Elementary school teachers are pressed for time throughout the instructional day to teach all curricular areas as expected by states and districts because of the current focus on reading and mathematics. Thus, foundational science concepts may be overlooked. For example, students' understandings of living and nonliving things may be overlooked by teachers, yet is useful in understanding the nature of living things. In this qualitative study, K-3 grade students were asked to sort objects as either living or nonliving and to give rationales for their choices. It was found that K-3 students readily used physical characteristics, such as having body parts, and physical abilities, such as being able to move, as criteria for living things. Students in grades 1 through 3 were able to articulate their reasons with more adult-like logic based on Jean Piaget' s research on developmental stages.
|Commitee:||Henriques, Laura, Straits, William, Zweip, Susan Gomez|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 51/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Elementary education, Science education|
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