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A CROSS-AGE STUDY: A Cross-Age Study on the Understanding of Heat and Temperature

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Author(s): Selahattin GÖNEN | Serhat KOCAKAYA

Journal: Eurasian Journal of Physics and Chemistry Education
ISSN 1306-3049

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: physics education | misconceptions | heat | temperature

ABSTRACT
The aims of this study were considered below under three headings. At these headings; the first was to elicitmisconceptions that students had on the terms heat and temperature. The second was to understand howstudents’ prior learning affected their misconceptions. The third was to determine if students were able to make aconnection between their own knowledge and physics in everyday life. To achieve these aims, a paper andpenciltest composed of 14 multiple-chosen questions was designed, but only five questions related to heat andtemperature. The test was administered to 342 students from different grades that ranged from grade 6 withstudents aged 11-12 years to Grade 8 with students aged 14-15 years. For this research qualitative methods wereused. As a result of the analyses undertaken, it was found that students’ misunderstanding about the heat andtemperature influenced their knowledge about these terms. Moreover, it was found that students had difficultiesmaking connections between their knowledge and life experiences. Therefore, it was concluded that althoughstudents’ conceptions and misconceptions were acquired and stored, they occurred without ostensible linksbetween everyday life and school experiences. Furthermore, depending on the instruction students received andover time, it was deduced that their conceptual understanding showed a steady increase from Grade 6 to Grade 8,except in the case of Item 1.
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