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Images in mirrors: recollections, alternative explanations and modes of cognitive functioning


Jones, BL and Collis, KF and Watson, JM and Foster, K and Fraser, SP, Images in mirrors: recollections, alternative explanations and modes of cognitive functioning, Research in Science Education, 24 pp. 191-200. ISSN 0157-244X (1994) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright © 1969, Springer Nature

DOI: doi:10.1007/BF02356344


Students' conceptions of how objects are seen directly, and in mirrors, were explored in an analysis of their written and drawn responses to common visual phenomena depicted in cartoons with brief text. Students in Grades K-10 (n=214) completed a questionnaire and some were interviewed. Evidence was sought to support an hypothesis for increasingly sophisticated responses related to the concepts of sight, light, reflection and image. The developmental model used in this analysis was the updated SOLO Taxonomy (Biggs & Collis, 1991; Collis & Biggs 1991). It appears from the results that different modes of functioning can interfere to produce factually incorrect recollections of experience particularly in the age group 7 to 13 years approximately. Also, this is associated with the common spurious conception that mirrors have a lateral inversion property. Explanations involving light were extremely rare and its role related to the production of an image ‘in the mirror’ but not to the perception of an image in the eyes.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:images in mirrors, cognitive functioning, journal article
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and pedagogy
Research Field:Science, technology and engineering curriculum and pedagogy
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Learner and learning
Objective Field:Learner and learning not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Jones, BL (Dr Brian Jones)
UTAS Author:Collis, KF (Professor Kevin Collis)
UTAS Author:Watson, JM (Professor Jane Watson)
UTAS Author:Fraser, SP (Professor Sharon Fraser)
ID Code:137688
Year Published:1994
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (A79231385)
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Office of the Faculty of Education
Deposited On:2020-02-27
Last Modified:2020-03-23

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