Water: Fourth and Fifth Graders Thoughts on it

By Tuula Keinonen, Paula Ismail and Sari Havu-Nuutinen.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The Science-Technology-Society (STS) - approach has been found to be an effective framework in science education. In this qualitative case study, primary school teacher students (N=17, three groups) following the STS-approach, planned and carried out an instruction project with fourth and fifth graders in the Finnish comprehensive school. The school was a typical rural school and the teacher students were guided by a teacher educator. The subject of the project was water in accordance with the school curriculum. Before and after instruction, fourth and fifth graders (N=65, three classes) were asked to write about water around them. Before instruction, all pupils wrote that water is necessary for life. The water management was also mentioned, as well as the water cycle, water energy, and the recreational use of water. The pupils also considered the salt water and freshwater problems as well as the aesthetic viewpoints. After the project, the pupils considered more societal issues such as the uneven distribution of water, climate change and other problems concerning water. They also discussed the consumption of water. But the pupils also mentioned the states of water and the structure of water showing knowledge about the science of water.

Keywords: Science Education, Primary School, Water

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp.247-254. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 585.165KB).

Prof. Tuula Keinonen

Senior Assistant, Department of Applied Education, University of Joensuu, Joensuu, Finland

PhD in Physics 1984, Senior Assistant 1990-1998: Department of Physics, University of Joensuu PhD in Education 2005, Senior Assistant 1998-2008: Department of Applied Education, University of Joensuu Research activities: University of Joensuu, University Erlangen-Nuremberg, University Louis Pasteur Strassbourg.

Paula Ismail

M.Ed. Student, Department of Applied Education, University of Joensuu, Joensuu, Finland

Dr. Sari Havu-Nuutinen

Department of Applied Education, University of Joensuu, Joensuu, Finland


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