Renewable Energy Resources: How can Science Education Foster an Appropriate Understanding?

Research output: Contributions to collected editions/worksArticle in conference proceedingsResearch


The increasing use of energy and its impacts on the atmosphere, the oceans, the soil and the biosphere is one of the main arguments that have been put forward for the Anthropocene age. The energy transition from non-renewable to renewable energy resources is a core strategy to avoid greenhouse gas emissions that contribute tothe human-induced climate crisis, which the UN considers a major challenge for politics and society. To become scientifically literate citizens, students need to actively engage with this topic. To effectively implement the energy transition in science education, we need to know about students’ learning demands. Using the model of educational reconstruction,we gathered and comparedconceptions of 8th-grade students and scientistsconcerning non-renewable and renewable energy resources. For this,we conducted guideline-based, problem-focused interviews with 27 students and analysed sections of two scientific reports forscientists’ conceptions. Our results indicatethat students’ and scientists’ conceptions can be structured in sixcategories(availability, consequences of use, producibility, conservation, naturalness, and costs). These categories can be helpful to design interventions for science classrooms.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationElectronic Proceedings of the ESERA 2017 Conference : Research, Practice and Collaboration in Science Education
EditorsO. Finlayson, E. McLoughlin, S. Erduran, P. Childs
Number of pages14
Place of PublicationDublin
PublisherEuropean Science Education Research Association
Publication date2018
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-873769-84-3
Publication statusPublished - 2018