The ecology of childen's conceptual thinking and learning of science: PICCO research programme

Kangassalo, Marjatta; Kumpulainen, Kristiina; Tuominen, Eva; Vasama, Satu; Littleton, Karen and Ohsuga, Setsuo (2007). The ecology of childen's conceptual thinking and learning of science: PICCO research programme. In: Csapó, Benö and Csíkos, Csaba eds. Developing Potentials for Learning. Szeged: Graduate School of Education, University of Szeged, Faculty of Arts, p. 437.


This poster introduces an ongoing research project, which investigates children’s conceptual thinking and learning of science in early years classrooms. Whilst taking an ecological stand to human activity and learning, the project aims at widening theoretical, methodological and
pedagogical understanding of children’s science learning in activity contexts mediated by socially shared inquiry learning activities, and modern technological tools. The research program approaches conceptual learning from the perspective of cognitive and socio-cultural approaches in
order to illuminate the socio-cognitive processes of science learning when modern multimedia technological possibilities are in children’s use. Consequently, the unit of analysis of the present research programme are to be found in both the individual and the social and their inter-dynamics. Theoretical and methodological foundations of the research project are laid by theories and set of
concepts derived from cognitive and social psychology, cognitive science, studies of discourse, learning and social practice. The empirical data of this research project have been collected among young children aged between six to eight years, with a classroom community of 22 children. During science units children had possibilities to explore science phenomena using versatile tools, including a multimedia tool, PICCO. The data of the research programme have been collected by means of video-recordings of children’s interviews before and after the science units. Videorecordings have also captured children’s interaction processes during the actual participation in inquiry-based learning activities. Children’s exploration paths in the multimedia environment have also been recorded. The analyses of the empirical data of this research project are currently undergoing. The main aim in the analysis will be to model children’s collaborative inquiry and conceptual learning in science learning. The results of the research will be important for theoretical and applied research on conceptual thinking and learning as well as for educational practice with early years science learners.

Viewing alternatives

No digital document available to download for this item

Item Actions