coherence paper finished

May 23, 2007

I am happy today to finish my paper: The Development of Conceptual Coherence Related to Seasonal Changes by Inquiry with “Young Scientist” Learning Environment

It was one round in The Journal of Learning Sciences, and i had the deadline on me since february to write it by may for resubmitting. Of course… i could find time and emotional power to do it only now. But i think it is much more consistent now.

The study investigated two properties of conceptual coherence: cohesiveness and consistency of conceptual knowledge. The effect of model-based inquiry with “Young Scientist” as the learning environment on primary students’ conceptual understandings about seasonal changes and their conceptual development was studied with 176 fourth-graders. The study also focused on the influence of students’ different cohesive conceptual sets of knowledge on their conceptual consistency when inquiring about the season’s phenomenon in different contextual situations. Data about students’ knowledge were collected with essays and from the “Young Scientist” environment by inserting multiple-choice items. Qualitative content analysis, K-means and discriminant analysis, and Chi-square and ANOVA procedures were used for data analysis. Five conceptually cohesive explanatory sets of knowledge about season’s phenomenon were identified. Students with different initial explanatory sets of conceptual knowledge about the causes of seasons behaved with low conceptual consistency in the inquiry phases of the “Young Scientist” learning tasks, indicating that they might have constructed the explanations newly in each phase of the inquiry rather than consistently identifying the knowledge framework of their initial explanations. The results of the study favour the application of the contextual activation of resources ideas in building the inquiry learning environments for promoting conceptual coherence development.


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