Young Children's Path to Conceptual Change in the Context of Questioning-Exploration-Experience Learning

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This paper reported on a preliminary study of young children's mechanism of conceptual change based on Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory and contemporary views of conceptual change. A group of five- to six-year-old children’s learning of the concept of “weighing scales” in the context of Questioning-Exploration-Experience (QEE) learning was described and analyzed. The study adopted qualitative methods of data collection and analysis. Children’s forms of conceptual change and the use of tools attributing to the process of change were traced from the anecdotal record of children’s discourse during different stages of the activities. Children’s accounts told us that the process of QEE learning embodied a path of conceptual change in various forms characterized by diverging to converging, consistency to inconsistency, and structuring of knowledge. It is worthy to further explore the features and whether there are patterns of change. Various kinds of mediational tools were evidenced in young children’s path to conceptual change. A classification of tools in different functions was derived at indicating a complexity of children’s use of tools. The appropriation of tools is worthy of deeper understanding and greater concern for children’s cognitive growth and learning.


Keywords: Young Children, Conceptual Change, Sociocultural Theory, Mediational Tools, Questioning-Exploration-Experience Learning
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: , , , Young Children’s Path to Conceptual Change in the Context of Questioning-Exploration-Experience Learning


Sing-pui Chan

Lecturer, Early Childhood Education, The Hong Kong Institute of Education
Hong Kong, China

Research interests are constructivist teaching and learning, young children's language development and learning.

Mei-lin Cheng

Lecturer, Early Childhood Education, The Hong Kong Institute of Education
Hong Kong, China

Research interests are constructivist teaching and learning, young children's scientific and mathematical thinking.

Ref: L09P0159