From Everyday to Scientific Observation: How Children Learn to Observe the Biologist's World

Date: 
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: 
Media and Technology, Public Programs, Exhibitions, Informal/Formal Connections
Audience: 
Elementary School Children (6-10) | Middle School Children (11-13) | Youth/Teen (up to 17) | Museum/ISE Professionals | Scientists | Evaluators
Discipline: 
Education and learning science | General STEM | Life science
Organization:
University of Pittsburgh
Description: 

This article explores the development of observation in scientific and everyday contexts. Fundamental to all scientific activity, expert observation is a complex practice that requires the coordination of disciplinary knowledge, theory, and habits of attention. On the surface, observation appears to be a simple skill. Consequently, children may be directed to observe, compare, and describe phenomena without adequate disciplinary context or support, and so fail to gain deeper scientific understanding. Drawing upon a review of science education, developmental psychology, and the science studies literatures, this article examines what it means to observe within a disciplinary framework. In addition, everyday observers are characterized and a framework is proposed that hypothesizes how everyday observers could develop practices that are more like scientific observers.

Citation
DOI:
10.3102/0034654308325899
Publication Name: 
Review of Educational Research
Volume: 
79
Number: 
1
Page Number: 
39
Document:

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