MENTAL REPRESENTATIONS OF PRESCHOOL CHILDREN ABOUT DIFFERENT ANIMALS

TitleMENTAL REPRESENTATIONS OF PRESCHOOL CHILDREN ABOUT DIFFERENT ANIMALS
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsGordana Miscevic Kadijevic
JournalJournal of Baltic Science Education
Volume16
Issue4
Start Page500-509
PaginationContinuous
Date PublishedAugust/2017
Type of ArticleOriginal article
ISSN1648-3898
Other NumbersE-ISSN 2538-7138
Keywordsdidactically modeled activities, mental representations of animals, preschool children, preschool education
Abstract

Adequate mental representations of animals are important for children’s personal development, because they result in their appropriate treatment of such animals, which would not, for example, compromise either animals’ or children’s safety. By using a convenient sample of 101 six- to seven-year old children, this research examined these representations regarding animals’ names, feeding habits, body coverings, and dangerousness. The representations were assessed using a questionnaire referring to 18 animals, and the research focused on the frequency of correct responses and gender differences in these responses for each animal. It was found that whereas the naming of animals was very successful, the mental representations of animals’ feeding habits and body coverings were less mature, including some misconceptions not found in previous studies. In addition, the participants’ explanations about why animals are dangerous or harmless revealed that their mental representations about different animals were correct to a moderate degree. Finally, gender differences in the mental representations were almost missing. Some implications for school or kindergarten work with children are given (e.g., reducing misconceptions about and fear of some animals).

URLhttp://oaji.net/articles/2017/987-1503904873.pdf
Refereed DesignationRefereed
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