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Research & Teaching

Teaching Preservice Teachers the Water Cycle With a Conceptual Change Model

Journal of College Science Teaching—Fall 2023 (Volume 52, Issue 7)

By Patricia Morrell and Adele Schepige

The purposes of this study were to examine preservice elementary teachers’ conception of the water cycle; determine if participating in a conceptual change–based role-play alters these conceptions; and ascertain if any conceptual change brought about by the intervention is lasting. We found that most of our students held naive conceptions of the water cycle. Participating in an activity based on a conceptual change model did broaden participants’ notions of the water cycle, and those more sophisticated ideas held for at least 3 months. The students were able to see how a lesson planned using the model could bring about conceptual change for themselves, which hopefully provided the impetus for them to include the model in their own instructional planning. The conceptual change model likely can be applied to any concept to improve understanding.

Earth & Space Science Inquiry Preservice Science Education Teacher Preparation

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