- Children’s knowledge of the earth: A new methodological and statistical approach
- Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
- Volume | Issue number
- 100 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
In the field of children’s knowledge of the earth, much debate has concerned the question of whether children’s naive knowledge—that is, their knowledge before they acquire the standard scientific theory—is coherent (i.e., theory-like) or fragmented. We conducted
two studies with large samples (N = 328 and N = 381) using a new paper-and-pencil test, denoted the EARTH (EArth Representation Test for cHildren), to discriminate between these two alternatives.
We performed latent class analyses on the responses to the EARTH to test mental models associated with these alternatives. The naive mental models, as formulated by Vosniadou and Brewer, were not supported by the results. The results indicated that children’s knowledge of the earth becomes more consistent as children grow older. These findings support the view that children’s naive knowledge is fragmented.
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