Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Inspiring invention in primary school

Date:
March 27, 2014
Source:
Inderscience
Summary:
Inspiring primary school age children to think of themselves as inventors and to devise novel solutions to the problems around them was the aim of an educational experiment. In their experiment they provided teachers and pupils with the technology -- voice recorders and video equipment -- with which to record their everyday environment and to help them home in on the various problems they face in their lives. The primary school class was not only keen to seek out problems but provided several fanciful and occasionally practical solutions.

Inspiring primary school age children to think of themselves as inventors and to devise novel solutions to the problems around them was the aim of an educational experiment reported in the International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning.

Charles Crook and Colin Harrison of the School of Education, at the University of Nottingham, UK, suggest that at the interface of in-class and out-of-class activities young learners can be persuaded to cultivate a sense of themselves as inventors and even to come up with novel inventions. Given the urgency with which successive governments have focused on innovative teaching paradigms that extend the curriculum in order to instil various creative and analytical skills in youngsters for the wider benefit of society, the team's approach offers a unique way to perhaps inspire the young innovators of tomorrow.

In their experiment they provided teachers and pupils with the technology -- voice recorders and video equipment -- with which to record their everyday environment and to help them home in on the various problems they face in their lives. The primary school class was not only keen to seek out problems but provided several fanciful and occasionally practical solutions.

Cook and Harrison were thus able to build a "taxonomy" of problems as perceived by the children and their teacher. The problems were categorized as personal stress (irritations including being cold in bed, losing one's spectacles, having hay fever, or a noisy sibling waking up too early. There were problems of effort: mowing the grass, getting up in the morning, doing hard homework. There were problems that arose from a lack of empowerment such as not being able to move quickly enough for a particular purpose. Other people's problems were also a focus, such as their discomfort or perhaps having sight difficulties. There were artefact repair problems such as changing light bulbs, replacing washers in a sink tap. The team also categorized artefact refinement, such as extending the use or usability of a particular device, such as keeping the bigger birds and squirrels off the bird feeder. Finally, there were two types of environment problems: those were a space was not the right size or was hazardous and those in which a space might be dirty, prone to inclement weather or litter.

While the children did not need to understand this taxonomy, they quickly grasped the concept of inventing something to solve one of the problems. As such the team reports the youthful invention of the hover-bike, the household cleaning machine, spiky litter-picking shoes and a baby monitor that translates baby talk and crying into English language statements of desire on the baby's part.

While the inventions are perhaps whimsical, the team suggests that this educational process shows that there is a simple way, using modern technology, to trigger the inventive imagination in school age children something that has been neglected recently in curricula. "A central aim here was to seed such engagement by raising expectations that something could be invented -- that not everything that might be discovered or designed had already been achieved," the team says. The researchers point out that the ready availability of technologies such as voice recorders, video equipment and tablets and e-books and readers can act as an important resource for creating inspiration, coherence and engaging output.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Inderscience. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Charles Crook; Colin Harrison. Children as inventors: orchestrating an informal pedagogic scenario with digital resources. Int. J. Technology Enhanced Learning, 2014, 6, 21-33 DOI: 10.1504/IJTEL.2014.060027

Cite This Page:

Inderscience. "Inspiring invention in primary school." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140327100331.htm>.
Inderscience. (2014, March 27). Inspiring invention in primary school. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140327100331.htm
Inderscience. "Inspiring invention in primary school." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140327100331.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins