Science.gov

Sample records for student conceptual understanding

  1. Determining Students' Conceptual Understanding Level of Thermodynamics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saricayir, Hakan; Ay, Selahattin; Comek, Arif; Cansiz, Gokhan; Uce, Musa

    2016-01-01

    Science students find heat, temperature, enthalpy and energy in chemical reactions to be some of the most difficult subjects. It is crucial to define their conceptual understanding level in these subjects so that educators can build upon this knowledge and introduce new thermodynamics concepts. This paper reports conceptual understanding levels of…

  2. Assessing Students' Conceptual Understanding of Solubility Equilibrium.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raviolo, Andres

    2001-01-01

    Presents a problem on solubility equilibrium which involves macroscopic, microscopic, and symbolic levels of representation as a resource for the evaluation of students, and allows for assessment as to whether students have acquired an adequate conceptual understanding of the phenomenon. Also diagnoses difficulties with regard to previousÖ

  3. University student conceptual resources for understanding energy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sabo, Hannah C.; Goodhew, Lisa M.; Robertson, Amy D.

    2016-06-01

    We report some of the common, prevalent conceptual resources that students used to reason about energy, based on our analysis of written responses to questions given to 807 introductory physics students. These resources include, for example, associating forms of energy with indicators, relating forces and energy, and representing energy quantitatively. This research responds to a need for large-scale, resources-oriented research on students' conceptual understanding and has the potential to support the development of an underexplored dimension of pedagogical content knowledge-knowledge of student resources for understanding energy. Our aim is to promote instructor take-up of the resources theory of knowledge, and we suggest a number of ways in which instructors might capitalize on the resources we report.

  4. Conceptual Learning: Enhancing Student Understanding of Physiology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waltz, Micah J.

    Students are leaving undergraduate science programs without the knowledge and skills they are expected to have. This is apparent in professional programs, such as medical and veterinary school, where students do not possess the critical thinking skills necessary to be successful. Physiology is a required discipline for these professional programs and often before, as a pre-requisite. Physiology classrooms are an excellent place to teach critical thinking skills because the content consists of integrated processes. Therefore, in one study, it was investigated whether focusing on physiological concepts improved student understanding of physiology in both a non-physiological science course, Invertebrate Zoology, and in an undergraduate physiology course. An educational intervention was used in Invertebrate Zoology, where students were exposed to human physiology concepts that were similar to comparative physiology concepts they had learned during the semester. A pre-/post-test was used to assess learning gains. In a second study, the use of multimedia file usage was correlated to student exam scores in a physiology course. This was done to see if providing additional study materials that focused on specific concepts improved student understanding, as assessed using exam scores. Overall these studies indicate that encouraging assimilation of new concepts that expand upon material from lecture may help students gain a more complete understanding of a concept. The integration of these concepts into pre-existing conceptual frameworks may serve to teach students valuable critical thinking skills such as evaluation of new ideas within their current understanding and synthesizing the new content with the existing information. Focusing on this type of conceptual learning may enable students to apply content knowledge and think through problems. Additionally, focusing on concepts may enable students to improve their understanding of material without being overwhelmed by content.

  5. Evaluation of Students' Conceptual Understanding of Malaria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cheong, Irene Poh-Ai; Treagust, David; Kyeleve, Iorhemen J.; Oh, Peck-Yoke

    2010-01-01

    In this study, a two-tier diagnostic test for understanding malaria was developed and administered to 314 Bruneian students in Year 12 and in a nursing diploma course. The validity, reliability, difficulty level, discriminant indices, and reading ability of the test were examined and found to be acceptable in terms of measuring students

  6. Evaluation of Students' Conceptual Understanding of Malaria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cheong, Irene Poh-Ai; Treagust, David; Kyeleve, Iorhemen J.; Oh, Peck-Yoke

    2010-01-01

    In this study, a two-tier diagnostic test for understanding malaria was developed and administered to 314 Bruneian students in Year 12 and in a nursing diploma course. The validity, reliability, difficulty level, discriminant indices, and reading ability of the test were examined and found to be acceptable in terms of measuring students'…

  7. Assessing Undergraduate Students' Conceptual Understanding and Confidence of Electromagnetics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leppavirta, Johanna

    2012-01-01

    The study examines how students' conceptual understanding changes from high confidence with incorrect conceptions to high confidence with correct conceptions when reasoning about electromagnetics. The Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism test is weighted with students' self-rated confidence on each item in order to infer how strongly…

  8. Assessing Undergraduate Students' Conceptual Understanding and Confidence of Electromagnetics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leppavirta, Johanna

    2012-01-01

    The study examines how students' conceptual understanding changes from high confidence with incorrect conceptions to high confidence with correct conceptions when reasoning about electromagnetics. The Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism test is weighted with students' self-rated confidence on each item in order to infer how stronglyÖ

  9. The Conceptual Understanding of Sound by Students with Visual Impairments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wild, Tiffany A.; Hilson, Margilee P.; Hobson, Sally M.

    2013-01-01

    Introduction: The purpose of the study presented here was to understand and describe the misconceptions of students with visual impairments about sound and instructional techniques that may help them to develop a scientific understanding. Methods: Semistructured interview-centered pre-and posttests were used to identify the students' conceptualÖ

  10. Promoting Conceptual Change in First Year Students' Understanding of Evaporation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Costu, Bayram; Ayas, Alipasa; Niaz, Mansoor

    2010-01-01

    We constructed the PDEODE (Predict-Discuss-Explain-Observe-Discuss-Explain) teaching strategy, a variant of the classical POE (Predict-Observe-Explain) activity, to promote conceptual change, and investigated its effectiveness on student understanding of the evaporation concept. The sample consisted of 52 first year students in a primary science…

  11. Facilitating Conceptual Change in Students' Understanding of Electrochemistry.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Niaz, Mansoor

    2002-01-01

    Constructs a teaching strategy to facilitate conceptual change in freshman students' understanding of electrochemistry. Provides students with the correct response along with alternative responses (teaching experiments), producing a conflicting situation that is conducive to an equilibration of their cognitive structures. Concludes that the…

  12. Students' Attitudes toward and Conceptual Understanding of Chemical Instrumentation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Larry S.; Nakhleh, Mary B.; Nash, John J.; Meyer, Jeanne A.

    2004-01-01

    Students' attitudes toward and conceptual understanding of chemical instrumentation is surveyed. The study shows that, in general, the students' attitudes toward using instrumentation in the lab is quite positive and they felt that using instrumentation in the lab allowed them not only to connect "chemistry" and the "real world", but also to…

  13. Introductory college chemistry students' understanding of stoichiometry: Connections between conceptual and computational understandings and instruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolfer, Adam Joseph

    Previous research has shown a gap between chemistry students' conceptual and computational understandings of chemistry topics such as gas laws, equilibrium, and reactions. This qualitative study examined the conceptual and computational understandings of stoichiometry of college students enrolled in a large lecture Introductory Chemistry course. Factors that might influence students' understandings were examined to determine their influence. Possible influential factors examined included students' prior coursework, and their current chemistry instruction. Instruction on stoichiometry was examined through classroom observations, an instructor interview, and review of the course resources. Course exams and out-of-class assignments were also examined for their influence on students. Student volunteers (n = 6) were interviewed to gauge their understanding of stoichiometry. Students' understanding was assessed through tasks that included a card sort, solving conceptual and computational problems, drawing representations of reactions, and answering questions concerning their philosophy of learning chemistry. Results indicated that students had an acceptable understanding of the particulate nature of matter but did not apply this knowledge to problem solving. The students were most comfortable solving computational problems where they could apply algorithms learned from their instructor. The students also applied algorithms in answering conceptual problems. There appeared to be a connection between the students' conceptual structures of stoichiometry and their ability to solve computational problems. The lack of conceptual questions in assessment appeared to be a major contributing factor in the students' lack of conceptual understanding because the students discounted the importance of learning aspects of stoichiometry that were not included on exams. Other contributing factors included the computational focus of instruction on limiting reactant problems, textbook presentation, and student exercises.

  14. Introductory College Chemistry Students' Understanding of Stoichiometry: Connections between Conceptual and Computational Understandings and Instruction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolfer, Adam J.; Lederman, Norman G.

    Many studies of college chemistry students have found a gap between students' success in solving computational chemistry problems and their success in solving conceptual chemistry problems. This paper examines college students' understanding of the concept of stoichiometry, the particulate nature of matter, and chemistry problem solving. This…

  15. Longitudinal study of student conceptual understanding in electricity and magnetism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pollock, S. J.

    2009-12-01

    We have investigated the long-term effect of student-centered instruction at the freshman level on juniors‚Äô performance on a conceptual survey of Electricity and Magnetism (E&M). We measured student performance on a research-based conceptual instrument‚ÄĒthe Brief Electricity & Magnetism Assessment (BEMA)-over a period of 8 semesters (2004-2007). Concurrently, we introduced the University of Washington's Tutorials in Introductory Physics as part of our standard freshman curriculum. Freshmen took the BEMA before and after this Tutorial-based introductory course, and juniors took it after completion of their traditional junior-level E&M I and E&M II courses. We find that, on average, individual BEMA scores do not change significantly after completion of the introductory course‚ÄĒneither from the freshman to the junior year, nor from upper-division E&M I to E&M II. However, we find that juniors who had completed a non-Tutorial freshman course scored significantly lower on the (post-upper-division) BEMA than those who had completed the reformed freshman course‚ÄĒindicating a long-term positive impact of freshman Tutorials on conceptual understanding.

