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What ideas do children hold about the naturl world? How do these ideas affect their learning of science?

When children begin secondary school they already have knowledge and ideas about many aspects of the natural world from their experiences both in primary classes and outside school.  These ideas contribute to subsequent learning and research has shown that teaching is unlikely to be effective unless it takes learners' perspectives into account.

Making Sense of Secondary Science: Research into Children's Ideas provides a concise, accessible summary of the research that has been done internationally in this area.  The research findings are arranged in three main sections: life and living processes; materials and their properties; and physical processes.  Much of this material has hitherto been difficult to access and its publication in this convenient form will be welcomed by all science teachers, both in initial training and in schools, who want to deepen their understanding of how their children think.

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