Cognitive Structures of Elementary School Students: What is Science?

  • Fulya Öner Armağan

Abstract

The aim of this study is to examine the change in the cognitive structures of elementary school students in respect to
the concept of science through word association test in a constructivist approach based project. The study was
conducted with 50 students attending to 6th and 7th grades. Students were applied a 90-minute activity in scope of the
training on science, scientist and scientific knowledge under the project that lasted for 5 days. A word association
test that included the concepts of science, scientific knowledge, scientific method, scientist, research, project,
experiment and laboratory was applied at the beginning (pre-test) and at the end (post-test) of the project. A
frequency table, which consists of concepts of word association test and response words, were prepared in data
analysis. According to the obtained frequency table, concept networks that revealed the cognitive structures of
students were drawn. Upon reviewing the frequency table of the pre-test and post-test of students, and the concept
networks, it was observed that the cognitive structures in the relevant concepts of students changed positively.
Accordingly, it was concluded that word association tests prove an effective method for revealing the cognitive
structures of students. Study findings were discussed in comparison with the studies in the literature, and
recommendations were given.

References

Akay, C. (2013). Ortaokul öğrencilerinin tübitak “4004 yapıyorum öğreniyorum yaz bilim okulu” projesi sonrası bilim kavramına yönelik görüşleri. [The Opinions Of The Secondary School Students Towards Science Concept Following TÜBİTAK 4004 Learning By Doing Summer Science School]. Mersin Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 9(2), 326-338.
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) (1993). Benchmarks of science literacy. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Atasoy, B. (2004). Fen öğrenimi ve öğretimi. Ankara: Asil Yayınevi.
Bahar, M., Nartgün, Z., Durmuş, S. & Bıçak, B. (2014). Geleneksel-tamamlayıcı ölçme ve değerlendirme teknikleri, öğretmen el kitabı (6. Baskı). Ankara: Pegem Akademi Yayıncılık
Bağcı Kılıç, G. (2003). Üçüncü uluslararası matematik ve fen araştırması (TIMSS): Fen öğretimi, bilimsel araştırma ve bilimin doğası. İlköğretim Online,2 (1), 42-51.
Başol, G. (2013). Eğitimde ölçme ve değerlendirme. (Genişletilmiş 2. Baskı). Ankara: Pegem A Yayıncılık.
BouJaoude, S. & Abd-El Khalick, F. (1995). Lebanese middle school students’ definitions of science and perceptions of its purpose and usage. Paper presented in National Association for Research in Science Teaching, San Francisco, CA.
Bodner, G.M. (1986). Constructivism: a theory of knowledge. Journal of Chemical Education, 63, 873-877.
Bahar, M., Johnstone, A.H. & Sutcliffe, R. G. (1999). Investigation of students’ cognitive structure in elementary genetics through word association tests. Journal of Biological Education, 33, 134-141.
Carey, S., Evans, R., Honda, M., Jay, E., & Unger, C. (1989). “An experiment is when you try it and see if it works”: A study of grade 7 students’ understanding of the construction of scientific knowledge. International Journal of Science Education, 11(5), 514– 529.
Chambers, D.W. (1983). Stereotypic images of the scientist: The draw-a-scientist test. Science Education, 67(2), 255-265.
Dogan Bora, N., Arslan, O., & Cakiroğlu, J. (2006). Lise öğrencilerinin bilim ve bilim insanı hakkındaki görüşleri. Hacettepe Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 31(31), 32-44.
Dykstra, D. (1986). Science Education in Elementary School: Some Observations. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 23(9), 853–856
Education Research and Development Association [ERDA]. Üçüncü uluslararası matematik ve fen bilgisi çalışması (TIMSS, 1999), Ulusal Rapor. Ankara: MEB- Eğitimi Araştırma ve Geliştirme Dairesi Başkanlığı.
Ercan, F., Tasdere, A., & Ercan, N. (2010). Kelime ilişkilendirme testi aracılığıyla bilişsel yapının ve kavramsal değişimin gözlenmesi. Türk Fen Eğitimi Dergisi,7 (2),136-154.
Fralick, B., Kearn, J., Thompson, S., & Lyons, J. (2009). How middle schoolers draw engineers and scientists. Journal of Science Education & Technology, 18(1), 60-73.
Fraenkel, J. R., & Wallen, N. (2000). How to design and evaluate research in education (4th ed.). NY: McGraw-Hill.
