PRE-SERVICE PRIMARY TEACHERS’ MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT
Jan Evangelista Purkyne University in Usti nad Labem (CZECH REPUBLIC)
The research on the topic of preconceptions and misconceptions of environmental issues is usually focused on students of primary or secondary schools. The research projects focused on their teachers and pre-service teachers are much rarer. Such future teachers could have developed misconceptions related to environmental issues during their previous life and study and therefore it is up to faculties of education to resolve these misconceptions as well as equipping future teachers with tools, which prevent misconceptions altogether. The design of the methodology is qualitative and consists of two methods. The research was carried out through analysing concept maps made by the students, and through in-depth interviews. A group of participants from university in the northern part of Czech Republic was asked to finish a task of creating concept maps for “the greenhouse effect”. In addition to the central concept participants will be offered a set of additional terms that may be included in the maps. Of course they can freely add unlimited additional terms. The Participants were briefly introduced to the theory of concept maps before they begin creating one. Both the relationships between concepts and the position of the concepts in the map were analysed. The structure of the in-depth interviews was designed based on the analysis of the created “greenhouse effect” conceptual maps. The interview was conducted with participants from amongst pre-service primary teachers. The selection of participants was made according to the principles of theory-based selection. The interview focused both on the student’s misconceptions, and on their possible sources (phenomenological segment). The interviews were transcribed and analysed using standard procedures, the data were coded and transcribed. The paper presents the most interesting findings as well as recommendations for future improvement of pre-service teachers training at faculties of education.