This item is provided by the institution :
University of Patras
Repository :
Pasithee - e-publishing platform/service for Open Access journals
see the original item page
in the repository's web site and access all digital files if the item*

2012 (EN)
Pre-energy reasoning in preschool children (EN)

KOLIOPOULOS, DIMITRIS; University of Patras, Greece
SYMIDALA, IRINI; University of Patras, Greece
CHRISTIDOU, VASSILIA; University of Thessaly, Greece
KOUTSIOUBA, MARIA; University of Patras, Greece

The research presented in this paper explores the degree to which preschool children have the ability to use mental representations which constitute precursor energy models. Twenty-five children (10 boys and 15 girls) participated in the study. They were presented with two different phenomenological situations considered as important for the establishment of pre-energy reasoning: the movement of a toy car with the use of batteries and the movement of an identical car with the use of a spring. The children were involved in personal, semi-structured interviews, which aimed at eliciting their explanations about the movement of the two cars. The analysis of children’s explanations reveals that they tend to explain the movement of cars in both phenomenological situations in naturalistic terms. These naturalistic explanations were mainly agentive, that is they regard the batteries and the spring correspondingly as external agents causing the cars’ movement. The major percentage of agentive naturalistic explanations was given in terms of the function of the objects under discussion, while a number of them were formulated in terms of distribution. These findings designate a developing understanding of physical causality and a pre-energy character in children’s reasoning, since they are capable of accounting for the two phenomenological situations in terms of object chains. Therefore, an attempt to introduce the aspect of energy transfer in preschool education could be considered. (EN)

Causal reasoning, energy, naturalistic explanations, precursor models, preschool children (EN)

Πανεπιστήμιο Πατρών (EL)
University of Patras (EN)



Array (EN)

Review of Science, Mathematics and ICT Education; Τόμ. 3, Αρ. 1 (2009): Science Education Research and Theory in the Early Years; 123-140 (EL)
Review of Science, Mathematics and ICT Education; Τόμ. 3, Αρ. 1 (2009): Science Education Research and Theory in the Early Years; 123-140 (EN)

The content of the Journal is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (

*Institutions are responsible for keeping their URLs functional (digital file, item page in repository site)