Contextually authentic science for young children: a study of two summer herpetology programs

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Catherine Marie Scott (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Catherine Matthews

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the knowledge, skills, and dispositions enabled for elementary school participants in two summer herpetology programs, one in North Carolina and one in Florida. An additional purpose of this study was to examine the normative scientific practices in which participants engaged and to describe how these experiences differed across each of the herpetology programs. Finally, the program structures of Herpetology and Reptiles were compared to determine how each herpetology program's activities and methodologies impacted participants' perceptions of authentic science. A goal of this study was to expand and broaden the understanding of how authentic science program structure impacts what is enabled for participants in terms of knowledge, skills, and dispositions gained. This study built on previous research of contextually authentic science practices (Buxton, 2006). This study was conducted and the data analyzed using an interpretative case study, mixed methods approach. Data collected included: video and audio data from classroom and field sessions, participant focus group interviews, photographs, and photo elicitation interviews. Participants' science journals were collected and analyzed. Pre- and post-assessments and surveys were administered and analyzed for twenty-four participants, twelve participants from the Herpetology program and twelve participants from the Reptiles program.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2012
Education, Elementary, Herpetology, Informal, Science
Science $x Study and teaching (Elementary) $x Activity programs $z United States $x Evaluation
Herpetology $x Study and teaching (Elementary) $x Activity programs $z United States $x Evaluation

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