The intertextuality of children's explanations in a technology-enriched early years science classroom
International Journal of Educational Research Volume 39, Number 8, ISSN 0883-0355 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
This study examines the sociocultural trajectories of children's conceptual thinking in a technology-enriched early years science classroom (N=22). Of specific analytic interest is the intertextuality of children's science-related explanations constructed during adult–child dialogic interviews and peer-centred inquiry around a multimedia science-learning tool, PICCO. Following the sociocultural and discursive approach to conceptual thinking and learning, the study conceptualizes explanations as interactional achievements shaped by the sociocultural context of activity. Qualitative, micro-level analysis of video-taped and transcribed data covering a 5-month period shows that inquiry-based science learning activities, based on child-initiation and the application of technological tools, created a fruitful setting for the children's explanation construction around scientific phenomena. The children's explanations were found to draw on textual and material links, hands-on explorations, i.e. activity links, as well as on recounting events. These intertextual linkages functioned as tools for the children (a) to share and validate previous experiences as sources of knowledge, (b) to establish reciprocity with each other in meaning-making, (c) to define themselves as learners of science and as individuals with specific experiences and background, and (d) to construct, maintain and contest the cultural practices of what it means to do and learn science in the classroom. In all, the study illuminates the potential of intertextual analysis to reveal contextual insights into children's conceptual thinking mediated by the sociocultural context.
Kumpulainen, K., Vasama, S. & Kangassalo, M. (2003). The intertextuality of children's explanations in a technology-enriched early years science classroom. International Journal of Educational Research, 39(8), 793-805. Elsevier Ltd.
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