ERIC Number: ED371938
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994
Reference Count: N/A
A Comparison of Coastal and Inland Residents' Knowledge of Marine Organisms and Their Feeding Relationships.
McDonald, Robert B.; Bethel, Lowell J.
The purpose of this investigation was to compare the knowledge regarding marine organisms and their feeding relationships of fourth grade residents of one coastal and one inland community in south Texas and to generate grounded theory concerning the participants' construction of such knowledge. Four male and four female students were randomly selected from the fourth grade populations at one coastal and one inland site (n=16). Both free-recall and stimulated clinical interviewing strategies were employed to examine each participant's knowledge of the selected topics. Participant responses were compared across the variables of gender and region of residence. Overall, coastal residents were aware of more marine organisms than were inland residents, especially those organisms native to the waters near their home community. Gender was not shown to be a significant variable. Students from both groups were found to rely upon a limited number of critical physical attributes to identify marine organisms. A majority of the most commonly named organisms were those that the participants identified as being dangerous to humans. All of the participants were found to rely primarily upon a size-dependent, predator dominated "big fish eat little fish" framework when constructing understanding of marine trophic relationships. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas