Clouds as natural entities in preschool children’s thought
GEORGANTOPOULOU, AKRIVI; University of Patras
RAVANIS, KONSTANTINOS; University of Patras, Greece
FRAGKIADAKI, GLYKERIA; University of Patras, Greece
This research paper seeks to determine pre- schoolers’ representations about the general characteristics of the natural phenomenon of clouds, their reasoning about the consisting elements and the formation procedures of clouds and finally, their ideas about the existence of clouds through time. The sample consisted of 22 children (12 boys and 10 girls) aged 5.5-6 years from one public kindergarten in an urban area in Greece. Data were collected through semi-structured individual interviews. The analysis of the qualitative data showed that although the preschoolers had fruitful representations, the majority of them encountered difficulties on approaching several aspects of the phenomenon. Children’s reasoning about the phenomenon also seemed to be without a stable and coherent structure. The need for a categorization of pre- schoolers’ representations based on the use of a system of concrete criteria and the prospect of a didactic approach leading to the creation of a precursor model is designated.
Children’s representations, preschool education, clouds, early childhood science education