Funded by the National Science Foundation and in collaboration with Dr. Judith Danovitch at the University of Louisville, this project examines how elementary school-aged children learn about science through explanations from others. Children hear questions and explanations about animals and decide how well the explanations answer the questions. They also complete other tasks designed to help measure different aspects of children’s thinking.
Thinking about Biology Study
This project examines how 3- and 4-year-old children think about animal properties. Children play with some toy animals and answer some questions about their properties. They also complete a language skill measure and a listening game. This results from this project will help us better understand how children learn about science.
Biological Explanation Study
This project examines how 4- to 6-year-old children make sense of questions and answers about biology (like how do cats see in the dark). Children play a mix of games about biology and also complete a language skill measure. We hope to understand how young children decide what are good and not good answers to questions in science.
Written and Spoken Word Study
This study examines how children evaluate written and spoken information. After hearing people give different names to a strange object, either by reading that name from a piece of paper or speaking it out loud, children will be asked what they would call the object themselves. They will also play a word-picture matching game. We hope to understand if children’s reading ability influences whether they are more likely to trust written or spoken information.