- Volume 13 Issue 2
Four science concepts were selected from high school earth science textbook to investigate the differences in students knowledges activated in laboratory and earth environmemtal contexts. Two items, one is for laboratory and the other for earth environmental contexts, were develped for each selected concept. Students' responses were analyzed in terms of 'Common Activated Knowledges' (CAK), 'Specific Activated Knowledges'(SAK) across students' cognitive frames, grades and sexes. As contextual differences of the problems increased, gender contributed more than other variables to the frequencies of activating CAK and SAK. Context effects were also reported across cognitive frames for CAK, but SAK became more avtivated when the contextual differences of the items become smaller. As a whole, students with laboratory cognitive frames showed more significant context effects than others. Students in 11th grade, with scientific frames and with earth science cognitive frames showed relatively small context effects. The results of the study showed that sciene concepts learned in a laboratory context are not usually transferred spontaneously to earth environmental contexts. Special instructional strategies should developed to overcome the context effects.