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Assessment of the 14- and 15-year-old Students’ Understanding of the Atmospheric Phenomena

Janja Majer, Miha Slapničar, Iztok Devetak


The main purpose of this study was to identify understanding of atmospheric pollution phenomena such as acid rain, global warming, ozone layer depletion and photochemical smog among grade 9 lower secondary school students (aged 14 to15), in all Slovenian regions. The research involves the development of a three-tier multiple-choice diagnostic test entitled the Atmospheric Pollution Phenomena Diagnostic Test (APPDiT). APPDiT is a 15-item diagnostic test comprising items for assessing students’ understanding and self-confidence of atmospheric pollution problems. The results reveal that the majority of the participants demonstrated a lack of knowledge or misconception about atmosphere pollution since the overall success rate on the APPDiT was 39.6%. In particular, only 36.7%, 5.1%, 42.7% or 19.1% of the students have adequate knowledge regarding understanding of the formation, consequences, and strategies to reduce acid rain, global warming, ozone layer depletion and photochemical smog, respectively. This shows a substantial students’ knowledge deficits related to atmosphere pollution at the end of the compulsory education in Slovenia.


Three-tier diagnostic test; atmospheric pollution; adequate knowledge; lack of knowledge; misconception; self-confidence

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Copyright (c) 2019 Janja Majer, Miha Slapničar, Iztok Devetak

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