What is Schema?
Schema is what you know about a concept. Many different things influence what someone knows about any one concept. Their experiences, such as television, video games, books, communication with others all effect what they know. Thus, their knowledge may or maynot be correct. It might be slightly skewed or even totally incorrect.
It is important to identify incorrect information that your child might have learned. It is not always easy to change schema.
My granddaughter, Lauren, observed red liquid left in the cage after butterflies had broken out of their chrysalysis. Her teacher told her the red liquid was dye left over when the butterflies were developing wing color. At the time I had several published science books as well as 27 years of teaching science. Lauren had even gone with me to several bookstores where I gave science presentations. Did Lauren believe me when I told her the red fluid was not dye, instead it was waste? Absolutely not. Her teacher said it was red dye used to color the wings and her teacher should know. Lauren has graduated from college, has children and will be teaching homeschool science this fall. I think it has been long enough for me to approach her again about this red liquid. Maybe I have enough credibility now.
FYI: Meconium is the name for the reddish fluid that butterflies expel when they emerge from their chrysalises. It’s a waste product left over from metamorphosis.
My understanding of schema is that similar information collects together. This reminds me of how crystals grow. Crystals start when molecules dissolved in a solution stick to something like a bit of dust or the surface of a string. The molecule is no longer dissolved. It has come out of the solution and provides a place for other molecules to attach. Thus the crystals grows. If there are impurities dissolved in the solution, they can also stick and become part of the crystal. Much like growing crystals, our skema about different topics can include incorrect information.
How Schema Grows
Crystals grow as long as there are available molecules to attach, schema grows when you are actively thinking about the learned information.
This is very important: For a child to learn the difference between physical and chemical changes, the child must be engaged, must be actively thinking about the different characteristics.
FYI: The primary difference is that:
Physical Changes do not produce new substances and Chemical Changes do.
Let me restate this important fact about how we learn. In other words, if kids are texting or thinking about something other than the science information being discussed, most and maybe all the information will go in one ear and out the other. Or, like the picture shown, when kids are not actively thinking about what you want them to learn, its like they have their ears covered.
So, if you want kids to learn, you have to make sure they have their schema turned on and ready to receive more information. Distractions, such as texting, affects what and how much is learned. It can also be the cause of learning incorrect information.
It is really important for correct information to be learned. I have no explanation my ability to learn more about science, but have much difficulty in learning when to use effect and affect.