"The Sun is Sleeping Now": Early Learning About Light and Shadows
To keep intuitive knowledge fluid for an extended time, we wish to encourage young children to examine continuously those intuitive explanations for natural phenomena which later become hard wired, highly resistant to development or change. To assist this we designed a learning package which integrated three extensively researched educational strategies (cooperative learning, informal inquiry and familiar context) for children to explore their notions about the topic light. Children in a kindergarten class were encouraged to share their ideas about shadows and shadow formation with peers, as they took part in explorations of shadow formation inside and outside their classroom. Whole class discussions, small group conversations and final conversations between researcher and small groups provide insights into social and individual construction of knowledge, young children's abilities to be scientific and the social
construction of gender.