Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Lernförderliche Methoden für einen Conceptual Change von Schülervorstellungen zum Aufbau der Erde
by Denk, Catharina Anna, Dr.Nat., Universitaet Bayreuth (Germany), 2019, 221; 27600393
Abstract (Summary)

The conceptual change research examines the question of how far students’ perceptions can be influenced by appropriate learning opportunities. There are only a few papers about the conceptual change in the didactics of geography. However, some results from other disciplines can be used for the scientific research in that area. In the present doctoral thesis, methods that support learning are developed in an appropriate learning environment for a conceptual change and their impact is checked empirically. The study wants to contribute to the promotion of geography lessons. Furthermore, the results provide a further development of the conceptual change theory. In the didactics of geography, mainly research results of students’ perceptions to physical-geographic concepts exist. The focus of this doctoral thesis is on the physical-geographic subject area structure of the earth. For this, a broad base due to the study of CONRAD (2014) exists and the present paper builds upon it. As a theoretical framework for a conceptual change, POSNER et al. (1982) has been chosen. In 1982, they published four conditions for a successful conceptual change. Those four conditions function as structural guidelines for the development of the didactic prepared learning opportunities. To perform a successful conceptual change, the criteria dissatisfaction, comprehensibility, plausibility and fertility have to be passed through. It is important that the teacher is not only providing the conditions for a conceptual change, however, the learner also have to accept them in the learning environment. A conceptual change cannot be initiated, if those criteria are not given. Ten teaching experiments with 20 pupils from Bavarian secondary schools (Realschule and Gymnasium) were carried out in a qualitative study. The experiments consist of sections of interviews and of interventions in order to stimulate the learners to reflect their own constructive thinking process and to question their subjective concepts. The present study comprises the following aspects: • Sections of interviews to capture the level of knowledge of the test persons • Sections of interventions to develop technical concepts in a didactic prepared learning environment • Drawings as survey method for the students’ perceptions • Questionnaires (multiple choice test, scale of interest and time of consideration of the concept) At the beginning of the study, four students’ concepts are shown: closely related to the subject, model of a magma cover, model of rock stratum and no concentricity. In the preconcept the majority of learners comply with the model of rock stratum. The research results show that an understanding for the structure of the earth can be achieved, when learners reflect their own concepts and restructure their existing preconcept to a concept that is closely related to the subject with the help of a didactic prepared learning environment. The learning environment is characterized by the way that it presents clearly the topic due to used models and materials. The learning was self-regulated and the investigator stepped back in order to give the learners an active role. 17 of 20 pupils achieved a conceptual change to the topic structure of the earth and the majority of the test persons designed a concept that was closely related to the subject with more than five adequate terminologies. It becomes clear that a high interest of learners are advantageous for the initiation of a significant conceptual change. All learners with a high interest carried out a significant conceptual change. Furthermore, contrary to the assumption, the extent of anchoring of the concept (time of consideration of the concept) does not seem to be related to the conceptual change itself. The three learners, who were not able to do the conceptual change, have apparently not reached the stage of dissatisfaction according to Posner et al. (1982). They showed a lack of interest, demotivation and a low level of commitment. In addition, their statements in the first interview revealed a satisfaction with their preconcept. The result of all this was that apparently no dissatisfaction has been generated. In order to reach a successful conceptual change, all conditions, namely dissatisfaction, comprehensibility, plausibility and fertility have to be fulfilled. Consequently, the last three criteria of the conceptual change have never been reached, because they failed already in the first stage of dissatisfaction.

Indexing (document details)
School: Universitaet Bayreuth (Germany)
School Location: Germany
Source: DAI-C 81/4(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Pedagogy, Instructional Design, Science education
Keywords: Geography education
Publication Number: 27600393
ISBN: 9781088398432
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