  16. Understanding Genetics: Analysis of Secondary Students' Conceptual Status

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tsui, Chi-Yan; Treagust, David F.

    2007-01-01

    This article explores the conceptual change of students in Grades 10 and 12 in three Australian senior high schools when the teachers included computer multimedia to a greater or lesser extent in their teaching of a genetics course. The study, underpinned by a multidimensional conceptual-change framework, used an interpretive approach and a…

  17. Linear Algebra Revisited: An Attempt to Understand Students' Conceptual Difficulties

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Britton, Sandra; Henderson, Jenny

    2009-01-01

    This article looks at some of the conceptual difficulties that students have in a linear algebra course. An overview of previous research in this area is given, and the various theories that have been espoused regarding the reasons that students find linear algebra so difficult are discussed. Student responses to two questions testing the ability…

  18. Linear Algebra Revisited: An Attempt to Understand Students' Conceptual Difficulties

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Britton, Sandra; Henderson, Jenny

    2009-01-01

    This article looks at some of the conceptual difficulties that students have in a linear algebra course. An overview of previous research in this area is given, and the various theories that have been espoused regarding the reasons that students find linear algebra so difficult are discussed. Student responses to two questions testing the abilityÖ

  19. On The Conceptual Understanding Of `Work Done' For Secondary One Students In Singapore

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munirah, S. K.; Foong, S. K.; Lee, P.

    2010-07-01

    We report the preliminary findings on students' conceptual understanding of `Work Done' within the Secondary One science syllabus in Singapore. We group our findings into two main categories, `Students' Preconceptions' and `Students' Understanding of Concepts'. This research surfaces key issues in the young students' learning journeys in science. Knowing these students' preconceptions and conceptual understanding of science concepts after instruction should assist science educators in developing pedagogical approaches and the preparation of lesson packages that will help students overcome their learning difficulties.

  20. Teaching for Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kang, Nam-Hwa; Howren, Carrie

    2004-01-01

    One of the most difficult jobs of elementary school teachers is teaching science for conceptual understanding. Conceptual understanding requires students to organize facts and ideas into a meaningful concept in science. Facts and concepts form webs that can help students make connections between the concepts of science and their experiences.…

  1. Crafting an International Study of Students' Conceptual Understanding of Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slater, Stephanie; Bretones, P. S.; McKinnon, D.; Schleigh, S.; Slater, T. F.; Astronomy, Center; Education Research, Physics

    2013-01-01

    Large international investigations into the learning of science, such as the TIMSS and PISA studies, have been enlightening with regard to effective instructional practices. Data from these studies revealed weaknesses and promising practices within nations' educational systems, with evidence to suggest that these studies have led to international reforms in science education. However, these reforms have focused on the general characteristics of teaching and learning across all sciences. While extraordinarily useful, these studies have provided limited insight for any given content domain. To date, there has been no systematic effort to measure individual's conceptual astronomy understanding across the globe. This paper describes our motivations for a coordinated, multinational study of astronomy understanding. First, reformed education is based upon knowing the preexisting knowledge state of our students. The data from this study will be used to assist international astronomy education and public outreach (EPO) professionals in their efforts to improve practices across global settings. Second, while the US astronomy EPO community has a long history of activity, research has established that many practices are ineffective in the face of robust misconceptions (e.g.: seasons). Within an international sample we hope to find subpopulations that do not conform to our existing knowledge of student misconceptions, leading us to cultural or educational practices that hint at alternative, effective means of instruction. Finally, it is our hope that this first venture into large-scale disciplinary collaboration will help us to craft a set of common languages and practices, building capacity and leading toward long-term cooperation across the international EPO community. This project is sponsored and managed by the Center for Astronomy & Physics Education Research (CAPER), in collaboration with members of the International Astronomical Union-Commission 46. We are actively welcoming and seeking partners in this work.

  2. Probing Students' Understanding of Some Conceptual Themes in General Relativity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bandyopadhyay, Atanu; Kumar, Arvind

    2010-01-01

    This work is an attempt to see how physics undergraduates view the basic ideas of general relativity when they are exposed to the topic in a standard introductory course. Since the subject is conceptually and technically difficult, we adopted a "case studies" approach, focusing in depth on about six students who had just finished a one semester…

  3. The Conceptual Understanding of Sound by Students with Visual Impairments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wild, Tiffany A.; Hilson, Margilee P.; Hobson, Sally M.

    2013-01-01

    Introduction: The purpose of the study presented here was to understand and describe the misconceptions of students with visual impairments about sound and instructional techniques that may help them to develop a scientific understanding. Methods: Semistructured interview-centered pre-and posttests were used to identify the students' conceptual…

  4. Students' Conceptual Understanding: Qualitative Evidence in Concept Maps.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Enger, Sandra K.

    When students use concept maps to construct and represent their understandings, these concept maps can be analyzed for representation of understanding from both quantitative and qualitative perspectives. In this study, a qualitative approach was utilized to extend the interpretations from the quantitative analysis of students' conceptual…

  5. Enhancing Students' Understanding of Photosynthesis and Respiration in Plant through Conceptual Change Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yenilmez, Ayse; Tekkaya, Ceren

    2006-01-01

    This study investigated the effectiveness of combining conceptual change text and discussion web strategies on students' understanding of photosynthesis and respiration in plants. Students' conceptual understanding of photosynthesis and respiration in plants was measured using the two-tier diagnostic test developed by Haslam and Treagust (1987,Ö

  6. Enhancing Students' Understanding of Photosynthesis and Respiration in Plant through Conceptual Change Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yenilmez, Ayse; Tekkaya, Ceren

    2006-01-01

    This study investigated the effectiveness of combining conceptual change text and discussion web strategies on students' understanding of photosynthesis and respiration in plants. Students' conceptual understanding of photosynthesis and respiration in plants was measured using the two-tier diagnostic test developed by Haslam and Treagust (1987,…

  7. Mapping Conceptual Understanding of Algebraic Concepts: An Exploratory Investigation Involving Grade 8 Chinese Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jin, Haiyue; Wong, Khoon Yoong

    2015-01-01

    Conceptual understanding is a major aim of mathematics education, and concept map has been used in non-mathematics research to uncover the relations among concepts held by students. This article presents the results of using concept map to assess conceptual understanding of basic algebraic concepts held by a group of 48 grade 8 Chinese students

  8. Mapping Conceptual Understanding of Algebraic Concepts: An Exploratory Investigation Involving Grade 8 Chinese Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jin, Haiyue; Wong, Khoon Yoong

    2015-01-01

    Conceptual understanding is a major aim of mathematics education, and concept map has been used in non-mathematics research to uncover the relations among concepts held by students. This article presents the results of using concept map to assess conceptual understanding of basic algebraic concepts held by a group of 48 grade 8 Chinese students.…

  9. Secondary Students' Conceptual Understanding of Engineering as a Field

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Montfort, Devlin B.; Brown, Shane; Whritenour, Victoria

    2013-01-01

    Researchers have long been interested in how to recruit and retain more and more diverse students into engineering programs. One consistent challenge in this research is understanding the impacts of interventions from the point of view of the student, and how their preconceptions may influence that effectiveness. This study investigated how…

  10. Secondary Students' Conceptual Understanding of Engineering as a Field

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Montfort, Devlin B.; Brown, Shane; Whritenour, Victoria

    2013-01-01

    Researchers have long been interested in how to recruit and retain more and more diverse students into engineering programs. One consistent challenge in this research is understanding the impacts of interventions from the point of view of the student, and how their preconceptions may influence that effectiveness. This study investigated howÖ

  11. The Effect of a Conceptual Change Approach on Understanding of Students' Chemical Equilibrium Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Atasoy, Basri; Akkus, Huseyin; Kadayifci, Hakki

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of a conceptual change approach over traditional instruction on tenth-grade students' conceptual achievement in understanding chemical equilibrium. The study was conducted in two classes of the same teacher with participation of a total of 44 tenth-grade students. In this study, aÖ

  12. The Effect of a Conceptual Change Approach on Understanding of Students' Chemical Equilibrium Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Atasoy, Basri; Akkus, Huseyin; Kadayifci, Hakki

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of a conceptual change approach over traditional instruction on tenth-grade students' conceptual achievement in understanding chemical equilibrium. The study was conducted in two classes of the same teacher with participation of a total of 44 tenth-grade students. In this study, a…

  13. A Conceptual Change Teaching Strategy To Facilitate High School Students' Understanding of Electrochemistry.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Niaz, Mansoor; Chacon, Eleazar

    2003-01-01

    Describes a study that used a teaching strategy based on two teaching experiments which could facilitate students' conceptual understanding of electrochemistry. Involves two sections (n=29 and n=28) of 10th grade high school students in Venezuela. Concludes that the teaching experiments facilitated student understanding of electrochemistry.…

  14. Analogy-Integrated e-Learning Module: Facilitating Students' Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Florida, Jennifer

    2012-01-01

    The study deals with the development of an analogy-integrated e-learning module on Cellular Respiration, which is intended to facilitate conceptual understanding of students with different brain hemisphere dominance and learning styles. The module includes eight analogies originally conceptualized following the specific steps used to prepare…

  15. Effect of Technology Enhanced Conceptual Change Texts on Students' Understanding of Buoyant Force

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ozkan, Gulbin; Selcuk, Gamze Sezgin

    2015-01-01

    In this study, the effect of technology enhanced conceptual change texts on elementary school students' understanding of buoyant force was investigated. The conceptual change texts (written forms) used in this study are proven for effectiveness and are enriched by using technology support in this study. These texts were tried out on two groups. A…

  16. Analogy-Integrated e-Learning Module: Facilitating Students' Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Florida, Jennifer

    2012-01-01

    The study deals with the development of an analogy-integrated e-learning module on Cellular Respiration, which is intended to facilitate conceptual understanding of students with different brain hemisphere dominance and learning styles. The module includes eight analogies originally conceptualized following the specific steps used to prepareÖ

  17. Testing the Development of Student Conceptual and Visualization Understanding in Quantum Mechanics through the Undergraduate Career.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cataloglu, E.; Robinett, R. W.

