About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 812-820
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.0287

Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain

NEED FOR COGNITION AND CLIMATE CHANGE TOPICAL KNOWLEDGE IN CHILDREN

R. Toedte

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UNITED STATES)
Climate change education, because it involves a socio-scientific issue (SSI), holds unique challenges in both formal and informal educational settings. Climate change is a multi-science at the crossroads of numerous basic sciences such as chemistry and physics, thus requiring special skills of its educators and communicators. Furthermore, climate change, like all SSIs, is treated as more than a science issue, precipitating vastly different social framings that are sometimes expressly designed to cast doubt on consensus findings from the climate change scientific community.

The mixing of social ways of knowing with scientific bases complicates not only the jobs of educators of SSIs such as climate change, evolution, and immunology. It also confuses young learners about which sources to believe and which ones to reject. As such, students' misconceptions about SSIs are more common than their misconceptions about non-controversial science topics such as cell biology. For some students, social ways of knowing compete for dominance with scientific ways of knowing about SSIs, thus necessitating conceptual change education.

In 1982, Cacioppo & Petty introduced the Need for Cognition Scale (NfC), the first quantitative measure of "the tendency for an individual to engage in and enjoy thinking". Since its introduction, NfC has subsequently been used in hundreds of studies. NfC has also been shown to significantly and positively correlate with many valued learning practices including strategic reading, critical thinking, abstraction, reflection, and open-mindedness. Given that these practices are also highly useful in SSI education, it is not surprising that students who measure highly in NfC also have been shown to have scientific knowledge that is more representative of scientific consensus.

Therefore, this research primarily focuses on assessing the correlation between Need for Cognition and climate change topical knowledge among children between the ages 7 and 13. Unique in this research, NfC has rarely been used to assess subjects younger than college age. Furthermore, this research utilizes an NfC question set that has been customized for younger participants' reading skills and life experiences. The foundational hypothesis of this work is that, as early as middle school and even late primary school ages, a positive and significant correlation exists between NfC and children's scientifically-based conceptions about climate change. The results of this study are intended to facilitate curricular and pedagogical approaches that will manifest in better comportment between students' and experts' knowledge, and less time expended on conceptual change.
@InProceedings{TOEDTE2018NEE,
author = {Toedte, R.},
title = {NEED FOR COGNITION AND CLIMATE CHANGE TOPICAL KNOWLEDGE IN CHILDREN},
series = {10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN18 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-02709-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2018.0287},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2018.0287},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Palma, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {812-820}}
TY - CONF
AU - R. Toedte
TI - NEED FOR COGNITION AND CLIMATE CHANGE TOPICAL KNOWLEDGE IN CHILDREN
SN - 978-84-09-02709-5/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2018.0287
PY - 2018
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2018
CI - Palma, Spain
JO - 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN18 Proceedings
SP - 812
EP - 820
ER -
R. Toedte (2018) NEED FOR COGNITION AND CLIMATE CHANGE TOPICAL KNOWLEDGE IN CHILDREN, EDULEARN18 Proceedings, pp. 812-820.
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