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Probing Thai Freshmen Science Students’ Conceptions of Heat and Temperature Using Open-Ended Questions: A Case Study

Author(s): Choksin Tanahoung | Ratchapak Chitaree | Chernchok Soankwan

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

Volume: 2;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 82;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Conceptions | Heat and Temperature | Open-Ended Question

The purpose of this study was to investigate the alternative conceptions held by Thai first year science students. A total of 334 first year science students have been tested before the regular first year university instruction on the thermal physics topic began. The first open-ended question for investigating students’ conceptions on term temperature, heat, latent heat, specific heat capacity and thermal equilibrium. The second open-ended question for investigating level of students’ conceptions of heat conduction. Students’ conceptions in each concept were identified into different categories and levels of understanding. The study showed that students’ written responses have some common specific misconceptions and different levels of understandings. Most students were unable to offer a correct reason for their answers. The results of this study may imply the teaching style in Thai high schools that may be problematic. In addition, the students’ misconceptions found could be used as a guide for developing proper teaching methods on the introductory physics course especially in the topic of thermal physics.
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