Models of the Universe: Children’s Experiences and Evidence from the History of Science
This study focuses on children’s experiences and the creation of “the big picture”, the Universe. It draws data from an age range 6–16 and is based on 270 children’s drawings of how they imagine the Universe to be, and on their answers to a number of short questions about it. Results are discussed using as a base a specially developed systemic network, which is considered to be a formulation broad enough to cover the different ways of experiencing the Universe. The categories of descriptions which have been developed are exemplified by children’s characteristic drawings, and analogies with historical conceptions are discussed. They have also been tested with groups of teachers’ and student–teachers’ descriptions. Moreover, dominant images held during the history of Science, have been explored in terms of their relevance to the categories of the systemic network. It appears that, although there is no analogical evolution of the ideas between these two fields, some historical instances resemble some of the children’s models.
Spiliotopoulou-Papantoniou, V. (2007). Models of the Universe: Children’s Experiences and Evidence from the History of Science. Science & Education, 16(7–8), 801–833. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11191-006-9034-x