Earthquakes; what are they and what causes them? - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Earthquakes; what are they and what causes them?

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What do our students really know about geophysics? – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Earthquakes; what are they and what causes them?


1
What do our students really know about geophysics?
2
Relationship to our project
3
What are earthquakes? What causes them?
  • A summary of student conceptions of earthquakes
    and other underpinning topics as informed by 25
    years of research

Michael Hubenthal, Education Specialist
July, 2006 v1.2
4
Student Understandings
  • Children develop their own non-scientific
    explanations of events, prior to instruction
    (Ault, 1982, 1984, 1994 Piaget, 1929)
  • Understanding description and explanation
    (Newton, 2000)

5
Challenges to conceptual understanding in the
geosciences
(Piaget, 1929)
(Ault, 1984)
( Blake, 2005)
6
What is an EQ? - Young students
(Ross and Shuell, 1991 Sharpe et al., 1995)
(Tsai, 2001)
(Leather, 1987 Sharpe et al., 1995)
7
Conceptual shift at age 14?
(Barrow Haskings, 1996 DeLaughter et al.,
1998 Libarkin et al., 2005)
8
Possible explanations for conceptual shift
9
Others Explanations
10
Location of relationship to EQs
Philips, 1991 Schoon, 1992
(Leather, 1987 Shapre et al., 1995)
11
Sharpe et al., 1995
Lillo, 1994
DeLaughter et al., 1998 Libarkin et al., 2005
12
Tectonic Plates
13
What do teachers know?
14
Dahl et al., 2005
15
Seismology as evidence
16
Limits of Current Practice
  • What is an Earthquake?
  • Descriptive vs. cause definitions
  • What causes Earthquakes?
  • Elastic nature of rocks
  • Relation between seismicity and geologic features
  • What is inside Earth?
  • How do we know if we have never been?
  • Complexity and boundaries
  • Patterns and frequency of seismicity
  • Intraplate vs edge fo plate earthquakes
  • Plates and their boundaries (vertical and
    horizontal)
  • How we know what we know

17
?
18
Implications
  • A disconnect between students response about the
    causes of earthquakes actual understanding
  • Previous research of childrens understanding of
    science concepts shows
  • express scientifically acceptable statements
    while maintaining misconceptions
  • recite correct concept definitions with out any
    understanding
  • Students themselves may be aware of this
    disconnect Barrow and Haskins (1996) found that
    73 of undergraduates surveyed in a Geology 101
    level course, who had not experienced an
    earthquake felt that they had a limited or low
    understanding of earthquakes.

19
Discussion
  • Conceptual shift at age 14 on to adulthood to a
    more scientific response to What is an
    earthquake?
  • Responses contain references to plate tectonics
    but often also contained erroneous or
    contradictory information
  • Therefore
  • Existing research has done little to probe the
    depth of student understanding beyond the
    scientifically accurate terminology in their
    responses

20
Objectives
  • Provide you with the best information possible
    about what your students probably know
  • Examine what students know across a range of ages
    to assess the impact of current methods of
    instruction.

21
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