    2002-01-01

    Describes an assessment instrument designed to test conceptual and visual understanding of quantum theory, probe various aspects of student understanding of some core ideas of quantum mechanics, and investigate how students develop over the undergraduate curriculum. (Contains 52 references.) (Author/YDS)

  18. Effect of Conceptual Change Approach on Students' Understanding of Reaction Rate Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kingir, Sevgi; Geban, Omer

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of conceptual change text oriented instruction compared to traditional instruction on 10th grade students' understanding of reaction rate concepts. 45 students from two classes of the same teacher in a public high school participated in this study. Students in the experimental groupÖ

  19. Impact of Additional Guidance in Science Education on Primary Students' Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Decristan, Jasmin; Hondrich, A. Lena; B√ľttner, Gerhard; Hertel, Silke; Klieme, Eckhard; Kunter, Mareike; L√ľhken, Arnim; Adl-Amini, Katja; Djakovic, Sanna-K.; Mannel, Susanne; Naumann, Alexander; Hardy, Ilonca

    2015-01-01

    A cognitive and a guidance dimension can describe the support of students' conceptual understanding in inquiry-based science education. The role of guidance for student learning has been intensively discussed. Furthermore, inquiry learning may pose particular challenges to students with low language proficiency. The present intervention in primary…

  20. Effect of Conceptual Change Approach on Students' Understanding of Reaction Rate Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kingir, Sevgi; Geban, Omer

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of conceptual change text oriented instruction compared to traditional instruction on 10th grade students' understanding of reaction rate concepts. 45 students from two classes of the same teacher in a public high school participated in this study. Students in the experimental group…

  1. Constraints on Conceptual Change: How Elementary Teachers' Attitudes and Understanding of Conceptual Change Relate to Changes in Students' Conceptions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fulmer, Gavin W.

    2013-11-01

    Like their students, teachers may hold a variety of na√Įve conceptions that have been hypothesized to limit their ability to support students' learning. This study examines whether changes in elementary students' conceptions are related to their teachers' content knowledge, attitudes, and understanding of conceptual change. The study takes place in the context of the adoption of a new unit on seasonal change in which students build and use sundials to observe seasonal differences in the apparent motion of the Sun across the sky. A mixed-method approach is used. Data sources include pre- and post-tests for students and teacher interviews and questionnaires. Results indicate that changes in students' conceptions may be related to their teachers' knowledge of the content, attitudes toward science, and understanding of conceptual change. One teacher had low attitude toward science and limited knowledge of conceptual change. After instruction, her students' responses became less accurate but more homogeneous than before instruction. The other teacher had high attitude and moderate knowledge of conceptual change. Her students showed gains from pre- to post-test, including responses that were more scientifically accurate than the teachers' initial answers.

  2. Using Art-Based Chemistry Activities to Improve Students' Conceptual Understanding in Chemistry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Danipog, Dennis L.; Ferido, Marlene B.

    2011-01-01

    This study aimed to determine the effects of art-based chemistry activities (ABCA) on high school students' conceptual understanding in chemistry. The study used the pretest-posttest control group design. A total of 64 third-year high school students from two different chemistry classes participated in the study. One class was exposed to art-based…

  3. Cross-Grade Comparison of Students' Conceptual Understanding with Lenses in Geometric Optics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tural, G.

    2015-01-01

    Students commonly find the field of physics difficult. Therefore, they generally have learning problems. One of the subjects with which they have difficulties is optics within a physics discipline. This study aims to determine students' conceptual understanding levels at different education levels relating to lenses in geometric optics. A…

  4. Thai Grade 10 and 11 Students' Conceptual Understanding and Ability to Solve Stoichiometry Problems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dahsah, Chanyah; Coll, Richard K.

    2007-01-01

    Stoichiometry and related concepts are an important part of student learning in chemistry. In this interpretive-based inquiry, we investigated Thai Grade 10 and 11 students' conceptual understanding and ability to solve numerical problems for stoichiometry-related concepts. Ninety-seven participants completed a purpose-designed survey instrument…

  5. Effectiveness of Conceptual Change Text Oriented Instruction on Students' Understanding of Cellular Respiration Concepts.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cakir, Ozlem S.; Yuruk, Nejla; Geban, Omer

    The purpose of the study is to compare the effectiveness of conceptual change text oriented instruction and traditional instruction on students' understanding of cellular respiration concepts and their attitudes toward biology as a school subject. The sample of this study consisted of 84 eleventh-grade students from the 4 classes of a high school.…

  6. Effectiveness of Conceptual Change Text-Oriented Instruction on Students' Understanding of Cellular Respiration Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cakirt, Ozlem S.; Geban, Omer; Yuruk, Nejla

    2002-01-01

    This study investigated the effect of conceptual change text-oriented instruction over traditional instruction on students' understanding of cellular respiration concepts and their attitudes toward biology as a school subject. The sample of this study consisted of 84 eleventh-grade students from four classes of a high school. Two of the classes…

  7. An Epistemological Inquiry into Organic Chemistry Education: Exploration of Undergraduate Students' Conceptual Understanding of Functional Groups

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Akkuzu, Nalan; Uyulgan, Melis Arzu

    2016-01-01

    This study sought to determine the levels of conceptual understanding of undergraduate students regarding organic compounds within different functional groups. A total of 60 students who were enrolled in the Department of Secondary Science and Mathematics Education of a Faculty of Education at a state university in Turkey and who had followed an…

  8. Argumentation and Students' Conceptual Understanding of Properties and Behaviors of Gases

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aydeniz, Mehmet; Pabuccu, Aybuke; Cetin, Pinar Seda; Kaya, Ebru

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of argumentation-based pedagogy on college students' conceptual understanding of properties and behaviors of gases. The sample consists of 108 students (52 in the control group and 56 in the intervention group) drawn from 2 general chemistry college courses taught by the same instructor. Data…

  9. Students' Perceptions and Development of Conceptual Understanding Regarding Trigonometry and Trigonometric Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cetin, Omer Faruk

    2015-01-01

    This study aims to analyse university level mathematics education students' perceptions on conceptual understanding of trigonometry and trigonometric functions and their content development of these concepts. A case study was conducted with 90 freshman students of Elementary Mathematics Department. The data were gathered via a scale; they…

  10. Thai Grade 10 and 11 Students' Conceptual Understanding and Ability to Solve Stoichiometry Problems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dahsah, Chanyah; Coll, Richard K.

    2007-01-01

    Stoichiometry and related concepts are an important part of student learning in chemistry. In this interpretive-based inquiry, we investigated Thai Grade 10 and 11 students' conceptual understanding and ability to solve numerical problems for stoichiometry-related concepts. Ninety-seven participants completed a purpose-designed survey instrumentÖ

  11. Effectiveness of Conceptual Change Text Oriented Instruction on Students' Understanding of Cellular Respiration Concepts.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cakir, Ozlem S.; Yuruk, Nejla; Geban, Omer

    The purpose of the study is to compare the effectiveness of conceptual change text oriented instruction and traditional instruction on students' understanding of cellular respiration concepts and their attitudes toward biology as a school subject. The sample of this study consisted of 84 eleventh-grade students from the 4 classes of a high school.Ö

  12. Effectiveness of Conceptual Change Text-Oriented Instruction on Students' Understanding of Cellular Respiration Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cakirt, Ozlem S.; Geban, Omer; Yuruk, Nejla

    2002-01-01

    This study investigated the effect of conceptual change text-oriented instruction over traditional instruction on students' understanding of cellular respiration concepts and their attitudes toward biology as a school subject. The sample of this study consisted of 84 eleventh-grade students from four classes of a high school. Two of the classesÖ

  13. Using Art-Based Chemistry Activities to Improve Students' Conceptual Understanding in Chemistry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Danipog, Dennis L.; Ferido, Marlene B.

