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ERIC Number: EJ957370
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 33
ISSN: ISSN-1038-2046
Tropical Rainforests: A Case Study of UK, 13-Year-Olds' Knowledge and Understanding of These Environments
Dove, Jane
International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, v21 n1 p59-70 2012
Tropical rainforests are biologically rich ecosystems, which are threatened by a variety of different human activities. This study focuses on students' knowledge and understanding of rainforest locations, their reasons for protecting these environments and their familiarity with selected concepts about rainforest vegetation and soil. These questions are addressed, through the analysis of answers about rainforests included in an end-of-year examination provided by 102, 13-year-old pupils studying in the UK. The results suggest that the most familiar rainforest area is the Amazon, although some students are uncertain about its exact location. The importance of preserving rainforests in order to reduce global warming is well understood, but misconceptions surround the role of oxygen in this ecosystem. Almost all of the students are able to name the main vegetation layers in a rainforest, but many have difficulty in explaining why, despite luxuriant growth, the soils in this environment are relatively infertile. Most students offer partial rather than full explanations for anatomical features such as leaf drip-tips and also for the lack of leaf litter on the forest floor. The implications of the findings for teaching and learning about rainforests are addressed. (Contains 3 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom