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How Interactives Can Change Learnability of Science Concepts for Young Children – Re-positioning Them as Learners ‘Who Can and Did’

Abstract : This paper explores what young children can and will ‘say and do’ when positively positioned to think with scientific concepts using ICT interactives. The progress with meaning-making of three young children (7, 9 and 12 years old) when playing a game is tracked and analysed. How these children were positively positioned with the concepts and what this afforded them in the setting are outlined. Analysis of their ‘sayings and doings’, using affordances and positioning theory, details their progress in meaning-making with the offered chemistry concepts. What each child did with the three levels of thinking of chemistry (macro/sub-micro/symbolic), was tracked. Three chemical thinking storylines are described to highlight that exploring molecular and chemical symbolic thinking can lead young children to engage with more scientifically sophisticated thinking and is of interest to them. Many scientifically relevant questions were raised while ‘playing’ with the interactive. The game directed their attention to the chemistry concepts and led to meaning-making opportunities. This examination provides insights into how suitable interactives can offer, direct and help structure early ‘knowing of’ scientific concepts by positively positioning learners with the concepts. Implications for restructuring early learning opportunities with central concepts using ICT are proposed.
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Cheryl Jakab, Christine Redman. How Interactives Can Change Learnability of Science Concepts for Young Children – Re-positioning Them as Learners ‘Who Can and Did’. 11th IFIP World Conference on Computers in Education (WCCE), Jul 2017, Dublin, Ireland. pp.292-303, ⟨10.1007/978-3-319-74310-3_31⟩. ⟨hal-01762908⟩

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