Learning Science from one's parents

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Learning Science from one's parents

#1  Postby kennyc » Apr 02, 2013 12:31 pm


How children learn scientific thinking from their parents
Researchers in California have uncovered preliminary evidence for the way children acquire scientific "habits of thought" from their parents. Megan Luce and her colleagues recruited 35 parent-child pairs of various ethnic backgrounds (22 girls, 13 boys; 16 fathers, 19 mothers) at a children's museum, and videoed them as they read through a book designed to encourage discussion about scientific, social and moral issues - including global warming, gender differences, the planetary status of Pluto, and whether it is OK to steal. The children were aged from 4 to 8 years.

Parents' comments on these topics were categorised according to whether they were "absolutist" (one side of an argument is stated dogmatically as fact), "multiplist" (a relativist stance, where each side's view is equally valid), or "evaluativist" (a scientific stance that integrates evidence to decide on an issue).

The book also contained pages on whether germs and angels are real, and the extinction of mammoths. Here the researchers focused on the children's utterances, and in particular on whether they mentioned evidence (e.g. "I know germs are real because I can see them under a microscope") or requested evidence (e.g. "How do you know that's how mammoths died?").

The researchers found that the parents' approach varied according to the topic, as well as their child's age and gender. For instance, parents of girls tended to be more absolutist when talking about morals than were the parents of boys. In contrast, boys' parents were more absolutist when talking about global warming than the parents of girls. Meanwhile, younger children were more likely to hear absolutist statements about Pluto than older children. "These findings show that children of different ages and genders may be likely to hear different patterns of absolutist talk depending on the topic," the researchers said.

http://bps-research-digest.blogspot.com ... +Digest%29

http://psycnet.apa.org/?&fa=main.doiLan ... 7/a0031249
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Re: Learning Science from one's parents

#2  Postby Mazille » Apr 02, 2013 1:18 pm

- Pam.
- Yes?
- Get off the Pope.
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Re: Learning Science from one's parents

#3  Postby OlivierK » Apr 02, 2013 2:12 pm

Small N makes the results a crapshoot. Nothing to see here.
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Re: Learning Science from one's parents

#4  Postby Weaver » Apr 02, 2013 2:27 pm

My parents were both scientists. Scientific education and thinking were absolutely HUGE in our upbringing, to the point some people joked that our parents didn't look at us kids as children but as experiments.

Having raised a couple of my own now, I completely understand the fascination with watching the development, particularly of cognitive abilities. And I teach a hell of a lot of science and scientific thinking to my little ones.
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Re: Learning Science from one's parents

#5  Postby Doubtdispelled » Apr 02, 2013 6:24 pm

Next thing you know, some clever researcher will work out which word is used the most by a curious child.
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