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This work is part of a larger program aiming at the introduction of innovative ways of teaching and learning science in primary education. Seven primary schools, with eleven experimental classes (N = 229) and eight control classes (N = 170) participated. A written questionnaire was answered by the 11-12 years-old students of the experimental group before and after a nine-hour constructivistic teaching intervention. The same questionnaire was also answered at the beginning by the control group. Prior to the intervention, the majority of students considered the phenomenon of pollution a local event without conceiving its global dimension. They also believed that when air pollutants and waste go in the atmosphere or in water they cause only physical but not chemical phenomena. After the intervention, the students’ answers improved substantially. Concerning air pollution, students came to realise that fumes and pollutants can come from (and spread) everywhere because the molecules of the pollutants get diffused in the atmosphere, are diluted and transferred everywhere. With respect to water pollution, students also realised that waste molecules are diffused or diluted into water and can be transferred everywhere. In addition, after the intervention students thought that not only physical but also chemical phenomena can take place in the air (acid rain) or in the water. On the contrary in the control group, students’ initial ideas resisted teaching and did not improve to more scientific ones. [Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. Eur.: 2001, 2, 31-41]
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