Journal directory listing - Volume 58 (2013) - Journal of Research in Education Sciences【58(4)】December (Special Issue: Quality management and assurance in education)

Validating Children’s Conceptual Evolution Tree of Earth in a Cross-Grade Study

Author: Yu-Lun Wu(Science Education Division, Department of Applied Physics and Chemistry, Taipei Municipal University of Education), Jing-Wen Lin(Graduate Institution of Science Education and Department of Curriculum Design and Human Potentials Development, National Dong Hwa University)

Vol.&No.:Vol. 58, No. 4
Date:December 2013


Although a cross-grade study is helpful for designing vertical curricula, such studies require substantial time and effort and present validation concerns regarding the research results. However, a cladistic approach in conceptual evolution could be used to construct a best-fit conceptual evolution tree regarding various science topics by using a computer to overcome these limitations. Therefore, we adopted this approach and used Earth as the topic to build a best-fit conceptual evolution tree of Earth. The purpose of this study is to verify a prediction of children’s conceptual evolution trees of Earth in a cross-grade study and to validate this novel approach. We adopted a diagnostic test to investigate 336 students who attended Grades one, three, and five, to obtain the percentages of various cognitive characteristics and statuses of students in different grades. The results indicated that the prediction of the best-fit conceptual evolution tree of Earth closely fit the empirical data of the cross-grade study. The results showed that children’s conceptual evolution trees represent the development of their concepts of Earth clearly and that the feasibility of using a cladistic approach in conceptual evolution is supported. The results can aid researchers of science education in understanding the development of children’s conceptions.


cladistic approach in conceptual evolution, the shape of Earth, conceptual evolution tree, cross-grade study

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APA FormatWu, Y.-L., & Lin, J.-W. (2013). Validating Children’s Conceptual Evolution Tree of Earth in a Cross-Grade Study. Journal of Research in Education Sciences, 58(4), 133-163. doi:10.6209/JORIES.2013.58(4).05