A structural view on conceptual change: Integration, differentiation, and contextualization as fundamental aspects of individual meaning making
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Conceptual development and conceptual change processes are described by a longitudinal study on preschool children’s conception of the earth. Conceptual change is often described as a causal process in which changes in an embraced system of beliefs result in a new system of beliefs. A normative line of research has been dominating the research field of conceptual change. There has been a search for specific conceptions that are missing in the learners’ reasoning or that prevent conceptual change from occur. Here, the learner’s capacity of reasoning is focused. The children’s reasoning is described in its own right (Driver & Easley, 1978). It is argued that conceptual change is to be understood as an intentional activity with regard to the learner, that is, what the learner is doing when trying to understand something.
Children were interviewed annually from four to six years of age. There were 37 children participating, of which 29 were followed during all three years. The children were interviewed about their conceptions of the earth.
The results directs the focus of conceptual change from specific conceptions to structural changes. The children processed a lot of conflicting information. However, there does not appear to be any specific conflict that causes the process of conceptual change to occur. Rather, conceptual change is about the reorganization of the sum total of beliefs and to find adequate contexts to which they relate. Conceptual change involves a simultaneous processing of information and complex conception as well as revisions and changes at a model level, and all of this processing is related to contexts for description and explanation. The result also indicates some core stability in reasoning over the course of the investigation.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Education, Stockholm University , 2013. , 65 p.
Doktorsavhandlingar från Institutionen för pedagogik och didaktik, 26
conceptual development, conceptual change, coherence, contextualization
Research subject Education
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-97267ISBN: 978-91-7447-827-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-97267DiVA: diva2:676360
2014-01-10, Lilla hörsalen, Naturhistoriska riksmuseet, Frescativägen 40, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Lehtinen, Erno, Professor
Ohlsson, Jon, Docent
FunderSwedish Research Council, 721-2004-1521
At the time of the doctoral defence the folowing papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: Manuscript; Paper 2: Manuscript.2013-12-192013-12-052013-12-10Bibliographically approved
List of papers