How do children develop theories about scientific phenomena and how can we best scaffold this learning? This stream of research examines children’s misconceptions and the acquisition of scientific knowledge. Our works seek to find out the best ways to promote children’s science knowledge in the early years.
Within this line of work we investigate: 1) children’s misconceptions about scientific concepts and their scientific reasoning skills; 2) the role of conceptual information and exploration in scientific belief revision; 3) the types of scaffolding and interventions that promote children’s ability to control variables in an experimental setting. We ask these questions both in a laboratory setting and in the classroom.
- Strouse, G. A. & Ganea, P. A. (2021). The effect of object similarity and alignment of examples on children’s learning and transfer from picture books. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 203, 105041.
- Ganea, P. A., Larsen, N., & Venkadasalam, V. (2021). The role of alternative theories and anomalous evidence in children’s scientific belief revision. Child Development, 92(3), 1137-1153.
- Larsen, N.E., Venkadasalam, V.P., & Ganea, P.A. (2020). Prompting children’s belief revision about balance through primary and secondary sources of evidence. Frontiers in Psychology. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01503
- Larsen, N.E., Venkadasalam, V.P., & Ganea, P.A. (2019). Without Conceptual Information Children Miss the Boat: Examining the role of Explanations and Anomalous Evidence in Scientific Belief Revision. In A. Goel, C. Seifert, & C. Freska (Eds.), Proceedings of the 41st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Montreal, CA: Cognitive Science Society.
- Nyhout, A., Iannuzziello, A., Walker, C.M., & Ganea, P.A. (2019). Thinking counterfactually supports children’s ability to conduct a controlled test of a hypothesis. In A. Goel, C. Seifert, & C. Freska (Eds.), Proceedings of the 41st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Montreal, CA: Cognitive Science Society. [poster]
- Venkadasalam, V. P. & Ganea, P. A. (2018). Do objects of different weight fall at the same time? Updating naive beliefs about free falling objects from fictional and informational books in young children. Journal of Cognition and Development. doi: 10.1080/15248372.2018.1436058
- Strouse, G. A. & Ganea, P. A (2017). Are prompts provided by electronic books as effective for teaching preschoolers a biological concept as those provided by adults? In Marshall, J. P. & Brenneman, K. (Eds.), Young Children’s Developing Understanding of the Biological World. Routledge, London, UK.
- Ganea P. A., Canfield, C. F., Simons-Ghafari, K., & Chou, T. (2014). Do cavies talk?: The effect of anthropomorphic books on children’s knowledge about animals. Front. Psychol. 5:283. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00283
- Kelemen, D., Emmons, N. A., Seston Schillaci, R., & Ganea, P.A. (2014). Young children can be taught basic natural selection using a picture-storybook intervention. Psychological Science. doi:10.1177/0956797613516009
- Ganea, P. A., Ma, L., & DeLoache, J. S. (2011). Young children’s learning and transfer of biological information from picture books to real animals. Child Development, 82, 1421-1433. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01612.x