Faculty Publications

Title

Computer Technology-Integrated Projects Should not Supplant Craft Projects in Science Education

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Analogies, Arts-integration, Creativity, Elementary education, Handicrafts, Middle school education, Technology Education

Journal/Book/Conference Title

International Journal of Science Education

Volume

36

Issue

5

First Page

865

Last Page

886

Abstract

The current emphasis on computer technology integration and narrowing of the curriculum has displaced arts and crafts. However, the hands-on, concrete nature of craft work in science modeling enables students to understand difficult concepts and to be engaged and motivated while learning spatial, logical, and sequential thinking skills. Analogy use is also helpful in understanding unfamiliar, complex science concepts. This study of 28 academically advanced elementary to middle-school students examined student work and perceptions during a science unit focused on four fossil organisms: crinoid, brachiopod, horn coral and trilobite. The study compared: (1) analogy-focused instruction to independent Internet research and (2) computer technology-rich products to crafts-based products. Findings indicate student products were more creative after analogy-based instruction and when made using technology. However, students expressed a strong desire to engage in additional craft work after making craft products and enjoyed making crafts more after analogy-focused instruction. Additionally, more science content was found in the craft products than the technology-rich products. Students expressed a particular liking for two of the fossil organisms because they had been modeled with crafts. The authors recommend that room should be retained for crafts in the science curriculum to model science concepts. © 2013 © 2013 Taylor & Francis.

Original Publication Date

1-1-2014

DOI of published version

10.1080/09500693.2013.829927

Share

COinS