Acknowledging drawing as a mediating system for young children’s ideas concerning change of state of matter



In this paper, we focus on young children’s drawing activity in the context of science education research adopting a sociocultural perspective which emphasises that thinking can be transformed through cultural tools. Children’s ‘voice’ is not limited to written and oral communication, so drawing can provide opportunities for children to actively participate to knowledge construction and research. A qualitative research methodology was adopted, and two sets of drawings collected from different classes in Greece and Singapore during a common teaching intervention designed to foster children’s understanding of change of state were analysed. Findings presented in this paper concern children’s visual representations of melted objects and the process of melting. Six categories describe the ways that a melted object can be presented (e.g. drops, lines, flow, puddle) and four categories describe changes during melting (e.g. increased number of drops, decrease in size). Educational implications for teachers are thoroughly discussed.


Early childhood science, drawing, young children’s ideas, change of state

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