Elementary Students' Alternative Conceptions About Earth Systems Phenomena In Taiwan, Republic Op China
The purposes of this research are (1) to identify children's ideas about Earth systems, (2) to investigate the origins of children's beliefs about selected natural phenomena, and (3) to describe the characteristics of children's explanations. The research topics in this study have been selected from astronomy (day and night, the phases of the Moon, and seasons), meteorology (rain and wind), and geology (mountains and rivers). These topics are all taught in the elementary science curriculum in Taiwan. The results of this study will help science teachers develop effective teaching strategies by taking into account the characteristics of students' concept learning. These results also will provide information for curriculum designers to use in establishing meaningful instructional processes and developing understandable teaching materials. Furthermore, the results of this study will allow students to find out how their experiences affect their science learning in order to change their alternative conceptions. The focus of this study is an exploration of the conceptions about the Earth systems held by elementary students in Taiwan. This is the second study in Taiwan to probe children's ideas about earth science. The first study investigated elementary children's misconceptions about the Moon (Dai & Capie, 1990). This study is meant to provide additional baseline information on earth science conceptions children hold before and after formal science instruction.