Science knowledge, world views, and information sources in social and cultural contexts

Making sense after a natural disaster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study examined children's views of the world after they personally experienced a natural disaster - specifically, Hurricane Andrew in South Florida during the summer of 1992. The study addressed three issues: (a) children's knowledge of the hurricane; (b) children's views of the world, especially the causality of the hurricane; and (c) children's sources of information in social and cultural contexts. The study was conducted in the early spring of 1994. It involved 127 fourth and fifth grade students in two elementary schools located in areas that were particularly hard hit by the hurricane. The student sample was representative of various ethnic, socioeconomic, and gender backgrounds. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods were used for data collection and analysis. Results indicate significant differences as well as similarities in children's knowledge, world views, and information sources by ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and gender. Implications for promoting scientific literacy for all students, including socially and culturally diverse students, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-219
Number of pages33
JournalAmerican Educational Research Journal
Volume36
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1999

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natural disaster
science
student
gender
quantitative research
causality
source of information
qualitative method
elementary school
research method
qualitative research
social status
data analysis
ethnicity
school grade
literacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

Cite this

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abstract = "This study examined children's views of the world after they personally experienced a natural disaster - specifically, Hurricane Andrew in South Florida during the summer of 1992. The study addressed three issues: (a) children's knowledge of the hurricane; (b) children's views of the world, especially the causality of the hurricane; and (c) children's sources of information in social and cultural contexts. The study was conducted in the early spring of 1994. It involved 127 fourth and fifth grade students in two elementary schools located in areas that were particularly hard hit by the hurricane. The student sample was representative of various ethnic, socioeconomic, and gender backgrounds. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods were used for data collection and analysis. Results indicate significant differences as well as similarities in children's knowledge, world views, and information sources by ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and gender. Implications for promoting scientific literacy for all students, including socially and culturally diverse students, are discussed.",
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