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Promoting Transfer of Ecosystems Concepts

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IJESE Volume 11, Number 18, ISSN 1306-3065


This study examines to what extent students transferred their knowledge from a familiar aquatic ecosystem to an unfamiliar rainforest ecosystem after participating in a technology-rich inquiry curriculum. We coded students' drawings for components of important ecosystems concepts at pre- and posttest. Our analysis examined the extent to which each of the drawings showed evidence of understanding of photosynthesis, cellular respiration and decomposition. The results demonstrate that students experienced greater learning gains in aquatic systems (the learning measure) than in the rainforest (the transfer measure). However, they also made significant learning gains on the rainforest task from pre- to posttest, suggesting that students transferred some knowledge from one system to another. Further research is needed to examine a wider range of relevant concepts and more distant contexts.


Yu, Y., Hmelo-Silver, C.E., Jordan, R., Eberbach, C. & Sinha, S. (2016). Promoting Transfer of Ecosystems Concepts. International Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 11(18), 11127-11148. Retrieved April 20, 2021 from .

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