Eirini-Lida Remountaki, Glykeria Fragkiadaki, Konstantinos Ravanis


In this study, we attempt to exhibit the importance of the socio-cultural environment for the conceptualization of the dissolution of solids into liquids by 5 to 6 years old children. Through the organization and encouragement of conceptual play processes within every day educational reality in kindergarten, we examine whether children are able to form reasoning on dissolution, to recognize this phenomenon in their familiar environment as well as to search for processes that facilitate the ascertainment of materials’ solubility or dissolubility. In this article, we present data collected from conversations between two children in an urban-area kindergarten in Greece. The conversations were developed during the children’s conceptual play within the period of one week. The data were collected through recordings and field notes during semi-structured interviews. Qualitative data analysis exhibited that the social and cultural reality of children is dynamically present in their play and constitutes the source of development for young children’s thinking regarding the phenomenon of dissolution.


Article visualizations:

Hit counter



socio-cultural approach, conceptual play, preschool age, early childhood, science education, dissolution of a solid substance in a liquid solvent


Adams, M. (2015). A cultural historical theoretical perspective of discourse and design in the science classroom. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 10(2), 329-338.

Boilevin, J. M. (2013). Rénovation de l’enseignement des sciences physiques et formation des enseignants. Regards didactiques. Bruxelles: De Boeck.

Christidou, V., & Hatzinikita V. (2006). Preschool children’s explanations of plant growth and rain formation: A comparative analysis. Research in Science Education, 36(3), 187-210.

Delserieys, A., Jégou, C., & Givry, D. (2014). Preschool children understanding of a precursor model of shadow formation. In C. P. Constantinou, N. Papadouris & A. Hadjigeorgiou (Eds.), E-Book Proceedings of the ESERA 2013 Conference: Science Education Research For Evidence-based Teaching and Coherence in Learning. Part 15 (co-ed. E. Glauert & F. Stylianidou, Early years science education) (pp. 5-13). Nicosia, Cyprus: European Science Education Research Association.

Elkonin, D. B. (1999). The development of play in preschoolers. Journal of Russian and East European Psychology, 37(6), 31-70.

Elkonin, D. B. (2005). The Psychology of play. Journal of Russian and East European Psychology, 43(1), 11-21.

Ergazaki, M., & Zogza, V. (2013). How does the model of Inquiry-Based Science Education work in the kindergarten: the case of biology. Review of Science, Mathematics and ICT Education, 7(2), 73-97.

Ferholt, B. (2010). A synthetic-analytic method for the study of Perezhivanie: Vygotsky’s literary analysis applied to playworlds. In M. C. Connery, V. P. John-Steiner & A. Marjanovic-Shane (Eds), Vygotsky and creativity: a cultural-historical approach to play, meaning making and the arts (pp. 163-180). New York: Peter Lang.

Fleer, M. (2008). Understanding the dialectical relations between everyday concepts and scientific concepts within play-based programs. Research in Science Education, 39(2), 281-306.

Fleer, M. (2009). A Cultural-Historical perspective on play: play as a lading activity across cultural communities. In I. Pramling-Samuelsson & M. Fleer (Eds), Play and learning in early childhood settings: international perspectives (pp. 1-18). Dordrecht: Springer.

Fleer, M. (2010). Early learning and development: cultural-historical concepts in play. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Fleer, M. (2011). ‘Conceptual Play’: foregrounding imagination and cognition during concept formation in early years education. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 12(3), 224-240.

Fleer, M. (2013). Affective imagination in science education: determining the emotional nature of scientific and technological learning of young children. Research in Science Education, 43(5), 2085-2106.

Fleer, M., & Robbins, J. (2003). “Hit and Run Research” with “Hit and Miss” results in Early Childhood Science Education. Research in Science Education, 33(4), 405-431.

Fleer, M., & March, S. (2009). Engagement in science, engineering and technology in the early years: a cultural-historical reading. Review of Science, Mathematics and ICT Education, 3(1), 23-47.

Fragkiadaki, G., & Ravanis, K. (2014). Mapping the interactions between young children while approaching the natural phenomenon of clouds creation. Educational Journal of the University of Patras UNESCO Chair, 1(2), 112-122.

Fragkiadaki, G., & Ravanis, K. (2015). Preschool children’s mental representations of clouds. Journal of Baltic Science Education, 14(2), 267-274.

Fragkiadaki, G., & Ravanis, K. (2016). Genetic research methodology meets Early Childhood Science Education Research: a Cultural-Historical study of child’s scientific thinking development. Cultural-Historical Psychology, 12(3), 310-330.

Georgantopoulou, V., Fragkiadaki. G., & Ravanis, K. (2016). Clouds as natural entities in preschool children’s thought. Educational Journal of the University of Patras UNESCO Chair, 3(2), 114-128.

Hadzigeorgiou, Y. (2002). A study of the development of the concept of mechanical stability in preschool children. Research in Science Education, 32, 373-391.