    2011-01-01

    This study aimed to determine the effects of art-based chemistry activities (ABCA) on high school students' conceptual understanding in chemistry. The study used the pretest-posttest control group design. A total of 64 third-year high school students from two different chemistry classes participated in the study. One class was exposed to art-basedÖ

  14. An Epistemological Inquiry into Organic Chemistry Education: Exploration of Undergraduate Students' Conceptual Understanding of Functional Groups

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Akkuzu, Nalan; Uyulgan, Melis Arzu

    2016-01-01

    This study sought to determine the levels of conceptual understanding of undergraduate students regarding organic compounds within different functional groups. A total of 60 students who were enrolled in the Department of Secondary Science and Mathematics Education of a Faculty of Education at a state university in Turkey and who had followed anÖ

  15. Using Portfolios To Assess Students' Conceptual Understanding of Flotation and Buoyancy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Erduran, Sibel; Duschl, Richard A.

    The research described in this paper investigates the use of portfolio assessment techniques in middle school science classrooms. It explores how alternative assessment frameworks, such as portfolios, can be used by the classroom teacher and the students as an indicator of students' conceptual understanding and to facilitate changes in science…

  16. Improving Students' Conceptual Understanding of Conductors and Insulators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bilak, Joshua; Singh, Chandralekha

    2007-11-01

    We examine the difficulties that introductory physics students, undergraduate physics majors, and physics graduate students have with concepts related to conductors and insulators covered in introductory physics by giving written tests and interviewing a subset of students. We find that even graduate students have serious difficulties with these concepts. We develop tutorials related to these topics and evaluate their effectiveness by comparing the performance on written pre-/post-tests and interviews of students who received traditional instruction vs. those who learned using tutorials.

  17. Facilitating Conceptual Change in Ninth Grade Students' Understanding of Human Circulatory System Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alkhawaldeh, Salem A.

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of the conceptual change text oriented instruction over traditionally designed instruction on ninth grade students' understanding of the human circulatory system concepts, and their retention of this understanding. The subjects of this study consist of 73 ninth grade female students…

  18. Can an egg-dropping race enhance students' conceptual understanding of air resistance?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Yeung Chung; Kwok, Ping Wai

    2009-03-01

    Children are familiar with situations in which air resistance plays an important role, such as parachuting. However, it is not known whether they have any understanding about the concept of air resistance, how air resistance affects falling objects, and the differential effect it has on different objects. The literature reveals that there are misconceptions even among undergraduate physics students about how air resistance is affected by the mass and size of falling objects. A study was carried out in Hong Kong to explore Grade 6 students' (aged 11-12) conceptions of air resistance with respect to falling objects of different size and mass, and whether the subjects showed any change in their conceptual understanding after participating in an egg-dropping race. The findings show that students had a wide range of conceptions, which could be characterized into different levels. Their conceptions seem rather robust, and more structured interventions are required to bring about changes in students' conceptual understanding of air resistance.

  19. Improving Students' Conceptual Understanding of the Greenhouse Effect Using Theory-Based Learning Materials that Promote Deep Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reinfried, Sibylle; Aeschbacher, Urs; Rottermann, Benno

    2012-01-01

    Students' everyday ideas of the greenhouse effect are difficult to change. Environmental education faces the challenge of developing instructional settings that foster students' conceptual understanding concept of the greenhouse effect in order to understand global warming. To facilitate students' conceptual development with regard to the…

  20. Improving Students' Conceptual Understanding of the Greenhouse Effect Using Theory-Based Learning Materials that Promote Deep Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reinfried, Sibylle; Aeschbacher, Urs; Rottermann, Benno

    2012-01-01

    Students' everyday ideas of the greenhouse effect are difficult to change. Environmental education faces the challenge of developing instructional settings that foster students' conceptual understanding concept of the greenhouse effect in order to understand global warming. To facilitate students' conceptual development with regard to theÖ

  1. Effect of Instruction Based on Conceptual Change Activities on Students' Understanding of Static Electricity Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baser, Mustafa; Geban, Omer

    2007-01-01

    This study was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of learning activities based on conceptual change conditions and traditionally designed physics instruction on tenth-grade students' understanding of static electricity concepts and their attitudes toward physics as a school subject. Misconceptions related to static electricity concepts…

  2. Effect of Instruction Based on Conceptual Change Activities on Students' Understanding of Static Electricity Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baser, Mustafa; Geban, Omer

    2007-01-01

    This study was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of learning activities based on conceptual change conditions and traditionally designed physics instruction on tenth-grade students' understanding of static electricity concepts and their attitudes toward physics as a school subject. Misconceptions related to static electricity conceptsÖ

  3. The Positive and Negative Effects of Science Concept Tests on Student Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chang, Chun-Yen; Yeh, Ting-Kuang; Barufaldi, James P.

    2010-01-01

    This study explored the phenomenon of testing effect during science concept assessments, including the mechanism behind it and its impact upon a learner's conceptual understanding. The participants consisted of 208 high school students, in either the 11th or 12th grade. Three types of tests (traditional multiple-choice test, correct concept test,…

  4. Effects of Experimenting with Physical and Virtual Manipulatives on Students' Conceptual Understanding in Heat and Temperature

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zacharia, Zacharias C.; Olympiou, Georgios; Papaevripidou, Marios

    2008-01-01

    This study aimed to investigate the comparative value of experimenting with physical manipulatives (PM) in a sequential combination with virtual manipulatives (VM), with the use of PM preceding the use of VM, and of experimenting with PM alone, with respect to changes in students' conceptual understanding in the domain of heat and temperature. A…

  5. The Effect of Conceptual Change Texts Oriented Instruction on Students' Understanding of the Solubility Equilibrium Concept

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Onder, Ismail; Geban, Omer

    2006-01-01

    The present study aimed to investigate the effect of conceptual change texts oriented instruction on 10th grade students' understanding of solubility equilibrium concept. The misconceptions related to solubility equilibrium concept were obtained through interviews with high school chemistry teachers and related literature. The data were obtainedÖ

  6. Effect of a Problem Based Simulation on the Conceptual Understanding of Undergraduate Science Education Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kumar, David Devraj; Sherwood, Robert D.

    2007-01-01

    A study of the effect of science teaching with a multimedia simulation on water quality, the "River of Life," on the science conceptual understanding of students (N = 83) in an undergraduate science education (K-9) course is reported. Teaching reality-based meaningful science is strongly recommended by the National Science Education StandardsÖ

  7. Effect of a Problem Based Simulation on the Conceptual Understanding of Undergraduate Science Education Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kumar, David Devraj; Sherwood, Robert D.

    2007-01-01

    A study of the effect of science teaching with a multimedia simulation on water quality, the "River of Life," on the science conceptual understanding of students (N = 83) in an undergraduate science education (K-9) course is reported. Teaching reality-based meaningful science is strongly recommended by the National Science Education Standards…

  8. The Positive and Negative Effects of Science Concept Tests on Student Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chang, Chun-Yen; Yeh, Ting-Kuang; Barufaldi, James P.

    2010-01-01

    This study explored the phenomenon of testing effect during science concept assessments, including the mechanism behind it and its impact upon a learner's conceptual understanding. The participants consisted of 208 high school students, in either the 11th or 12th grade. Three types of tests (traditional multiple-choice test, correct concept test,Ö

  9. The effects of the laboratory on college students' understanding of evolution: Implications for conceptual change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holtman, Lorna Benita

    This study investigated eighty junior and senior college students' understanding of evolutionary biology concepts in lecture-only and lecture-laboratory settings. The evolution lab stressed the processes of evolution, and involved simulations, experiments, discussions, report writing, and reading. Test scores do not reveal everything about the actual process of learning in the laboratory. This study examined conceptual change patterns over a period of one semester using in-depth interviews with eight participants. The study revealed that the lecture-laboratory group performed better than the lecture-only group on certain shared items on the objective examination. The interview participants showed various patterns of conceptual change; that is, holistic (wholesale and cascade), fragmented, and dual constructions. Dual constructions and wholesale conceptual changes were the most common types of conceptual change patterns observed. Laboratory work in evolution allowed students to grapple with their alternative conceptions for abstract evolutionary concepts. They made use of the opportunities for cognitive conflict provided by the lab sessions. Some students adhered to their initial alternative conceptions which constrained the provision of scientific explanations for the biological problems. Examples of alternative conceptions are a young earth, rejection of macroevolution, and Lamarckian conceptions. The belief system of one student strongly influenced her retention of alternative conceptions, although she had done the laboratory course. However, two other students (one a lecture-lab participant) who held similar religious beliefs were able to develop a better understanding of evolution. Strong religious beliefs do not always preclude a good understanding of evolution. This study revealed a direct, positive relationship between students' understanding of evolutionary concepts and their understanding of the nature of science. The observation was true for both lecture-only and lecture-lab groups.

  10. The Contribution of Conceptual Change Texts Accompanied by Concept Mapping to Students' Understanding of the Human Circulatory System.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sungur, Semra; Tekkaya, Ceren; Geban, Omer

    2001-01-01

    Investigates the contribution of conceptual change texts accompanied by concept mapping instruction to 10th-grade students' understanding of the human circulatory system. Indicates that the conceptual change texts accompanied by concept mapping instruction produced a positive effect on students' understanding of concepts. Concludes that students…

  11. Using Two-Tier Test to Identify Primary Students' Conceptual Understanding and Alternative Conceptions in Acid Base

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bayrak, Beyza Karadeniz

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to identify primary students' conceptual understanding and alternative conceptions in acid-base. For this reason, a 15 items two-tier multiple choice test administered 56 eighth grade students in spring semester 2009-2010. Data for this study were collected using a conceptual understanding scale prepared to include…

  12. Scaffolding software: How does it influence student conceptual understanding and motivation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Butler, Kyle A.

