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ERIC Number: ED546357
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 214
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-2676-6396-2
Choosing and Using Images in Environmental Science Education
Muthersbaugh, Debbie Smick
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Idaho
Although using images for teaching has been a common practice in science classrooms (Gordon & Pea, 1995) understanding the purpose or how to choose images has not typically been intentional. For this dissertation three separate studies relating to choosing and using images are prepared with environmental science in mind. Each of the studies was impacted by my desire to better understand the nature of visual aspects for learning science concepts. In these qualitative descriptive case studies I discuss criteria for choosing preferred images for teaching and learning environmental science topics based on Visual Information Theory (Tufte, 1983, 1996, 1999, 2006), as well as how images are perceived in integrated environmental sustainability lessons at both the elementary and secondary level. The research questions driving this study were: 1) What are preferred criteria for choosing images to inform the teaching of environmental science topics, 2) What are secondary pre-service teachers' perceptions of sustainability and using images to teach environmental sustainability topics in their content area and, 3) How does the creating of visual art and the viewing of environmental images in an integrated unit of study impact elementary students when learning environmental science concepts? As a result of this study, five key ideas emerged about using images for teaching and learning environmental science topics: 1) One must be "intentional" about choosing pictures when teaching environmental science topics; 2) There must be a "criteria" for choosing images to insure connections are made to the standards and goals of what is being taught; 3) Images should prompt the viewer to ask questions and "inquire" about the content they contain; 4) Images contain "knowledge" useful in the learning of scientific content; and 5) Using images for "integrating" content provides for meaningful mediated experiences by establishing connections between environmental science topics with other subject areas. The analysis of the findings indicates the importance of being intentional when choosing and using images for teaching and learning. Expanding the image criteria rubric to include additional categories could prove valuable for future studies. The research informs understanding of the complex nature of using images in both elementary and secondary teaching as well as teacher preparation programs. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education; Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A