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Title: Early-years teaching of science in Cyprus : appreciation of young children's preconceptions
Author: Kambouri, Maria
ISNI:       0000 0004 2725 2195
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2011
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The goal of this study is to investigate the area of young children’s preconceptions in science. The research focuses on teachers working in public and private kindergartens, and children attending these kindergartens, aged from three to five and a half years old. The area of the children’s preconceptions, has been extensively investigated by other researchers in the past but research focusing on early-years teachers and children’s preconceptions is still almost untouched, especially when talking about Cyprus. Inspired mostly by other countries’ literature and the importance of foreign research results, this study aims at identifying the Cypriot teachers’ appreciation of the children’s preconceptions by discovering whether teachers identify and take into account the children’s preconceptions when planning and teaching a Natural Sciences lesson. It also aims at giving suggestions and implications on how teachers can respond to the preconceptions that children might have. To do this, a case study has been applied to facilitate the utilization of a number of different methods, like questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, observations and a minor document analysis. The results indicate that teachers tend to avoid identifying the children’s preconceptions when teaching Natural Sciences. This indicates that there is lack of appreciation of the children’s preconceptions and their consequences when not acknowledged. It also indicates that teachers in Cyprus are not aware of the constructivist theory and its importance in children’s learning. As a result, teachers in Cyprus need to be better trained and informed in regard to the children’s preconceptions and to Natural Sciences in general. To help teachers respond to the children’s preconceptions, the study develops a list of children’s common preconceptions and a number of different ideas and suggestions for proper methods which can be used to help teachers identify the children’s preconceptions and guide children to overcoming them.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LB Theory and practice of education