Students' with visual impairments conceptions of causes of seasonal change
The purpose of this qualitative study was to understand and describe the misconceptions that may exist among students with visual impairments and instructional techniques that may help them learn scientific concepts of seasonal change. Teachers' perceptions of student learning were also examined. Data were obtained from students 1 week prior to and 2 weeks after instruction. Students in a comparison group received traditional instruction concerning seasonal change that included textbooks, 3-D models, and lectures. Students in an inquiry-based group received instruction that included student generated models, graphs of temperature data, and 3-D models. Students who participated in the traditional instruction all exhibited alternative conceptions before instruction. Reasons for seasons included the Earth's rotation on its axis, a change in distance between the Earth and the Sun, and the Earth's tilt moving back and forth as it orbited the Sun. After instruction, students in this group all continued to exhibit alternative understandings of seasons. Only one student in this group held a scientific fragment (e.g., Earth orbiting the Sun) within his alternative explanation. The comparison group teacher believed that his students had a scientific understanding of the cause of seasons after completion of the curriculum which did not reflect students' actual documented learning. Students who were members of the inquiry-based group also had alternative conceptions before instruction. Reasons for seasons included the Earth's tilt moving back and forth as it orbited the Sun, a change in the amount of moisture levels in the atmosphere, and the rotation of the Earth on its axis. One student was able to explain that the Earth orbited the Sun, but could not explain how this motion caused seasons. After instruction, students in this group all had scientific understandings of seasons or scientific fragments, and none held alternative understandings. The inquiry-based group teacher believed that her students had a scientific understanding of the causes of seasons upon completion of the curriculum which was reflective of students' documented learning.
Wild, T. (2008). Students' with visual impairments conceptions of causes of seasonal change. PhD. Dissertation. The Ohio State University, USA
Type of Publication
Wild, Tiffany A.
The Ohio State University
Graduate School, The Ohio State University
Number of Pages
Nation(s) of Study
United States of America