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ERIC Number: EJ1126210
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-May
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1089-9995
Alternative Conceptions Concerning the Earth's Interior Exhibited by Honduran Students
Capps, Daniel K.; McAllister, Meredith; Boone, William J.
Journal of Geoscience Education, v61 n2 p231-239 May 2013
Although multiple studies of misconceptions in Earth science have been completed using samples of North American and European students and teachers, little research has been conducted on alternative Earth science conceptions in developing countries. The current study was conducted in 5th- and 6th-grade classrooms in eastern Honduras, Central America. The goal of the study was to gather data documenting Honduran students' conceptions of the Earth's interior. This qualitative study used participant-generated drawings and interviews to access students' conceptions of the Earth's interior. Results suggest that Honduran students, ages 9-14 y, express varying levels of understanding regarding this science concept. Many exhibit alternative conceptions, including nonconcentric layers in the Earth; the presence of physical objects, such as houses, inside the Earth; and the existence of mythical creatures within the Earth. This study provides data relevant to geoscience education in Honduras, has implications for geoscience education in tectonically active regions where Earth science is not a major part of the curriculum, and offers suggestions for teaching abstract Earth science concepts to concrete learners. The study also provides information for educators that teach students who are recent immigrants from Honduras and for those who teach students of limited language and/or reading proficiency.
National Association of Geoscience Teachers. Carleton College W-SERC, One North College Street, Northfield, MN 55057. Tel: 540-568-6675; Fax: 540-568-8058; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Honduras
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A