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What is a watershed? Implications of student conceptions for environmental science education and the National Science Education Standards
Shepardson, D.P.; Wee, B.; Priddy, M.; Schellenberger, L.; Harbor, J. (2007). What is a watershed? Implications of student conceptions for environmental science education and the National Science Education Standards. Science Ed. 91(4): 554-578. hdl.handle.net/10.1002/sce.20206
In: Science Education. Wiley: New York. ISSN 0036-8326, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Shepardson, D.P.
  • Wee, B.
  • Priddy, M.
  • Schellenberger, L.
  • Harbor, J.

Abstract
    The purpose of this study was to investigate students' conceptions about watersheds. Specifically: (1) What are students' conceptions of a watershed? and (2) In what ways might students' conceptions vary by grade level and community setting? This study was descriptive in nature and reflected a cross-age design involving the collection of qualitative data from 915 students from the Midwest, United States. These qualitative data were analyzed for their content in an inductive manner, identifying student's conceptions. This content analysis was followed with a statistical analysis to determine the significance in the frequency of the identified student conceptions. Four categories emerged that reflected these students' conceptions. Based on these findings, we make curricular recommendations that build on the students' conceptions, the watershed concept, and the National Research Council (1996) Science Education Standards.

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