    The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of scaffolding software on student conceptual understanding and motivation. This study also provides insight on how students use the scaffolding features found in Artemis and the extent to which features show a relationship to student conceptual understanding and motivation. A Randomized Solomon Four Group Design was used in this study. As students worked through a project based unit over photosynthesis, the students performed information seeking activities that were based on their own inquiry. For this purpose, the students in the experimental group used an example of scaffolding software called Artemis, while the students in the control group used a search engine of their choice. To measure conceptual understanding, the researcher analyzed student generated concept maps on photosynthesis using three different methods (quantitative, qualitative, hierarchical). To measure motivation, the researcher used a survey that measured motivation on five different indicators: intrinsic goal orientation, extrinsic goal orientation, task value, control of learning beliefs, self-efficacy for learning and performance. Finally, the researcher looked at the relationship and influence of the scaffolding features on two student performance scores at the end of the unit. This created a total of ten dependent variables in relationship to the treatment. Overall, the students used the collaborative features 25% of the time, the maintenance features 0.84% of the time, the organizational features 16% of the time, the saving/viewing features 7% of the time and the searching features 51% of the time. There were significant correlations between the saving/viewing features hits and the students' task value (r = .499, p < .05), the searching features hits and the students' self-efficacy for learning and performance (r = .553, p < .01), the collaborative features hits and the students' essay performance scores (r = .519, p < .05) and the maintenance features time and the qualitative analysis of the concept maps (r = .576, p < .01). Finally, the results indicated that the scaffolding features in Artemis did not influence student conceptual understanding and motivation.

  13. Multiple intelligences and alternative teaching strategies: The effects on student academic achievement, conceptual understanding, and attitude

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baragona, Michelle

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the interactions between multiple intelligence strengths and alternative teaching methods on student academic achievement, conceptual understanding and attitudes. The design was a quasi-experimental study, in which students enrolled in Principles of Anatomy and Physiology, a developmental biology course, received lecture only, problem-based learning with lecture, or peer teaching with lecture. These students completed the Multiple Intelligence Inventory to determine their intelligence strengths, the Students' Motivation Toward Science Learning questionnaire to determine student attitudes towards learning in science, multiple choice tests to determine academic achievement, and open-ended questions to determine conceptual understanding. Effects of intelligence types and teaching methods on academic achievement and conceptual understanding were determined statistically by repeated measures ANOVAs. No significance occurred in academic achievement scores due to lab group or due to teaching method used; however, significant interactions between group and teaching method did occur in students with strengths in logical-mathematical, interpersonal, kinesthetic, and intrapersonal intelligences. Post-hoc analysis using Tukey HSD tests revealed students with strengths in logical-mathematical intelligence and enrolled in Group Three scored significantly higher when taught by problem-based learning (PBL) as compared to peer teaching (PT). No significance occurred in conceptual understanding scores due to lab group or due to teaching method used; however, significant interactions between group and teaching method did occur in students with strengths in musical, kinesthetic, intrapersonal, and spatial intelligences. Post-hoc analysis using Tukey HSD tests revealed students with strengths in logical-mathematical intelligence and enrolled in Group Three scored significantly higher when taught by lecture as compared to PBL. Students with strengths in intrapersonal intelligence and enrolled in Group One scored significantly lower when taught by lecture as compared to PBL. Results of a repeated measures ANOVA for student attitudes showed significant increases in positive student attitudes toward science learning for all three types of teaching method between pretest and posttest; but there were no significant differences in posttest attitude scores by type of teaching method.

  14. Understanding the Conceptual and Language Challenges Encountered by Grade 4 Students When Writing Scientific Explanations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seah, Lay Hoon

    2015-03-01

    This study is an attempt to examine the use of linguistic resources by primary science students so as to understand the conceptual and language demands encountered by them when constructing written explanations. The students' written explanations and the instructional language (whole-class discussion and textbook) employed over the topic, the life cycle of plants, in four grade 4 classrooms (age 10) taught by three teachers constitute the data for this study. Students' written explanations were subjected to a combination of content and linguistic analysis. The linguistic analysis was conducted using selected analytical tools from the systemic functional linguistics framework. A diversity of linguistic resources and meanings were identified from the students' explanations, which reveal the extent to which the students were able to employ linguistic resources to construct written scientific explanations and the challenges involved. Both content and linguistic analyses also illuminate patterns of language use that are significant for realising scientific meanings. Finally, a comparison is made in the use of linguistic resources between the students' explanations and the instructional language to highlight possible links. This comparison reveals that the teachers' expectations of the students' written explanations were seldom reflected in their oral questioning or made explicit during the instruction. The findings of this study suggest that a focus on conceptual development is not sufficient in itself to foster students' ability to construct explanations. Pedagogical implications involving the support needed by primary students to construct scientific explanations are discussed.

  15. Evaluating College Students' Conceptual Knowledge of Modern Physics: Test of Understanding on Concepts of Modern Physics (TUCO-MP)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Akarsu, Bayram

    2011-01-01

    In present paper, we propose a new diagnostic test to measure students' conceptual knowledge of principles of modern physics topics. Over few decades since born of physics education research (PER), many diagnostic instruments that measure students' conceptual understanding of various topics in physics, the earliest tests developed in PER are Force…

  16. Identifying Students' Mental Models of Sound Propagation: The Role of Conceptual Blending in Understanding Conceptual Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hrepic, Zdeslav; Zollman, Dean A.; Rebello, N. Sanjay

    2010-01-01

    We investigated introductory physics students' mental models of sound propagation. We used a phenomenographic method to analyze the data in the study. In addition to the scientifically accepted Wave model, students used the "Entity" model to describe the propagation of sound. In this latter model sound is a self-standing entity, different from the…

  17. Arguments, contradictions, resistances, and conceptual change in students' understanding of atomic structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niaz, Mansoor; Aguilera, Damarys; Maza, Arelys; Liendo, Gustavo

    2002-07-01

    Most general chemistry courses and textbooks emphasize experimental details and lack a history and philosophy of science perspective. The objective of this study is to facilitate freshman general chemistry students' understanding of atomic structure based on the work of Thomson, Rutherford, and Bohr. It is hypothesized that classroom discussions based on arguments/counterarguments of the heuristic principles, on which these scientists based their atomic models, can facilitate students' conceptual understanding. This study is based on 160 freshman students enrolled in six sections of General Chemistry I (three sections formed part of the experimental group). All three models (Thomson, Rutherford, and Bohr) were presented to the experimental and control group students in the traditional manner, as found in most textbooks. After this, the three sections of the experimental group participated in the discussion of six items with alternative responses. Students were first asked to select a response and then participate in classroom discussions leading to arguments in favor or against the selected response and finally select a new response. Three weeks after having discussed the six items, both the experimental and control groups presented a monthly exam (based on the three models) and after another 3 weeks a semester exam. Results obtained show that given the opportunity to argue and discuss, students' understanding can go beyond the simple regurgitation of experimental details. Performance of the experimental group showed contradictions, resistances, and progressive conceptual change with considerable and consistent improvement in the last item. It is concluded that if we want our students to understand scientific progress and practice, then it is important that we include the experimental details not as a rhetoric of conclusions (Schwab, 1962, The teaching of science as enquiry, Cambridge, MA, Harward University Press; Schwab, 1974, Conflicting conceptions of curriculum, Berkeley, CA, McCutchan) but as heuristic principles (Lakatos, 1970, Criticism and the growth of knowledge, Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press, pp. 91-195), which were based on arguments, controversies, and interpretations of the scientists.

  18. The Effect of Directive Tutor Guidance on Students' Conceptual Understanding of Statistics in Problem-Based Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bude, Luc; van de Wiel, Margaretha W. J.; Imbos, Tjaart; Berger, Martijn P. F.

    2011-01-01

    Background: Education is aimed at students reaching conceptual understanding of the subject matter, because this leads to better performance and application of knowledge. Conceptual understanding depends on coherent and error-free knowledge structures. The construction of such knowledge structures can only be accomplished through active learning…

  19. Effects of concept maps and dialogue journals on bilingual students' conceptual understanding in science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McFall, Rebecca E.

    1999-11-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of using concept maps or dialogue journals on bilingual students' conceptual understanding in science. Three fourth grade classes, which included 60 students, using the Science and Technology for Children, Plant Growth and Development unit participated in the study. The vocabulary knowledge and conceptual understanding of bilingual and native English students in three treatment groups were compared. The study was conducted over a three month period. The three treatment groups consisted of (1) a control group using only the Science and Technology for Children, Plant Growth and Development unit, (2) the concept map treatment group, and (3) the dialogue journal treatment group. Student achievement was measured using a pretest and a posttest. Significant differences in the pretest and posttest scores were found for all three treatment groups. The concept map treatment group scored significantly higher than the dialogue journal and control groups on the posttest. The use of concept maps was found to be highly effective for both native English and bilingual students.

