Children's conceptual structures of science categories and the design of Web directories

Dania Bilal, Peiling Wang
2005 Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology  
Eleven middle school children constructed hierarchical maps for two science categories selected from two Web directories, Yahooligans! and KidsClick! For each category, children constructed a pair of maps: one without links and one with links. Forty-four maps were analyzed to identify similarities and differences. The structures of the maps were compared to the structures employed by the directories. Children were able to construct hierarchical maps and articulate the relationships among the
more » ... cepts. At the global level (whole map), children's maps were not alike and did not match the structures of the Web directories. At the local levels (superordinate and subordinate), however, children shared similarities in the conceptual configurations, especially for the concrete concepts. For these concepts, substantial overlap was found between the children's structures and those employed in the directories. For the abstract concepts the configurations were diverse and did not match those in the directories. The findings of this study have implications for design of systems that are more supportive of children's conceptual structures.
doi:10.1002/asi.20216 fatcat:7ljurxpsebb5vcoludve4k2hnu