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Conceptions of water-related phenomena

Schibeci, R., Fetherstonhaugh, A. and Griffin, S. (1993) Conceptions of water-related phenomena. Research in Science Education, 23 (1). pp. 259-265.

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Water is an important resource. Surprisingly, research into students' conceptions of water has been confined largely to studies of change of state. This paper reports the results of interviews about underground water, water pollution, the water cycle, and change of state). There were 45 students interviewed about these phenomena: all were in Year 9 or Year 10 in Western Australia from three schools, two country, on emetropolitan. In addition, 715 students in Years 9 and 10 in five government schools, three metropolitan and two country, completed a teacher-made, water topic test. Students appear to have a good understanding of some water-related phenomena, such as the water cycle, but have conceptions about other phenomena, such as the water table, which are not in accord with scientific views. As others have reported, interviews reveal that students often use scientific language without understanding.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Education
Publisher: Springer
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