Children’s Questions and Teacher Explanations in Science Learning

Within the context of science learning, we are interested in understanding how teachers respond to children’s questions. For example, when a child asks the question, “What makes a rainbow?”

Do teachers respond by providing an explanation (“It has something to do with rain”) or turning the question back to the child (“What do you think?”). In this study, we are also interested in exploring how the type of response teachers provide to children’s questions might relate to how they think children learn about science. In a series of studies, we ask teachers to think about how they would respond to children’s questions in hypothetical science situations. Ultimately, by gathering this information, we hope that this research will improve science instruction in early childhood and elementary years.