Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose? School Students’ Ideas about the “Greenhouse Effect” a Decade On

Edward Boyes, Martin Stanisstreet


This report describes a survey of the ideas and feelings of UK students about global warming, and comparisons are made to those from a similar closed-form questionnaire which had been used 9 years previously. Comparison of the responses of the two cohorts suggests that the current generation of students have fewer scientific ideas about the greenhouse effect, but also hold fewer misconceptions. Those students who reported using television as a source of information showed greater knowledge about global warming, but did not hold fewer misconceptions, whereas students who reported learning most about the greenhouse effect from school did show fewer misconceptions. It is suggested that this may indicate limitations of learning from television or other electronic sources such as the Internet, in that pre-existing or newly-generated misconceptions cannot be detected, or therefore challenged.

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Copyright © Canadian Journal of Environmental Education (CJEE) ISSN 1205-5352