part of the Shadows curriculum), but I'm probably the only one that looks forward to it."
This chapter has introduced the concept of image of science and reported the results of three studies of elementary school children's images of science. The results indicate that although science can be exciting and magical to many elementary school children (particularly in the younger grades), their school science experience does not necessarily foster a greater understanding of the nature of science. Rather, it seems to promote an image of science as a school-like enterprise, in which hard work and increasingly advanced courses are the key to success.10 Furthermore, it may reinforce the belief that science is the realm for an elite few (a belief also promoted by popular media). By sixth grade, fewer students are excited by science or committed to learning about it. The image of science concept suggests that these cognitive and affective developments may go hand in hand.
To put this research in a broader context, I now discuss ways in which the image of science concept can be a useful tool in the realm of science learning and identify directions for future research.
The concept of a child's image of science provides a potential ground for integrating findings from the now separate research programs of children's ideas about the nature of science and the role of affect in science learning. In exploring children's ideas about the nature of science, we can probe for aspects of science that are potentially accessible and inviting to children. Such aspects include the role of questions in science and the role of designing and building measuring devices. On the affective side, we can explore whether such aspects can be used to engage children in science and increase their self-perception of their science ability.
I would like to suggest a number of ways in which the image of science concept can provide a tool or language for analyzing the potential impact of a science learning activity (this list is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather to highlight some of the considerations brought to the foreground by the focus on children's images of science):____________________