Pre-service Teachers’ Misconceptions Regarding Three Environmental Issues

Tahsin Khalid


This study identifies and describes misconceptions held by pre-service elementary teachers about three environmental issues: the greenhouse effect, atmospheric ozone, and acid precipitation. One hundred and thirteen students participated in this study. A 29-statement survey was used to probe students on the causes, effects, and interactions of the three issues. Responses were obtained both quantitatively and qualitatively. The major misconceptions found in the study include: • the increased greenhouse effect may cause skin cancer, • ozone depletion may cause global warming, • ozone is a multifunctional layer, and • pollutants evaporate with water, later come down as acid rain. Recommendations regarding the changes in the curriculum and the classroom teaching practices are made for elementary teacher education programs to address the deficiencies identified in this study.

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