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“Doing science” through discourse-in-interaction: Young children's science investigations at the early childhood level

Authors

  • Christina Siry,

    Corresponding author
    1. Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education, The University of Luxembourg, Route de Diekirch, L-7220 Walferdange, Luxembourg
    • Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education, The University of Luxembourg, Route de Diekirch, L-7220 Walferdange, Luxembourg
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  • Gudrun Ziegler,

    1. Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education, The University of Luxembourg, Route de Diekirch, L-7220 Walferdange, Luxembourg
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  • Charles Max

    1. Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education, The University of Luxembourg, Route de Diekirch, L-7220 Walferdange, Luxembourg
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  • Accepted under the editorship of Gregory Kelly.

Abstract

This research investigates the interconnectedness of scientific inquiring at the early childhood level, as we explore the discourse-in-interaction processes occurring within small inquiry groups of 5- and 6-year-old children. The rationale behind this research is to explore the nature of science-related discourse, and to that end, this work focuses on student-to-student interactions as they collaboratively investigate water. As we document the nature of children's ways of explaining, imagining, and representing the properties of water, we demonstrate the constructions of understandings as displayed and emergent from these interactions. The study has generated outcomes about the discursive ways of young children's enacting of knowledge about science, as the analysis reveals that by positioning scientific inquiry as a fluid process children were able to enact science collaboratively and through multimodal means. As such, the study reveals a wide range of indicators to children's understandings about water and to the processes in which students worked together to construct science within discourse-in-interaction. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Sci Ed96:311–336, 2012

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