Knowledge about the ‘Greenhouse Effect’: have college students improved
Jeffries H., Stanisstreet M., Boyes E. 2001 Research in Science & Technological Education v19 p205-221

The prevalence of the ideas of Year I undergraduate biology students about the consequences, causes and cures of the 'greenhouse effect' was determined using a closed-form questionnaire, and the results compared with a parallel study undertaken nearly 10 years ago. Many of the students in the present study were unaware of the potential effect of global warming on the distribution of crop pests, or that ground level ozone acts as a 'greenhouse gas'. Prevalent misconceptions were that global warming is caused by increased penetration of solar radiation, that it is connected with holes in the ozone layer, that it would result in increased skin cancer, and that use of unleaded petrol would reduce it. There appeared to be a general conflation of thinking about global warming and ozone layer depletion. Despite an increased certainty about the existence and effects of global warming among experts, the results are broadly similar to, and certainly no better than, those obtained with an equivalent group of students in a previous study, suggesting that despite media publicity and inclusion of the issue of global warming in the formal curriculum, insecure knowledge and misconceptions persist.

Subject: Biology:Ecology, Geoscience:Atmospheric Science:Climate Change:Impacts of climate change, Geoscience:Atmospheric Science:Climate Change, Climate Change:Greenhouse effect, Environmental Science:Global Change and Climate, Global Change and Climate:Climate Change:Greenhouse effect, Impacts of climate change
Resource Type: Pedagogic Resources, Journal Article
Research on Learning: Geoscience Expertise:Complex Systems, Cognitive Domain:Misconceptions/barriers to learning