A comparison of the developmental patterns in students' responses to questions in two science topics

Year: 1995

Author: Levins, Lesley

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper reports on a comparison of the results of two studies. This work involved the testing by survey and interview techniques. The sample was a random number of students from K (Kindergarten) to Year 12, in a New South Wales school. The two targeted science topics were evaporation and plant growth. The SOLO Taxonomy was the tool used to categorise the students' responses in both the questionnaire and interview situation. The results in both studies showed the responses could be classified into a cyclic pattern within the SOLO Taxonomy system. These cyclics were continuous and ranged from the ikonic to the formal mode of cognition. The purpose of this article is to explore the characteristics of the cycles, particularly at the interface of the ikonic and concrete symbolic mode, with reference to these two scientific topics. This should provide further evidence for how students conceptual understandings develop.