Reference : Ability of 6- to 7-year-old children to choose the control of variables strategy.
Scientific journals : Article
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Education & instruction
Ability of 6- to 7-year-old children to choose the control of variables strategy.
Reuter, Timo [University of Koblenz-Landau]
Weber, Anke Maria mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHSE) > Department of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences (DBCS) >]
Flottmann, Julia [Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster]
Leuchter, Miriam [University of Koblenz-Landau]
Journal of Cognitive Education and Psychology
[en] control of variables strategy ; guided-inquiry ; scientific reasoning
[en] Planning and conducting experiments require the application of the control of vari-
ables strategy (CVS). Research indicates that older children can learn the CVS by engag-
ing in guided-inquiry activities. It has not been studied yet whether this is also the
case for children as young as 6- to 7-years. 145 children aged 6–7 years participated in
a study with a pre-, post-, follow-up test design comprising two experimental groups
(EG 1, EG 2) and a control group (CG). EG 1 and EG 2 received a structured-inquiry
lesson, thus, carrying out six predetermined experiments with an adult’s implicit guid-
ance. While the lesson in EG 1 was in the same physics domain as the test’s phys-
ics domain, in EG 2 the lesson’s physics domain differed from the test’s domain. The
CG did not experiment. We assessed children’s CVS ability with a multiple-choice test.
Results suggested that some children in the EGs learned the CVS, whereas in the CG,
no learning effects occurred. However, most children in the EGs did not gain in the CVS
ability, indicating that the small dose of six experiments in one physics domain was
insufficient for learning the CVS.

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