Graduate Research and Discovery Symposium (GRADS)


Context Beliefs' Effect on Content Knolwedge of Rural Environmental Science Teachers


Cynthia M. Deaton and Michelle Cook

Document Type



Curriculum and Instruction

Publication Date

Spring 2013


Conceptual change theory shows that an increase in content knowledge is aided by a person’s previous conceptions. Rural community schools often have limited intellectual resources that could aid in conceptual change. This year-long project intended to provide intellectual resources to rural environmental science teachers in the southeastern United States by increasing their content knowledge. This study used a mixed methods model to correlate pre-content knowledge and context belief scores to post-content knowledge. Context beliefs were measured using the CBATs instrument; an environmental content test was used to measure content knowledge; and semi-structured blogs were used to allow participants to expound on their beliefs. Blog entries focused on teacher beliefs about science teaching and learning to better understand the correlation found between context beliefs and post-test content scores.

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