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ERIC Number: EJ1056783
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1038-2046
Causes, Processes and Consequences of "Desertification": Results of a Qualitative Study about the Conceptions of 12- and 13-Year-Old Students in Germany
Schubert, Jan Christoph
International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, v24 n2 p148-166 2015
Preconceptions are a crucial factor in the educational learning process. Hence, the investigation of preconceptions is important for learning and teaching in the field of geography. This study examines the preconceptions of 12- and 13-year-old students, regarding the major environmental problem of "desertification." The students' preconceptions were collected by conducting half-standardized, problem-centered and guided interviews. These interviews (n = 13) were then evaluated using qualitative content analysis. Results show quite complex preconceptions concerning the causes, the processes, the effects and the measures to counter desertification. Regarding the causes of desertification, three basic preconceptions were identified: water consumption inducing drought, climate change generating high temperatures and wind blowing sand from deserts to adjacent areas. All in all, natural causes for desertification were predominant from the students' perspective. In conclusion, some conceptions can be classified as almost in line with scientific explanations, while others can be considered as alternative explanations. Based on the results of the study, implications concerning learning and teaching geography are proposed, such as focusing on the anthropogenic causes of desertification.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 7; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Elementary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A