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Addressing secondary students' naïve ideas about freshwater springs in order to develop an instructional tool to promote conceptual reconstruction

Author(s): S. Reinfried | S. Tempelmann | U. Aeschbacher

Journal: Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions
ISSN 1812-2108

Volume: 9;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 1589;
Date: 2012;
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"Water knowledge" has now become a socio-political and future-orientated necessity. Erroneous notions or preconceptions of hydrology can have a deleterious effect on our understanding of the scientific facts and their interrelations that are of relevance to sustainable water management. This explorative pilot study shows that erroneous and naïve ideas about the origin of freshwater springs are common at the lower secondary level. The purpose of this study was two-fold: (1) to investigate the nature of misconceptions about freshwater springs among 13-year-old students, and (2) to develop an efficient instructional tool that promotes conceptual reconstruction in the learners' minds. To assess students' naïve ideas we conducted interviews, examined student work, and asked students to fill in a questionnaire. The identified naïve ideas were used to construct an instructional tool based on the findings of learning psychology aiming at promoting deep learning, thus facilitating a lasting conceptual reconstruction of the concept of freshwater springs.
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