Concept mapping to reveal prior knowledge and conceptual change in a mock summit course on global climate change
S. Rebich, C. Gautier 2005 Journal of Geoscience Education v53 p355-365

The complex nature of climate change science poses special challenges for educators. Learners come to the classroom with prior knowledge on the topic, which serves as a foundation for further knowledge building, but can also pose barriers to conceptual change. Learners have existing mental models that may limit their perception and processing of conflicting information and prevent
adoption of scientific conceptions. Instructional strategies that attempt conceptual change by simply provoking cognitive conflict have had limited success due to the importance of epistemological beliefs and motivation to the conceptual change process. The Mock Environment Summit course uses role-playing, argumentation and discussion to heighten epistemological awareness and motivation and thereby facilitate conceptual change. The pre/post-course concept map evaluation of students' knowledge about the science of global climate change reported here shows evidence of significant learning and conceptual change. Our study also provides useful information about gaps in knowledge and the types of misconceptions students are likely to have about this topic. Insight gained from this assessment study can be used to tailor the curriculum and enhance student progress towards more scientific conceptions of the problem.

Subject: Geoscience:Atmospheric Science:Climate Change:Mitigation of climate change, Environmental Science:Global Change and Climate, Policy, Geoscience:Atmospheric Science:Climate Change:Impacts of climate change, Public policy , Environmental Science:Global Change and Climate:Climate Change:Impacts of climate change, Public policy, Geoscience:Atmospheric Science:Climate Change
Resource Type: Pedagogic Resources, Activities:Classroom Activity, Journal Article
Research on Learning: Cognitive Domain:Misconceptions/barriers to learning, Geoscience Expertise:Complex Systems