  20. A Lakatosian Conceptual Change Teaching Strategy Based on Student Ability To Build Models with Varying Degrees of Conceptual Understanding of Chemical Equilibrium.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Niaz, Mansoor

    1998-01-01

    Reports on a study that constructs a Lakatosian teaching strategy that can facilitate conceptual change in students' understanding of chemical equilibrium. Results indicate that the experimental group performed better on tests. Contains 81 references. (DDR)

  1. Constraints on Conceptual Change: How Elementary Teachers' Attitudes and Understanding of Conceptual Change Relate to Changes in Students' Conceptions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fulmer, Gavin W.

    2013-01-01

    Like their students, teachers may hold a variety of na√Įve conceptions that have been hypothesized to limit their ability to support students' learning. This study examines whether changes in elementary students' conceptions are related to their teachers' content knowledge, attitudes, and understanding of conceptual change. The study‚Ķ

  2. Why should I care? Engaging students in conceptual understanding using global context to develop social attitudes.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forder, S. E.; Welstead, C.; Pritchard, M.

    2014-12-01

    A glance through the Harvard Business Review reveals many suggestions and research pieces reviewing sales and marketing techniques. Most educators will be familiar with the notion that making accurate first impressions and being responsive, whilst maintaining pace is critical to engaging an audience. There are lessons to be learnt from industry that can significantly impact upon our teaching. Eisenkraft, in his address to the NSTA, proposed four essential questions. This presentation explores one of those questions: 'Why should I care?', and discusses why this question is crucial for engaging students by giving a clear purpose for developing their scientific understanding. Additionally, this presentation explores how The ISF Academy has adapted the NGSS, using the 14 Grand Engineering Challenges and the IB MYP, to provide current, authentic global contexts, in order to give credibility to the concepts, understandings and skills being learnt. The provision of global contexts across units and within lessons supports a platform for students to have the freedom to explore their own sense of social responsibility. The Science Department believes that planning lessons with tasks that elaborate on the student's new conceptualisations, has helped to transfer the student's new understanding into social behavior beyond the classroom. Furthermore, extension tasks have been used to transfer conceptual understanding between different global contexts.

  3. An investigation of the role of causal reasoning methods in facilitating conceptual understanding of college students in physics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hung, Woei

    It is well documented that college students have difficulties in solving physics problems. Most researchers and educators agree that the students' difficulties largely result from a lack of conceptual understanding of the topic. This phenomenon is evident in students' tendencies to use formula-centered problem solving approaches, instead of approaching problems conceptually. The processes of conceptual learning in fact reflect the fundamental nature of the causal reasoning process. Thus, causal reasoning is essential to conceptual knowledge construction. The covariational approach and the mechanism-based approach are the two major causal reasoning methods of researching cause-effect phenomena. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of different causal reasoning approaches on students' conceptual understanding of physics concepts. 125 college students enrolled in an introductory physics class were randomly assigned into a covariational group, mechanism-based group, and control group. The results showed that the mechanism-based group significantly outperformed the other two groups in solving conceptual rotational motion problems. However, no significant differences were found among the three groups in solving computational rotational motion problems. The educational implications drawn from these results include that students' utilization of qualitative problem solving methods, systems thinking skills, and causal reasoning models need to be enhanced in order for the mechanism-based approach to take full effect in helping students construct conceptual understanding and a framework of the concepts. Detailed analyses of the results and findings, alternative hypotheses, educational implications, limitations of the study, and recommendation for future studies are discussed.

  4. Effects of Directed Learning Groups upon Students' Ability to Understand Conceptual Ideas

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Karen Gabrielle; Galluzzo, Benjamin Jason

    2014-01-01

    Mathematical modeling and directed learning groups were employed in a terminal mathematics course to encourage university students to conceptualize real-world mathematics problems. Multiple assessments were utilized to determine whether students' conceptual development is enhanced by participating in directed learning groups conducted in a…

  5. The Effect of Cooperative Learning Approach Based on Conceptual Change Condition on Students' Understanding of Chemical Equilibrium Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bilgin, Ibrahim; Geban, Omer

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of the cooperative learning approach based on conceptual change conditions over traditional instruction on 10th grade students' conceptual understanding and achievement of computational problems related to chemical equilibrium concepts. The subjects of this study consisted of 87 tenth grade…

  6. Using Memes and Memetic Processes to Explain Social and Conceptual Influences on Student Understanding about Complex Socio-Scientific Issues

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yoon, Susan

    2008-01-01

    This study investigated seventh grade learners' decision making about genetic engineering concepts and applications. A social network analyses supported by technology tracked changes in student understanding with a focus on social and conceptual influences. Results indicated that several social and conceptual mechanisms potentially affected how…

  7. Using Memes and Memetic Processes to Explain Social and Conceptual Influences on Student Understanding about Complex Socio-Scientific Issues

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yoon, Susan

    2008-01-01

    This study investigated seventh grade learners' decision making about genetic engineering concepts and applications. A social network analyses supported by technology tracked changes in student understanding with a focus on social and conceptual influences. Results indicated that several social and conceptual mechanisms potentially affected howÖ

  8. The Effect of Recycling Education on High School Students' Conceptual Understanding about Ecology: A Study on Matter Cycle

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ugulu, Ilker; Yorek, Nurettin; Baslar, Suleyman

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study is to analyze and determine whether a developed recycling education program would lead to a positive change in the conceptual understanding of ecological concepts associated with matter cycles by high school students. The research was conducted on 68 high school 10th grade students (47 female and 21 male students). The…

  9. How online learning modules can improve the representational fluency and conceptual understanding of university physics students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hill, M.; Sharma, M. D.; Johnston, H.

    2015-07-01

    The use of online learning resources as core components of university science courses is increasing. Learning resources range from summaries, videos, and simulations, to question banks. Our study set out to develop, implement, and evaluate research-based online learning resources in the form of pre-lecture online learning modules (OLMs). The aim of this paper is to share our experiences with those using, or considering implementing, online learning resources. Our first task was to identify student learning issues in physics to base the learning resources on. One issue with substantial research is conceptual understanding, the other with comparatively less research is scientific representations (graphs, words, equations, and diagrams). We developed learning resources on both these issues and measured their impact. We created weekly OLMs which were delivered to first year physics students at The University of Sydney prior to their first lecture of the week. Students were randomly allocated to either a concepts stream or a representations stream of online modules. The programme was first implemented in 2013 to trial module content, gain experience and process logistical matters and repeated in 2014 with approximately 400 students. Two validated surveys, the Force and Motion Concept Evaluation (FMCE) and the Representational Fluency Survey (RFS) were used as pre-tests and post-tests to measure learning gains while surveys and interviews provided further insights. While both streams of OLMs produced similar positive learning gains on the FMCE, the representations-focussed OLMs produced higher gains on the RFS. Conclusions were triangulated with student responses which indicated that they have recognized the benefit of the OLMs for their learning of physics. Our study shows that carefully designed online resources used as pre-instruction can make a difference in students’ conceptual understanding and representational fluency in physics, as well as make them more aware of their learning processes. In particular, the representations-focussed modules offer more advantages.

  10. Development of a student-centered instrument to assess middle school students' conceptual understanding of sound

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eshach, Haim

    2014-06-01

    This article describes the development and field test of the Sound Concept Inventory Instrument (SCII), designed to measure middle school students' concepts of sound. The instrument was designed based on known students' difficulties in understanding sound and the history of science related to sound and focuses on two main aspects of sound: sound has material properties, and sound has process properties. The final SCII consists of 71 statements that respondents rate as either true or false and also indicate their confidence on a five-point scale. Administration to 355 middle school students resulted in a Cronbach alpha of 0.906, suggesting a high reliability. In addition, the average percentage of students' answers to statements that associate sound with material properties is significantly higher than the average percentage of statements associating sound with process properties (p <0.001). The SCII is a valid and reliable tool that can be used to determine students' conceptions of sound.

  11. Using Multiple Representations to Resolve Conflict in Student Conceptual Understanding of Chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daubenmire, Paul L.

    Much like a practiced linguist, expert chemists utilize the power and elegance of chemical symbols to understand what is happening at the atomic level and to manipulate atoms and molecules to effect an observable change at the macroscopic level. Unfortunately, beginning chemistry is often taught in a way that emphasizes memorizing the symbolic representations of equations and reactions without much opportunity to meaningfully connect the observable macroscopic phenomena with an understanding of the chemistry taking place at the atomic level. The compartmentalized manner of chemistry instruction in most chemistry classrooms further nullifies the efficacy of the triplet relationship to connect between macroscopic observations, symbolic representations, and atomic scale views. If symbolic representations are presented as the goal of instruction, rather than as the means to gain understanding, then students will be impaired in developing a coherent understanding of chemical principles. This dissertation describes the development and implementation of an interview study to examine how undergraduate students interpreted multiple representations of a chemical equilibrium. To establish a baseline of ideas, students first were coached to verbally generate successive representations. They were then cued to think about the chemistry occurring between atoms and ions at the molecular level. Next, an experiment involving a change in states of matter and color was performed which paralleled the symbolic representations. Through self-explanations and verbalizing of conjectures, students were encouraged to explore, interpret, and refine their understanding of the observations related to the chemical symbols presented to them. Finally, with the goal of fostering a deeper understanding of the process of equilibrium, a dynamic visualization of the molecular level was introduced as a tool for helping students connect these multiple representations. This study revealed that one way in which students develop conceptual understanding and resolve conflicts between different representations of the same phenomena is by verbalizing their ideas as a conjecture (as a verbal explanation to advance towards a hypothesis). Thus, it is proposed that symbolic representations are most effective viewed not as an end goal but as a bridge for connecting macroscopic, visible phenomena with what is occurring at the molecular, invisible level. When the focus on merely memorizing chemical equations and symbols is removed, students can gain a coherent understanding of the meaning available when multiple representations are viewed together.

