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Beáta Kosztin Tóth: Investigation of the Development of the Concept of the Water Cycle Among Pupils in Years 2 and 4

One of the most important objectives in public education today is to develop certain skills and abilities which might help the next generation of adults live a full life in a knowledge-based society. The Rostock Model represents an international cooperative effort which began in 2004. Its primary goal is to improve the understanding and application of scientific concepts and environmental awareness. It places emphasis both on the social characteristics of learning and understanding and on the interactivity of learning. The present study spanned three years. Data collection was conducted at two different times (2006 and 2008), involving 292 pupils from Year 2 and 238 pupils from Year 4. Their ability of concept formation was investigated based on their analysis of ten items related to the concept of the water cycle. The results show that Year 4 pupils score lower in the ten-item test than Year 2 pupils, suggesting that Year 4 pupils forget the concept learnt in Year 2. Four items, a rise in temperature, evaporation, cloud and rain, appeared in the answers in each group, indicating the fundamental role of these elements in the concept. It was further found that pupils in the experimental group succeeded in following the ten-item concept more effectively than pupils in the control group. However, no large differences could be detected between the sub-samples concerning the whole concept, hence it may be assumed that the teaching method applied had positive effects on the development of the concept in the year when both groups learnt it according to the curriculum. Moreover, everyday words appeared in pupils’ explanations of the scientific concepts, indicating meaningful learning. However, some of the experimental group pupils only used the scientific concept of evaporation, thus confirming the effectiveness of the method applied

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 110. Number 2. 167-180. (2010)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Tóthné Kosztin Beáta, Debreceni Egyetem, Természettudományi és Technológiai Kar, Biológia és Környezettan Szakmódszertan Rész¬leg, H–4010 Debrecen, Egyetem tér 1. Pf.: 85.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia