Kinderen ondersteunen tijdens onderzoekend leren: Instrueren of structureren?

Drost, Sjanou (2013) Kinderen ondersteunen tijdens onderzoekend leren: Instrueren of structureren?

Abstract:Young children need support to develop scientific skills like preparation of hypothesis, preparation and implementation of experiments and drawing conclusions. This research focuses on ways to support children during inquiry learning. Good experiments can be designed by applying the control-of-variable strategy (CVS). This strategy learns to change only the variable of focus during experimentation. Two ways to stimulate use of CVS are offering instruction in the CVS and structuration of the task. Several studies have compared the effectiveness of those two strategies with unguided inquiry learning. Klahr en Li (2005) for example, demonstrated the effectiveness of CVS instruction on designing good experiments. Lazonder and Kamp (2012) have demonstrated this for the structuration of the task. Lazonder and Egberink (in press) compared both strategies, which showed that both experimental strategies proved to be better than unguided inquiry learning in stimulating the use of CVS. Evidence for the effectiveness of these strategies is only based on the examination of log files. The present research wants to find direct prove for the results from earlier research; including by asking children about their hypothesis. The central question was: "What is the relative effectiveness of direct instruction and task structuring in supporting children during inquiry learning?" To answer this question, 55 pupils with an average age of 10.89 from the same school, worked with a computer simulation of a gong. With the simulation they could investigate the effect of four variables on reverberation time. The children were randomly allocated to one of three conditions, namely direct instruction (n =18), task structure (n =18) and control group (n =19). Children from the direct instruction condition and control condition worked with a general question, which consisted of four variables. The children in the direct instruction condition were offered CVS instruction. This instruction explained how good experiments could be designed and offered children practice in designing good experiments. Children in the task structuring condition worked with four narrow questions, which they needed to answer successively. Each of these four questions contained one variable to investigate. Children in the control group participated in unguided inquiry learning. This present study showed that children from the direct instruction condition applied CVS better than children which participated in the control condition. Children from both experimental conditions drew more valid conclusions than children in the control condition. Also, children from both experimental conditions investigated more variables with their experiments. Further, there was found a substantial correlation between the use of the CVS and the scores on the CVS post-test. This shows that knowledge and use of CVS go together. The results show that the most effective way to support primary school children in the development of scientific skills seems to be direct instruction. A recommendation for further research is a think-aloud method to prevent possible cueing effects when asking children about their hypotheses.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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