  12. Lakatosian Conceptual Change Teaching Strategy Based on Student Ability To Build Models with Varying Degrees of Conceptual Understanding of Chemical Equilibrium.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Niaz, Mansoor

    The main objective of the study reported in this paper was to construct a Lakatosian teaching strategy that can facilitate conceptual change in students' understanding of chemical equilibrium. The strategy is based on the premise that cognitive conflicts must have been engendered by the students themselves in trying to cope with different problemÖ

  13. The Effect of Constructivist Learning Using Scientific Approach on Mathematical Power and Conceptual Understanding of Students Grade IV

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kusmaryono, Imam; Suyitno, Hardi

    2016-02-01

    This study used a model of Concurrent Embedded with the aim of: (1) determine the difference between the conceptual understanding and mathematical power of students grade fourth who take the constructivist learning using scientific approach and direct learning, (2) determine the interaction between learning approaches and initial competence on the mathematical power and conceptual of understanding, and (3) describe the mathematical power of students grade fourth. This research was conducted in the fourth grade elementary school early 2015. Data initial competence and mathematical power obtained through tests, and analyzed using statistical tests multivariate and univariate. Statistical analysis of the results showed that: (1) There are differences in the concept of understanding and mathematical power among the students who follow the scientifically-based constructivist learning than students who take the Direct Learning in terms of students initial competency (F = 5.550; p = 0.007 < 0.05), and (2) There is an interaction between the scientific-based constructivist learning approach with an initial competence (high and low) on the ability of concept of understanding and mathematical power (F = 5.259; p =0.033 < 0,05). Observations and in-depth interviews with students, shows that the construction of mathematical power of students have influenced the thinking of students in problem solving and contributes tremendous increase students' math skills. Researcher suggested that the learning of mathematics in schools using scientifically- based constructivist approach to improve the mathematical power of students and conceptual understanding.

  14. Comparing and Combining Real and Virtual Experimentation: An Effort to Enhance Students' Conceptual Understanding of Electric Circuits

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zacharia, Z. C.

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate value of combining Real Experimentation (RE) with Virtual Experimentation (VE) with respect to changes in students' conceptual understanding of electric circuits. To achieve this, a pre-post comparison study design was used that involved 88 undergraduate students. The participants were randomly assigned…

  15. Making the Invisible Visible: Enhancing Students' Conceptual Understanding by Introducing Representations of Abstract Objects in a Simulation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olympiou, Georgios; Zacharias, Zacharia; deJong, Ton

    2013-01-01

    This study aimed to identify if complementing representations of concrete objects with representations of abstract objects improves students' conceptual understanding as they use a simulation to experiment in the domain of "Light and Color". Moreover, we investigated whether students' prior knowledge is a factor that must be considered in deciding…

  16. Impacts of Multi-Representational Instruction on High School Students' Conceptual Understandings of the Particulate Nature of Matter

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adadan, Emine; Irving, Karen E.; Trundle, Kathy C.

    2009-01-01

    This quasi-experimental study examined 42 high school introductory chemistry students' conceptual understandings of the particulate nature of matter (PNM) before and immediately after instruction. Two groups of students, who were taught by the same teacher, received one of two possible instructional interventions: Reform-Based Teaching (RBT) or…

  17. Prediction/Discussion-Based Learning Cycle versus Conceptual Change Text: Comparative Effects on Students' Understanding of Genetics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Al khawaldeh, Salem A.

    2013-01-01

    Background and Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the comparative effects of a prediction/discussion-based learning cycle (HPD-LC), conceptual change text (CCT) and traditional instruction on 10th grade students' understanding of genetics concepts. Sample: Participants were 112 10th basic grade male students in three…

  18. The Effects of Representations, Constructivist Approaches, and Engagement on Middle School Students' Algebraic Procedure and Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ross, Amanda; Willson, Victor

    2012-01-01

    This study examined the effects of types of representations, constructivist teaching approaches, and student engagement on middle school algebra students' procedural knowledge and conceptual understanding. Data gathered from 16 video lessons and algebra pretest/posttests were used to run three multilevel structural equation models. Symbolic…

  19. Students' Conceptual Understanding and Critical Thinking: A Case for Concept Maps and Vee-Diagrams in Mathematics Problem Solving

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Afamasaga-Fuata'i, Karoline

    2008-01-01

    With the current focus in mathematics education on the importance of developing students' conceptual understanding, fluency with the language of mathematics, critical thinking, and working mathematically, teachers are constantly expected to design challenging and investigative tasks that can engage and motivate students in their learning ofÖ

  20. Middle School Students' Conceptual Understanding of Equations: Evidence From Writing Story Problems. WCER Working Paper No. 2009-3

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alibali, Martha W.; Kao, Yvonne S.; Brown, Alayna N.; Nathan, Mitchell J.; Stephens, Ana C.

    2009-01-01

    This study investigated middle school students' conceptual understanding of algebraic equations. Participants in the study--257 sixth- and seventh-grade students--were asked to solve one set of algebraic equations and to generate story problems corresponding with another set of equations. Structural aspects of the equations, including the number…

  1. The Effects of an Interactive Computer-Based Simulation Prior to Performing a Laboratory Inquiry-Based Experiment on Students' Conceptual Understanding of Physics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zacharia, Zacharias; Anderson, O. Roger

    2003-01-01

    Investigates the effects of interactive computer-based simulations presented prior to inquiry-based laboratory experiments on students' conceptual understanding of mechanics, waves/optics, and thermal physics. Uses conceptual tests to assess conceptual understandings of each topic. Indicates that the use of the simulations improved students'…

  2. Understanding the Greenhouse Effect by Embodiment--Analysing and Using Students' and Scientists' Conceptual Resources

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Niebert, Kai; GropengieŖer, Harald

    2014-01-01

    Over the last 20 years, science education studies have reported that there are very different understandings among students of science regarding the key aspects of climate change. We used the cognitive linguistic framework of experientialism to shed new light on this valuable pool of studies to identify the conceptual resources of understandingÖ

  3. The Contribution of Conceptual Change Texts Accompanied by Concept Mapping to Eleventh-Grade Students Understanding of Cellular Respiration Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Al khawaldeh, Salem A.; Al Olaimat, Ali M.

    2010-01-01

    The present study conducted to investigate the contribution of conceptual change texts, accompanied by concept mapping instruction to eleventh-grade students' understanding of cellular respiration concepts, and their retention of this understanding. Cellular respiration concepts test was developed as a result of examination of related literature…

  4. The Contribution of Conceptual Change Texts Accompanied by Concept Mapping to Eleventh-Grade Students Understanding of Cellular Respiration Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Al khawaldeh, Salem A.; Al Olaimat, Ali M.

    2010-01-01

    The present study conducted to investigate the contribution of conceptual change texts, accompanied by concept mapping instruction to eleventh-grade students' understanding of cellular respiration concepts, and their retention of this understanding. Cellular respiration concepts test was developed as a result of examination of related literatureÖ

  5. Conceptual Level of Understanding about Sound Concept: Sample of Fifth Grade Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bostan Sarioglan, Ayberk

    2016-01-01

    In this study, students' conceptual change processes related to the sound concept were examined. Study group was comprises of 325 fifth grade middle school students. Three multiple-choice questions were used as the data collection tool. At the data analysis process "scientific response", "scientifically unacceptable response"…

  6. The Contribution of Conceptual Change Texts Accompanied by Concept Mapping to Eleventh-Grade Students Understanding of Cellular Respiration Concepts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Al Khawaldeh, Salem A.; Al Olaimat, Ali M.

    2010-04-01

    The present study conducted to investigate the contribution of conceptual change texts, accompanied by concept mapping instruction to eleventh-grade students' understanding of cellular respiration concepts, and their retention of this understanding. Cellular respiration concepts test was developed as a result of examination of related literature and interviews with teachers regarding their observations of students' difficulties. The test was administrated as pre-test, post-test, and delayed post-test to a total of 70 eleventh-grade students in two classes of the same high school in an urban area, taught by the same teacher. The experimental group was a class of 34 students who received conceptual change texts accompanied by concept mapping instruction. A class of 36 students comprised the control group who received traditional instruction. Besides treatment, previous understanding and logical thinking ability were other independent variables involved in this study. The results showed that logical thinking, treatment, previous understanding of cellular respiration concepts each made a statistically significant contribution to the variation in students' understanding of cellular respiration concepts. The result also showed that conceptual change texts accompanied by concept mapping instruction was significantly better than traditional instruction in retention of this understanding.

