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PERC 2010 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: The Beginnings of Energy in Third Graders’ Reasoning
Abstract: In this paper, we present evidence of elementary school students' resources for thinking about ideas that are foundational for learning about energy. Here we provide a case study of a third grade class that follows a responsive curriculum where the lesson is constructed around children's ideas, and we show that a learning environment focused on the children's inquiries rather than on their arrival at those conceptual objectives can support the activation of those productive resources. That is, their teacher guided them to express themselves clearly, to draw on their own tangible experience, and to make sense. She did not drive them toward particular ideas about energy, but guided them in discovering the beginnings of the concept in what the children invented for themselves. In this way, we suggest, the extended focus on children's inquiry could provide a means for their productive ideas to emerge.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster

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Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Jennifer Radoff
University of Maryland- College Park
Co-Author(s)
and Co-Presenter(s)
Fred Goldberg, San Diego State University
David Hammer, University of Maryland- College Park