Age And Gender Are Associated With Children 's Understanding Of The Earth 's Structure

1132 Words Sep 25th, 2016 5 Pages
Discussion
The aim of this study was to investigate if age and gender are associated with children’s understanding of the earth’s structure. It was hypothesised that: older children will have a better scientific understanding of the structure of the earth compared to younger children, boys will have a better scientific understanding of the structure of the earth compared to girls, and younger children will construct different mental models of the earth compared to older children. The results of the study supported the first hypothesis as the older group had a substantially higher percentage of sphere model responses compared to the younger group. The results did not support the second hypothesis as the percentages of sphere model responses were very similar for both genders. The results supported the third hypothesis as most of the older group generated the sphere model with very low percentages of the alternate models, whereas the younger group’s responses were spread across all models.
It is shown in figure 1 that the combined older group had an overwhelming 76.8% of the total sphere model responses. The combined younger group only had 23.3%. These results are in line with previous studies by Sneider and Pulos (1983) and Vosniadou and Brewer (1992). These results can be attributed to the difference between younger and older children’s exposure to scientific knowledge of the earth’s shape, as well as the amount of time to assimilate this knowledge. Older children are able…

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