The image of science concept can also be used to understand and help individual children. For example, open-ended exploratory science activities may not make sense to children who conceive of science as a collection of facts to be learned. Helping children to broaden their understanding of science may help legitimize the activity. The activity may then help children construct a deeper understanding of science. Children who may automatically "tune out" during a science class because they are self-identified as not being "science kids" will benefit from experiences in which their abilities (e.g., to generate interesting questions or to make a measuring device) are valued.
One direction of future research is to trace typical patterns of image of science development over a wider age span. In looking for such patterns it will be important to pay attention to issues of gender, race, socioeconomic class, and personal experience with science and scientists. I am particularly interested in the dynamics of the interaction between the cognitive and affective aspects of children's images of science. I have suggested elsewhere ( Brandes, 1994) how feedback loops between these aspects may arise. A child's positive feelings about science may lead to involvement in science activities and to better understanding of what science is. More positive feelings about science and science self-concept then arise. Conversely, a child who dislikes science may avoid science activities, retain stereotyped views about science and become further alienated from science.
I am exploring the impact of children's science learning experiences on their images of science. I hope this research will lead to the generation of science learning environments and experiences that enrich the lives of children, enable them to build a better understanding of the world, and help them to form a lifelong connection to science.
An earlier version of this chapter was presented at The American Educational Research Association meeting in New Orleans, April 1994. I would like to particularly thank my advisor, Edith Ackennann, for her support and suggestions. Many of my ideas emerged in rough form during our conversations and have gradually taken shape. Idit Harel has offered both enthusiasm for my work and practical advice. Uri Wilensky and I have had many stimulating conversations about science, math, and other learning, which have informed my work. I thank Amy Bruckman, Yasmin Kafai, Cynthia Krug, Mitchel Resnick, Carol Sperry, and Uri Wilensky for comments on a draft of this chapter. I thank the teachers who generously gave me both advice and access to their classrooms, then shared