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ERIC Number: EJ929296
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
ISSN: ISSN-0950-0693
The Impact of Field Trips and Family Involvement on Mental Models of the Desert Environment
Judson, Eugene
International Journal of Science Education, v33 n11 p1455-1472 2011
This study examined the mental models of the desert environment held by fourth- and seventh-grade students in the USA and whether those mental models could be affected by: (1) classroom field trips to a desert riparian preserve, and (2) interaction with family members at the same preserve. Results generally indicated that students in this study were resolute in their models and that field trips did not impact the types of models students adhered to. Twenty-three seventh-grade students who self-selected to participate in a Family Science Club with their parents did demonstrate a shift in their mental models and developed significantly more sophisticated models over time. A critical implication of the study is that unless transformation of mental models of the environment is an explicit goal of instruction, simple exposure to the environment (even within the context of life science instruction) will not transform understandings of how organisms within an environment act and interact interdependently. (Contains 5 tables and 3 figures.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 4; Grade 7; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States