Gibson, H.L. & Chase, C.|zS (2002). Longitudinal impact of an inquiry-based science program on middle school students’ attitudes toward science. Science Education, 86, 693-705.
Hovardas, T., & Korfiatis, K.J. (2006). Word associations as a tool for assessing conceptual change in science education. Learning and Instruction, 16, 416-432.
Kelly, D.L. (2002). The TIMSS 1995 International benchmarks of mathematics and science achievement: profiles of world class performance at fourth and eighth grades, educational research and evaluation: An International Journal on Theory and Practice, 8(1), 41-54.
Lannes, D., Flavoni, L., & De Meis, L. (1998). The concept of science among children of different ages and cultures. Biochemical Education, 26, 199-204.
Ministry of National Education (MNE) (2013). İlköğretim kurumları (ilkokullar ve ortaokullar) fen bilimleri dersi (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, ve 8.sınıflar) öğretim programı. [Elementary education ( primary and middle schools ) science lessons (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8th grade) curriculum]. Retrieved from http://ttkb.meb.gov.tr/www/guncellenen-ogretim-programlari-ve-kurulkararlari/ icerik/150
Medina-Jerez, W., Kyndra V. M., & Orihuela-Rabaza, W. (2011). Using the dast-c to explore colombian and Bolivian students’ images of scientists. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 9 (3), 657-690.
Metin, D. & Leblebicioglu, G. (2011). How did a science camp affect children’s conceptions of science? Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching, 12(1), 1-28.
Miles, M.B. & Huberman, A.M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: an expanded sourcebook (2nded.). Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE.
Nakiboglu, C. (2008). Using word associations for assessing nonmajor science students’ knowledge structure before and after general chemistry instruction: the case of atomic structure. Chem. Educ. Res.Pract, 9, 309-322.
National Research Council (NRC) (1996). National science education standards. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) (2003). Standards for science teacher preparation. Faculty Publications: Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education.
Newton, D. P., & Newton, L. D. (1992). Young children’s perceptions of science and scientist. International Journal of Science Education 14(3), 331-348.
Özyürek, M. (1983). Kavram öğrenme ve öğretme. Ankara Üniversitesi Eğitim Bilimleri Dergisi, 2, 347–366.
Palmer, D. (1999). Exploring the link between students’ scientific and nonscientific conceptions. Science Education, 83(4), 639–653.
Posner, G. J., Strike, K. A., Hewson, P.W., & Gertzog, W. A. (1982). Accommodation of a scientific conception: toward a theory of conceptual change. Science Education, 66(2), 211- 227.
Preece, P. F. W. (1977). Development trend in the continued word associations of physics students. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 14 (3), 235-239.
Shavelson, R. J. (1974) Methods for examining representations of a subject-matter structure in a student’s memory. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 11, 231–249.
Tasdere, A., Ozsevgec, T. & Turkmen, L. (2014). Bilimin doğasına yönelik tamamlayıcı bir ölçme aracı: kelime ilişkilendirme testi. Fen Eğitimi ve Araştırmaları Derneği Fen Bilimleri Öğretimi Dergisi, 2(2), 129-144.
Tobin, K. G. (1993). The practice of constructivism in science education. Psychology Press. Unal Coban, G., & Ergin, Ö. (2008). İlköğretim öğrencilerinin bilimsel bilgiye yönelik görüşlerini belirleme ölçeği. [The Instrument for Determining the Views of Primary School Students about Scientific Knowledge]. İlköğretim online, 7(3), 706-716.
Uzun, S., Bütüner, S. Ö., & Yiğit, N. (2010). 1999-2007 TIMSS fen bilimleri ve matematik sonuçlarının karşılaştırılması: Sınavda en başarılı ilk beş ülke- Türkiye örneği [A comparison of the results of TIMSS 1999-2007: The most successful five countries-Turkey sample]. İlköğretim Online, 9(3), 1174-1188.
Published
2017-02-24
How to Cite
ARMAĞAN, Fulya Öner. Cognitive Structures of Elementary School Students: What is Science?. European Journal of Physics Education, [S.l.], v. 6, n. 2, p. 54-73, feb. 2017. ISSN 1309-7202. Available at: <http://eu-journal.org/index.php/EJPE/article/view/7>. Date accessed: 25 oct. 2021.
Section
Articles