Determining the Cognitive Structures of Geography Teacher Candidates on “Earthquake”

  •  Basturk Kaya    
  •  Caner Aladag    


The objective of this study is to determine the cognitive structures of the students of geography teaching department by identifying their conceptual frameworks about the concept of earthquake. A case study design from qualitative research approaches was used in this research. Sample group of the study constitutes 155 students from the Department of Geography Teaching who took the course of natural disasters. Free Word Association Test was used to collect the data. The data were evaluated according to the content analysis, categories were formed according to the results of this evaluation and frequencies and percentages of the response words in each category were calculated. A total of 9 categories were created according to their semantic associations. Some of them are; “concepts about earthquake, damages of the earthquake, a category of defining earthquake, types and causes of earthquakes, landforms caused by earthquakes and other effects” and they form the dominant categories. The frequencies and percentages of some categories are low such as; “The things that earthquake makes feel, regions where earthquakes happened before or there is a possibility to happen, people, institutions and organizations about earthquakes, helping to the victims of the earthquakes, factors affecting the safety of life and property in the earthquake”. In addition, this study revealed that students have some alternative concepts about earthquake.

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