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Visualizing the Greenhouse Effect: Restructuring Mental Models of Climate Change Through a Guided Online Simulation

Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-4036, USA
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Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9010014
Received: 10 December 2018 / Revised: 2 January 2019 / Accepted: 2 January 2019 / Published: 13 January 2019
The purpose of this design based research study was to better understand and build from students’ perceptual experiences of visual representations of the greenhouse effect. Twenty undergraduate students were interviewed as they engaged with an online visualization for the learning of the greenhouse effect. We found that, even though all students agreed that climate change is happening, a majority initially held a misconception about how it works. Upon engaging with the visualization, students made perceptual inferences and formulated causal rules that culminated in an improved description of how climate change works. This trajectory was supported with prompts from the interviewer to make predictions, observe specific interactions in the visualization and revise their causal inferences based on these observations. A case study is presented to illustrate a typical learning trajectory. View Full-Text
Keywords: conceptual change; science education; climate change education; climate change; case study conceptual change; science education; climate change education; climate change; case study
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MDPI and ACS Style

Thacker, I.; Sinatra, G.M. Visualizing the Greenhouse Effect: Restructuring Mental Models of Climate Change Through a Guided Online Simulation. Educ. Sci. 2019, 9, 14. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9010014

AMA Style

Thacker I, Sinatra GM. Visualizing the Greenhouse Effect: Restructuring Mental Models of Climate Change Through a Guided Online Simulation. Education Sciences. 2019; 9(1):14. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9010014

Chicago/Turabian Style

Thacker, Ian, and Gale M. Sinatra 2019. "Visualizing the Greenhouse Effect: Restructuring Mental Models of Climate Change Through a Guided Online Simulation" Education Sciences 9, no. 1: 14. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9010014

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