This study examined children's views of the world after they personally experienced a natural disaster - specifically, Hurricane Andrew in South Florida during the summer of 1992. The study addressed three issues: (a) children's knowledge of the hurricane; (b) children's views of the world, especially the causality of the hurricane; and (c) children's sources of information in social and cultural contexts. The study was conducted in the early spring of 1994. It involved 127 fourth and fifth grade students in two elementary schools located in areas that were particularly hard hit by the hurricane. The student sample was representative of various ethnic, socioeconomic, and gender backgrounds. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods were used for data collection and analysis. Results indicate significant differences as well as similarities in children's knowledge, world views, and information sources by ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and gender. Implications for promoting scientific literacy for all students, including socially and culturally diverse students, are discussed.
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