Facilitating Preschoolers' Scientific Knowledge Construction via Computer Games Regarding Light and Shadow: The Effect of the Prediction-Observation-Explanation (POE) Strategy

Chung Yuan Hsu, Chin Chung Tsai, Jyh Chong Liang

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32 Citations (Scopus)


Educational researchers have suggested that computer games have a profound influence on students' motivation, knowledge construction, and learning performance, but little empirical research has targeted preschoolers. Thus, the purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of implementing a computer game that integrates the prediction-observation-explanation (POE) strategy (White and Gunstone in Probing understanding. Routledge, New York, 1992) on facilitating preschoolers' acquisition of scientific concepts regarding light and shadow. The children's alternative conceptions were explored as well. Fifty participants were randomly assigned into either an experimental group that played a computer game integrating the POE model or a control group that played a non-POE computer game. By assessing the students' conceptual understanding through interviews, this study revealed that the students in the experimental group significantly outperformed their counterparts in the concepts regarding "shadow formation in daylight" and "shadow orientation." However, children in both groups, after playing the games, still expressed some alternative conceptions such as "Shadows always appear behind a person" and "Shadows should be on the same side as the sun."

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)482-493
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Science Education and Technology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Oct 1
Externally publishedYes



  • Alternative conception
  • Computer game
  • Light and shadow
  • Prediction-observation-explanation (POE)
  • Science education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Engineering(all)

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