Home Publications SPACE Research Reports

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Earth in Space KS1 - 2
Electricity KS1 - 2

Evaporation and Condensation KS1 - 2
Forces KS1 - 3
Growth KS1 - 2
Processes of Life KS1 - 2
Light KS1 - 2
Materials KS1 - 2
Rocks, Soil and Weather KS1 - 2
Sound KS1 - 2

Earth in Space KS1 - 2 ( ISBN 085323-008-0)
This report describes the different ideas children hold about the Earth in Space. It describes the development observed in children's understanding. The potential within the planned teaching activities to support the development in children's understanding towards the scientific view is reported.

Jonathan Osborne, Pam Wadsworth, Paul Black, John Meadows
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Electricity KS1 - 2 (ISBN 085323-486-8)
This report documents the different ideas children held about electricity. It examines what development was observable in children's understanding across the age range 5-11 years. It considers the potential of the planned teaching activities for the development of children's ideas towards the views held by scientists.
Jonathan Osborne, Paul Black, Maureen Smith, John Meadows
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Evaporation and Condensation KS1 - 2 (ISBN 085323-446-9)
This report starts by documenting children's understanding of evaporation and condensation. The subsequent teaching interventions aimed to help children test their ideas, generalise understanding from one context to another and explored ways of making the visually imperceptible changes of state comprehensible to children. These teaching interventions are described together, with an examination of the shifts in children's understanding which resulted.
Terry Russell, Dorothy Watt
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Forces KS1 - 3 (ISBN 085323-068-4)
This report reflects the development in the authors' thinking of conceptual progression in science. Conceptual progression is described as comprising three interacting elements: the sequencing of the curriculum agenda; developmental aspects of cognition; the teaching and learning strategies adopted by the teacher.

The sample was broadened in this study to consider the development in understanding of children from 5 years to14 years. Various sub-themes within the domain of forces are explored including, for instance, gravity, friction, reaction forces and balanced /unbalanced forces. Children's understanding of these areas is reported. Teaching strategies developed as a result of the research are described. Evidence of shifts in children's thinking are examined using both qualitative and quantitative data.
There is particular emphasis on the developmental sequences of children's understanding of the various aspects of forces which were addressed in the research in the report. Knowledge of these conceptual pathways can help teachers and curriculum developers plan teaching-learning sequences which anticipate and support conceptual progression.
Terry Russell, Linda McGuigan, Adrian Hughes
Read a review of this report here.
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Growth KS1 - 2 ( ISBN 085323-476-0)
This report considers children's understanding of the growth of humans, other animals and plants. Children's ideas about the mechanism of growth and the conditions and limits of growth are described. Classroom-viable strategies for supporting children's development in understanding are reported. Quantitative and qualitative data are used to describe some of the changes in children's understandings of growth.
Terry Russell, Dorothy Watt
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Processes of Life KS1 - 2 (ISBN 085323-178-8)
The research presented in this report examined five areas of children's knowledge:
Healthy living, awareness of the human body, life processes, the concept of living thing, awareness of plant parts.

The report describes children's ideas in these five areas and the potential within the teaching activities for promoting understanding. Evidence of some shifts in understanding is presented.
Jonathan Osborne, Pam Wadsworth, Paul Black
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Light KS1 - 2 (ISBN 085323-466-3)
This report presents the outcomes of classroom research into the teaching and learning of light. Themes explored include children's understanding of light sources, light reflection and shadow formation. The research considered three main research questions.

How disparate are the conceptions held by children from a framework of conventional understanding?

What development is observable in children's ideas across the age range 5-11 years?

What potential does such an intervention have for the development of children's ideas?

Children's understandings are presented together with teaching strategies developed as part of the research process. A summary of shifts in children's understanding of light following the intervention activities is presented.
Jonathan Osborne, Paul Black, Maureen Smith, John Meadows
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Materials KS1 - 2 (ISBN 085323-147-8)
Reprinted with corrections (1998)

This reports examines children's understanding of solids, liquids and gases. Their awareness of the origins and uses of materials is presented as well as their appreciation of the manner in which some materials can be changed. Classroom-viable means of finding out children's ideas are presented as well as the teaching strategies adopted by teachers participating in the programme to support changes in children's thinking. The nature of any changes in understanding is examined.
Terry Russell, Ken Longden, Linda McGuigan
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Rocks, Soil and Weather KS1 - 2 (ISBN 085323-497-3)
Children's understanding of this area is reported within the following sub-themes, soil, rock, the Earth's structure, causal explanations for weather changes, the effects of weather and representation of weather. The classroom intervention which focused on helping children develop their ideas about rocks, soils, and the Earth's structure are presented. Qualitative and quantitative data are presented which demonstrate the changes in children's ideas about the origins and transformation of soil and rocks and the Earth's structure.
Terry Russell, Derek Bell, Ken Longden, Linda McGuigan
Read a review of this report here.
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Sound KS1 - 2 (ISBN 085323-456-6)
This research focused on three aspects of sound:
sound production, sound transmission and sound reception.

Children's understanding of the technical vocabulary in this area is considered as well as their representations of sound. Children's initial ideas are reported and the classroom interventions developed collaboratively with teachers are described. Shifts in children's understanding of sound are presented and discussed.
Dorothy Watt, Terry Russell
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