As part of a large-scale intervention, this study examined conceptions of the greenhouse effect and global warming among elementary students from diverse languages and cultures in the U.S. To make science relevant and meaningful for diverse student groups, the intervention emphasized the integration of (a) scientific understanding and inquiry, (b) English language and literacy, and (c) students' home language and culture. The study involved 5th grade students from five elementary schools of varying demographic makeup in a large urban school district. The intervention's effectiveness was measured by student responses on a writing prompt addressing this topic in the beginning and at the completion of instruction over the school year. The results indicate that students overall demonstrated more scientific conceptual understandings after instruction. Furthermore, all demographic subgroups in terms of gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, English proficiency, and home language demonstrated statistically significant improvements after instruction, with the exceptions of African-American and Haitian students showing little or no gain.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)