Forum on Science Learning and Teaching, Volume 5, Issue 3, Article
8 (Dec., 2004)
Yeung Chung LEE and Pun Hon NG
Hong Kong primary pupils' cognitive understanding and reasoning in conducting science investigation: A pilot study on the topic of "Keeping Warm"
Hong Kong primary pupils' cognitive understanding and reasoning in conducting science investigation:
A pilot study on the topic of "Keeping Warm"
LEE Yeung Chung and NG Pun Hon
Department of Science
Hong Kong Institute of Education
HONG KONG, CHINA
E-mail: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Received 20 December, 2004
Revised 12 January, 2005
- Scientific investigations and their demand on cognitive understanding and reasoning
- Children's cognitive development in relation to their ability to investigate
- Research on pupils' cognitive understanding and reasoning in scientific investigation
- Purposes of the study
- The sample
- Data analysis and discussion
With the increase in prominence of the investigative approach in Hong Kong science curricula from the primary to the senior secondary level, there is urgency for local science educators including primary school teachers to gain a better understanding of pupils' existing cognitive understanding and reasoning ability for performing science investigation. This is to allow teachers to see where pupils stand in relation to investigation so as to seek a better way to nurture the investigative approach. This paper reports the preliminary findings of a pilot project aiming to reveal the existing cognitive understandings of primary pupils which may facilitate or hinder them to conduct scientific investigation. Using an investigation task on heat conduction as a probe, the study reveals that Primary 4 and 5 pupils, though limited in their understanding and ability to design a reliable and valid investigation, were quite ready to maneuver through the process and were able to evaluate their design by reflecting on their experiences. It was also found that the Primary 5 pupils exhibited a better understanding and reasoning ability than their Primary 4 counterparts in these aspects.
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