The Effectiveness of the Geospatial Curriculum Approach on Urban Middle-Level Students’ Climate Change Understandings
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- Bodzin, A.M. & Fu, Q. J Sci Educ Technol (2014) 23: 575. doi:10.1007/s10956-013-9478-0
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Climate change science is a challenging topic for student learning. This quantitative study examined the effectiveness of a geospatial curriculum approach to promote climate change science understandings in an urban school district with eighth-grade students and investigated whether teacher- and student-level factors accounted for students’ climate change knowledge achievement. The participants included 12 science teachers and 956 eighth-grade students. Data included a pre- and posttest climate change assessment measures for both teachers and students and a teacher measure of Geospatial Science-Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge. Paired-sample t tests revealed statistically significant gains from pretest to posttest on their climate change knowledge (p < .001; effect sizes being large on multiple-choice items and medium on the open-ended response assessment). Both ordinary least squares (OLS) multiple regression and 2-level hierarchical linear modeling found that students’ initial climate change knowledge and gender were significant predictors for students’ posttest scores, p < .05. Students’ pretest scores were the strongest significant predictor of the posttest scores, p < .001. Neither the teachers’ climate change knowledge nor their Geospatial Science-Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge had significant association with the students’ posttest scores. Teaching years was a significant predictor for students’ posttest scores in OLS regression (p < .001). The findings provide support that a geospatial curriculum approach is an effective science curriculum approach for learners in urban middle-level education.