Naive theories in earth science among Korean students in grades six, eight and ten
Naive theories of gravity, the day/night cycle, the phases of the Moon, and the change in seasons in earth science were investigated among Korean students. Forty-nine 6th-grade students, fifty-three 8th-grade students, and forty-nine 10th-grade students responded to the open-ended written questions (INTTES). Student responses were classified as indicators of Scientific Models, Naive Models, or ""No"" Models. The incidence of naive theories were compared by Grade Level and by Achievement Level. In order to explore how student responses to open-ended written questions compared to those from the interviews, fifteen of these same students were interviewed. This study also explored the sources of naive theories as perceived by students.
Naive theories were found to persist across Grade Levels including high school level students. Students at all three Grade Levels and all Achievement Levels tend to hold Scientific Models and not Naive Models related to gravity and the day/night cycle. For the phases of the Moon and change in seasons, more students at each Grade Level and each Achievement Level tend to hold Naive Models and not Scientific Models. Teachers were listed most frequently as the sources of their naive theories by students. The results from the interviews and the INTTES instrument were extremely consistent.
The results suggest that teachers should identify students' theories of natural phenomena in earth science so that they can develop teaching strategies and specific activities and materials to help students overcome their naive theories in favor of scientific theories to explain natural phenomena. Textbook publishers and curriculum developers should consider these findings in designing curricula