on a socio-constructivist approach to science learning, about floating and sinking for preschoolers. Instructional materials for teaching preschoolers’ alternative conceptions about floating and sinking were designed and implemented with twenty-nine preschoolers. As a data collection research tool, an initial activity designed specifically for the purposes of research, was used. The research data included the preschoolers’ answers to the initial activity before and after the teaching intervention and their oral discourse throughout the teaching sequence. By analyzing the preschoolers’ answers to the initial activity, it emerged that the teaching sequence contributed to changing their alternative conceptions about the sinking and floating of objects in water. Moreover, from an analysis of preschoolers’ oral discourse during the teaching sequence characteristics of instructional activities, which encourage the development of preschoolers’ conceptions about floating and sinking, are identified.

Keywords: Floating and Sinking, Socio-constructivist Approach, Science Learning

The International Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Learning, Volume 23, Issue 3, September 2016, pp.1-14. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: June 20, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 533.219KB)).

Constantina Frantzeskakis

Kindergarden Teacher, Pre-Primary Education, Adele, Rethymno, Crete, Greece

Dr. Michael Skoumios

Assistant Professor, Department of Primary Education, University of the Aegean, Rhodes, Dodecanisa, Greece