How student teachers use scientific conceptions to discuss a complex environmental issue

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How student teachers use scientific conceptions to discuss a complex environmental issue

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title How student teachers use scientific conceptions to discuss a complex environmental issue
Author(s) Ekborg, Margareta
Date 2003
English abstract
This paper focuses upon the extent to which student teachers develop conceptual understanding about key scientific principles through their training, and the extent to which they can deploy this knowledge in discussions of complex environmental issues. All students involved in the teacher-training programme answered a questionnaire -- before and after their first term of the programme -- in which their conceptions of respiration and photosynthesis were tested. 15 students were also interviewed about a newspaper article that discusses the ethicality of using surplus heat from a crematorium in the far heating system. They were asked to comment on the article, to pose questions about the issue and explicitly asked what happens to the bodies if either combusted or buried. The first results show that some students, though not the majority, develop their ability to answer conceptual questions about scientific content as a result of their first science course. However, even among these students, the task of deploying this conceptual understanding in discussions of complex, socially relevant questions proved very difficult. Most students expressed personal opinions without using scientific arguments. It may be that the students have not developed the ability to recognise and distinguish different contexts or that the learning situation has not been challenging enough.
Publisher Institute of Biology
Host/Issue Journal of Biological Education;3
Volume 37
ISSN 0021-9266
Pages 126-132
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) student teachers
concepts
complex issue
environmental education
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES::Social sciences::Education
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/8763 (link to this page)

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