Preschoolers Learning Physics: Importance of Congruence

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Physics is often not consistently part of the elementary school curriculum, despite the importance of early concept development, and despite extensive research on children's physics misconceptions. Recent findings in basic cognition shed light on how young children can be taught about physics. They indicate that a child’s misconceptions, rather than being a stable part of the child’s knowledge, are an attempt to organize and make sense of the immediate context in which the child acts. These findings challenge existing assumptions about children’s naïve physics and call into question a teaching approach in which children’s existing misconceptions are engaged. They imply that a successful teaching intervention would provide children with a sophisticated organizing principle first, rather than letting the child come up with their own. The presentation will provide results in support of these claims.


Keywords: Preschoolers, Physics, Organization, Congruence, Misconceptions
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr Heidi Kloos

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, U.C., Cincinati Museum Center
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Assistant Professor, Psychology
Ph.D, Arizona State University, 2001
Areas of Expertise:Cognitive Development; Educational Psychology; Complex Systems and Nonlinear Dynamics.

Ref: L08P0264