Wandersee, James H. , Clary, Renee M. .
College students' alternative conceptions about petrified wood: Implications for the integration of geological and botanical knowledge.
An understanding of petrified wood requires a broad and integrated conceptual framework--one that links its formation, composition, properties, and geographical occurrences. As a paleobotanical topic that addresses both biological and geological content, we think that petrified wood is an ideal knowledge probe concept for revealing knowledge gaps and conceptual difficulties that students bring with them into introductory biology and geoscience classrooms. It also offers a unique opportunity to learn how biology and geology interrelate. Our integrated bio-geo education research study (N =188, historical geology students) adressed both (a) introductory college science students' alternative conceptions (i.e., misconceptions) about petrified wood; and (b) implications for improving the integration of biological and geological knowledge. We found that in spite of the topic's apparent grade K to 12-based educational familiarity, students' understanding of petrified wood was fundamentally flawed in four specific bio-geo scientific content areas. Our study documents the need for greater bio-geo knowledge integration in introductory college biology and geology courses, and it gives insights about how this may be accomplished.
EarthScholars Research Group
1 - Louisiana State University, Dept. of Curric. & Instr., 15-Degree Laboratory, Room 223-F Peabody Hall, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 70803, USA
2 - University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Dept. of Geology, Box 44530, Lafayette, Louisiana, 70504-4530, USA
Presentation Type: Paper
Location: Superior A (Cliff Lodge)
Date: Monday, August 2nd, 2004
Time: 9:00 AM