Danish, J. A., & Phelps, D.. (2010). Representational Practices by The Numbers: How Kindergarten and First-Grade Students Create, Evaluate, and Modify Their Science Representations. International Journal of Science Education.

Download a PDF

ABSTRACT: A productive approach to studying the role of representations in supporting students’ learning of science content is to examine their actions from a practice perspective. The current study examines kindergarten and first-grade students’ representational practices across a consistent context—the creation of storyboards—both before and after a curricular intervention in order to highlight those aspects of their practices that changed regardless of a superficially similar task. Analysis of the students’ storyboards reveals considerable improvement in the number of included features after the intervention. Analysis of the students’ practices as they changed over time is also presented by examining the students’ discourse, with a focus on their discussions of the science content and the representations themselves. We demonstrate an increase in accuracy and relevance of the features being discussed, as well as an increase in requesting and providing assessments of students’ representations, particularly between students and their peers.