Hedegaard, M. A. (2008). Cultural-historical theory of children’s development. In M. Hedegaard & M. Fleer (Eds), Studying children - A cultural-historical approach (pp. 10-29). Glasgow: McGrow-Hill.

Hedegaard, M., & Fleer, M. (2008). Studying children: a cultural-historical approach. London: Open University Press.

Holding, B. (1987). Investigation of school children’s understanding of the process of dissolving with special reference to the conservation of matter and the development of atomistic ideas. PhD Thesis, University of Leeds, Leeds.

Kambouri, M. (2011). Children’s misconceptions and the teaching of early years Science: a case study. Journal of Emergent Science, 2(2), 7-16.

Kambouri, M., & Michaelides, A. (2014). Using drama techniques for the teaching of early years Science: a case study. Journal of Emergent Science, 7, 7-14.

Kampeza, M. (2006). Preschool children’s ideas about the Earth as a cosmic body and the day/night cycle. Journal of Science Education, 5(1), 119-122.

Kampeza, M., & Ravanis, K. (2012). Children’s understanding of the earth’s shape: an instructional approach in early education. Skholê, 17, 115-120.

Kampeza, M., Vellopoulou, A, Fragkiadaki, G., & Ravanis, K. (2016). The expansion thermometer in preschoolers’ thinking. Journal of Baltic Science Education, 15(2), 185-193.

Koliopoulos, D., Gouskou, E., & Arapaki, X. (2012). How to design a teaching intervention about the concept of classification of animals for preschool children in the framework of cooperation between school and zoological museum? Skholê, 17, 21-25.

Malleus, E., Kikas, E., & Marken, T. (2017). Kindergarten and primary school children’s everyday, synthetic, and scientific concepts of clouds and rainfall. Research in Science Education, 47(3), 539-558.

Panagiotaki, M.-A., & Ravanis, K. (2014). What would happen if we strew sugar in water or oil? Predictions and drawings of preschoolers. International Journal of Research in Education Methodology, 5(2), 579-585.

Piaget, J., & Inhelder, B. (1974). The child’s construction of quantities. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Ravanis, K. (2000). La construction de la connaissance physique à l’âge préscolaire : recherches sur les interventions et les interactions didactiques. Aster, 31, 71-94.

Ravanis, K. (2010). Représentations, Modèles Précurseurs, Objectifs-Obstacles et Médiation-Tutelle : concepts-clés pour la construction des connaissances du monde physique à l’âge de 5-7 ans. Revista Electrónica de Investigación en Educación en Ciencias, 5(2), 1-11.

Robbins, J. (2005). Contexts, Collaboration, and Cultural Tools: a sociocultural perspective on researching children’s thinking. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 6(2), 140-149.

Robbins, J. (2009). Analysing young children’s thinking about natural phenomena: a sociocultural/cultural historical perspective Review of Science, Mathematics and ICT Education, 3(1), 75-97.

Rogoff, B. (1995). Observing sociocultural activity on three planes: participatory appropriation, guided participation, and apprenticeships. In J. V. Wertsch, P. Del Rio, & A. Alvarez (Eds), Sociocultural studies of mind (pp. 139–164). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Rogoff, B. (1997). Evaluating development in the process of participation: Theory, methods, and practice building on each other. In E. Amsel & K. A. Renninger (Eds), Change and development: Issues of theory, method and application (pp. 265-285). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Rogoff, B. (1998). Cognition as a collaborative process. In W. Damon (Chief Ed.), D. Kuhn & R. S. Siegler (Volume Eds), Cognition, perceptions and language. Handbookof of Child Psychology (pp. 679-744). New York: Wiley.

Rosen, A., & Rosin, P. (1993). Now you see it, now you don't .The pre-scool child's conception of invisible particles in the context of dissolving. Developmental Psychology, 29(2), 300-311.

Roth, W.-M., Goulart, M. I. M., & Plakitsi, K. (2013). Science education during early childhood: a cultural historical perspective. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

Slone, M., & Bokhurst, F. (1992). Children's understanding of sugar water solutions. International Journal of Science Education, 14(2), 221-235.

Van Oers, B. (2010) Children’s enculturation through play. In L. Brooker & S. Edwards (Eds), Engaging play (pp. 195-209). Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1966). Play and its role in the mental development of the child. Voprosy Psikhologii, 12, 62-76.

Vygotsky L. S. (1994). The problem of environment. In R. van der Veer & J. Valsiner (Eds), The Vygotsky reader (pp. 338-350). Oxford: Blackwell.

Vygotsky L. S. (1998). The collected works of L. S. Vygotsky: child psychology (Vol. 5). New York: Plenum Press.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Eirini-Lida Remountaki, Glykeria Fragkiadaki, Konstantinos Ravanis

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright © 2015-2022. European Journal of Education Studies (ISSN 2501 - 1111) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library (Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei). All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms. All authors who send their manuscripts to this journal and whose articles are published on this journal retain full copyright of their articles. All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).