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ERIC Number: EJ760187
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Feb
Pages: 22
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0022-4308
Students' Mental Models of the Environment
Shepardson, Daniel P.; Wee, Bryan; Priddy, Michelle; Harbor, Jon
Journal of Research in Science Teaching, v44 n2 p327-348 Feb 2007
What are students' mental models of the environment? In what ways, if any, do students' mental models vary by grade level or community setting? These two questions guided the research reported in this article. The Environments Task was administered to students from 25 different teacher-classrooms. The student responses were first inductively analyzed in order to identify students' mental models of the environment. The second phase of analysis involved the statistical testing of the identified mental models. From this analysis four mental models emerged: Model 1, the environment as a place where animals/plants live - a natural place; Model 2, the environment as a place that supports life; Model 3, the environment as a place impacted or modified by human activity; and Model 4, the environment as a place where animals, plants, and humans live. The dominant mental model was Mental Model 1. Yet, a greater frequency of urban students than suburban and rural students held Mental Model 3. The implications to environmental science education are explored.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A