The effects of an intervention about carbon cycle and ocean acidification on 5th grade students’ knowledge, attitudes and behavior (Master thesis)

Παπάζογλου, Δέσποινα-Νιόβη/ Papazoglou, Despoina-Niovi

The current study deals with the assessment and enhancement of fifth graders’ knowledge of carbon cycle focusing on the effects of carbon dioxide increase on ocean acidification. Also, the study aims to examine the changes in student’s attitudes and behavior toward ocean protection, after the educational intervention. The author developed a 10 hours program for primary students, aligned with constructivism and inquirt-based approaches. It included class activities, such as experiments, concept maps, use of virtual laboratories and interactive online activities regarding carbon cycle and ocean acidification. It was conducted with a convenient sample of 17 experimental and 17 control group students from two classes of different public primary schools in Greece. The research combined quantitative and qualitative methods, namely (a) a structured questionnaire distributed to the experimental and control groups as pre-test and post-test, and (b) “rich pictures” drawn only by the experimental group before and after the learning process. The findings indicated that, although the experimental group was initially statistically equal to control group, it revealed statistically significant increase in knowledge scale after the intervention, as most students almost doubled their performance. The concept inventory also showed a statistically significant increase in self-reported content knowledge of the experimental group only. The analyses of the students’ rich pictures at the beginning of the learning process indicated that most of them possessed an incomplete picture of the carbon cycle and had many misconceptions. On the other hand, students’ significantly increased acquaintance with the carbon cycle components and processes was clearly manifested in the rich pictures after the learning process, while, at the same time, some misconceptions were also revealed to steadily remain. The intervention had no significant influence on student’s attitudes and behavior (high pretest scores). This findings provide a basis for offering suggestions on ways marine education might foster students’ ocean literacy
Institution and School/Department of submitter: Δημοκρίτειο Πανεπιστήμιο Θράκης. Σχολή Επιστημών Αγωγής. Παιδαγωγικό Τμήμα Δημοτικής Εκπαίδευσης
Subject classification: Environmental education
Keywords: Κύκλος του άνθρακα,Οξίνιση των ωκεανών,Επιστημονικός γραμματισμός,Carbon cycle,Ocean acidification,Scientific literacy

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