UNDERSTANDING GLOBAL AND PERSONAL USE OF ENERGY

TitleUNDERSTANDING GLOBAL AND PERSONAL USE OF ENERGY
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsAndersson, B, Bach, F, Zetterqvist, A
JournalJournal of Baltic Science Education
Volume1
Issue2
Start Page4 - 18
Date PublishedOctober/2002
Type of ArticleOriginal article
ISSN1648-3898
Keywordsscience education, teaching programs
Abstract

In this article we report an investigation of some aspects of students’ understanding of the energy flow on earth and how people might economize on energy in their daily life. The method chosen is to give the students pen-and-paper faste tasks of the open-answer type. The written responses are analysed qualitatively. Categories and other details in the analysis are not decided in advance but formed through interaction with the actual replies. The investigation has been part of a Swedish national evaluation made in 1995 and 1998, mainly involving students aged 16 and 19. The results show, among other things, that students describe only a few steps and branches in the energy flow on earth, grossly underestimate man’s use of fossil energy and grossly overestimate the global use of nuclear energy. Students' answers concerning economizing on energy on the personal level concentrate on the use of electricity for lightin and housework. Curricular implications of results obtained are discussed, and the concept ‘orientation pattern’ is introduced as a tool that might help students improve their understanding of the world around them.

Refereed DesignationRefereed