  7. First-Year Medical Students' Conceptual Understanding of and Resistance to Conceptual Change Concerning the Central Cardiovascular System

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mikkila-Erdmann, Mirjamaija; Sodervik, Ilona; Vilppu, Henna; Kaapa, Pekka; Olkinuora, Erkki

    2012-01-01

    Medical students often have initial understanding concerning medical domains, such as the central cardiovascular system (CCVS), when they enter the study programme. These notions may to some extent be in conflict with scientific understanding, which can be seen as a challenge for medical teaching. Hence, the purpose of this study was to analyse…

  8. The Impact of a Classroom Intervention on Grade 10 Students' Argumentation Skills, Informal Reasoning, and Conceptual Understanding of Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Venville, Grady J.; Dawson, Vaille M.

    2010-01-01

    The literature provides confounding information with regard to questions about whether students in high school can engage in meaningful argumentation about socio-scientific issues and whether this process improves their conceptual understanding of science. The purpose of this research was to explore the impact of classroom-based argumentation on…

  9. Understanding the Greenhouse Effect by Embodiment--Analysing and Using Students' and Scientists' Conceptual Resources

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Niebert, Kai; Gropengießer, Harald

    2014-01-01

    Over the last 20 years, science education studies have reported that there are very different understandings among students of science regarding the key aspects of climate change. We used the cognitive linguistic framework of experientialism to shed new light on this valuable pool of studies to identify the conceptual resources of understanding…

  10. An Investigation of Effectiveness of Conceptual Change Text-Oriented Instruction on Students' Understanding of Solution Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pinarbasi, Tacettin; Canpolat, Nurtac; Bayrakceken, Samih; Geban, Omer

    2006-01-01

    This study investigated the effect of conceptual change text-oriented instruction over traditional instruction on students' understanding of solution concepts (e.g., dissolving, solubility, factors affecting solubility, concentrations of solutions, types of solutions, physical properties of solutions) and their attitudes towards chemistry. TheÖ

  11. An Examination of How Middle School Science Teachers Conduct Collaborative Inquiry and Reflection about Students' Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Todd-Gibson, Christine

    2013-01-01

    This qualitative case study examined how middle school science teachers conducted collaborative inquiry and reflection about students' conceptual understanding, and how individual teachers in the middle school science group acted and made reflections in response to their collaborative inquiry. It also examined external influences that affected theÖ

  12. An Examination of How Middle School Science Teachers Conduct Collaborative Inquiry and Reflection about Students' Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Todd-Gibson, Christine

    2013-01-01

    This qualitative case study examined how middle school science teachers conducted collaborative inquiry and reflection about students' conceptual understanding, and how individual teachers in the middle school science group acted and made reflections in response to their collaborative inquiry. It also examined external influences that affected the…

  13. Effectiveness of Conceptual Change Text-Oriented Instruction on Students' Understanding of Energy in Chemical Reactions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tastan, Ozgecan; Yalcinkaya, Eylem; Boz, Yezdan

    2008-01-01

    The aim of this study is to compare the effectiveness of conceptual change text instruction (CCT) in the context of energy in chemical reactions. The subjects of the study were 60, 10th grade students at a high school, who were in two different classes and taught by the same teacher. One of the classes was randomly selected as the experimentalÖ

  14. Writing for Different Audiences: Effects on High-School Students' Conceptual Understanding of Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gunel, Murat; Hand, Brian; McDermott, Mark Andrew

    2009-01-01

    Writing-to-learn activities in science classrooms can have an impact on student learning. This study sought to examine if the audience for which students write explanations of biology concepts affects their understanding of these concepts. One hundred eighteen Year 9/10 biology students from four classes participated in the study. There were fourÖ

  15. Implementation of Scientific Community Laboratories and Their Effect on Student Conceptual Learning, Attitudes, and Understanding of Uncertainty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lark, Adam

    Scientific Community Laboratories, developed by The University of Maryland, have shown initial promise as laboratories meant to emulate the practice of doing physics. These laboratories have been re-created by incorporating their design elements with the University of Toledo course structure and resources. The laboratories have been titled the Scientific Learning Community (SLC) Laboratories. A comparative study between these SLC laboratories and the University of Toledo physics department's traditional laboratories was executed during the fall 2012 semester on first semester calculus-based physics students. Three tests were executed as pre-test and post-tests to capture the change in students' concept knowledge, attitudes, and understanding of uncertainty. The Force Concept Inventory (FCI) was used to evaluate students' conceptual changes through the semester and average normalized gains were compared between both traditional and SLC laboratories. The Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey for Experimental Physics (E-CLASS) was conducted to elucidate students' change in attitudes through the course of each laboratory. Finally, interviews regarding data analysis and uncertainty were transcribed and coded to track changes in the way students understand uncertainty and data analysis in experimental physics after their participation in both laboratory type. Students in the SLC laboratories showed a notable an increase conceptual knowledge and attitudes when compared to traditional laboratories. SLC students' understanding of uncertainty showed most improvement, diverging completely from students in the traditional laboratories, who declined throughout the semester.

  16. A Lakatosian Conceptual Change Teaching Strategy Based on Student Ability to Build Models with Varying Degrees of Conceptual Understanding of Chemical Equilibrium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niaz, M.

    The main objective of this study is to construct a Lakatosian teaching strategy that can facilitate conceptual change in students'' understanding of chemical equilibrium. The strategy is based on the premise that cognitive conflicts must have been engendered by the students themselves in trying to cope with different problem solving strategies. Results obtained (based on Venezuelan freshman students) show that the performance of the experimental group of students was generally better (especially on the immediate post tests) than that of the control group. It is concluded that a conceptual change teaching strategy must take into consideration the following aspects: a) core beliefs of the students in the topic (cf. ''hard core'', Lakatos 1970); b) exploration of the relationship between core beliefs and student alternative conceptions (misconceptions); c) cognitive complexity of the core belief can be broken down into a series of related and probing questions; d) students resist changes in their core beliefs by postulating ''auxiliary hypotheses'' in order to resolve their contradictions; e) students'' responses based on their alternative conceptions must be considered not as wrong, but rather as models, perhaps in the same sense as used by scientists to break the complexity of a problem; and f) students'' misconceptions be considered as alternative conceptions (theories) that compete with the present scientific theories and at times recapitulate theories scientists held in the past.

  17. Developing a magnetism conceptual survey and assessing gender differences in student understanding of magnetism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Jing; Singh, Chandralekha

    2012-02-01

    We discuss the development of a research-based conceptual multiple-choice survey of magnetism. We also discuss the use of the survey to investigate gender differences in students' difficulties with concepts related to magnetism. We find that while there was no gender difference on the pre-test. However, female students performed significantly worse than male students when the survey was given as a post-test in traditionally taught calculus-based introductory physics courses with similar results in both the regular and honors versions of the course. In the algebra-based courses, the performance of female and male students has no statistical difference on the pre-test or the post-test.

  18. Effects of Student-Generated Diagrams versus Student-Generated Summaries on Conceptual Understanding of Causal and Dynamic Knowledge in Plate Tectonics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gobert, Janice D.; Clement, John J.

    1999-01-01

    Grade five students' (n=58) conceptual understanding of plate tectonics was measured by analysis of student-generated summaries and diagrams, and by posttest assessment of both the spatial/static and causal/dynamic aspects of the domain. The diagram group outperformed the summary and text-only groups on the posttest measures. Discusses the effects…

  19. The effect of computer simulations and the learning cycle on students' conceptual understanding of Newton's three laws of motion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rutherford, Paul Mason, Jr.

    The purpose of this study was to determine how three different methods of instruction would affect a student's conceptual understanding of Sir Isaac Newton's three laws of motion. The three methods were the expository, learning cycle, and computer simulations. Three sections of students enrolled in a suburban mid-western high school's introductory physics course were the subjects of this study. The students' conceptual understanding of Newton's three laws of motion were assessed prior to and after instructional treatment with concept mapping. All concept maps were scored by the teacher and a colleague well-practiced in the use of concept maps. The inter-rater reliability coefficients ranged from 0.23 to 0.61. After instruction, a 2-tier multiple-choice instrument was used to determine if any gains had been achieved in students' conceptual understanding as well as to identify any remaining misconceptions. All gain scores in concept mapping assessment categories were analyzed using one-way ANOVAs. ANOVAs were also run on all 12 individual items on the 2-tier test as well as overall student total scores, No significant differences were found between any of the groups. The split-half reliability of the two-tier instrument was 0.59. Difficulty indices ranged from 0.12 to 0.56, and discrimination indices ranged from 0.11 to 0.61. Each item was analyzed to determine student understanding of, and identifying misconceptions about the nature of forces as they pertain to Newton's laws of motion. Analysis of concept mapping results and 2-tier items, clearly indicated that most of the students in all groups still adhere to the common misconception that motion implies that a force must be present in order to maintain an object's state of motion or conversely that no motion implies that there are no forces acting on the object.

  20. Arguments, Contradictions, Resistances, and Conceptual Change in Students' Understanding of Atomic Structure.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Niaz, Mansoor; Aguilera, Damarys; Maza, Arelys; Liendo, Gustavo

    2002-01-01

    Reports on a study aimed at facilitating freshman general chemistry students' understanding of atomic structure based on the work of Thomson, Rutherford, and Bohr. Hypothesizes that classroom discussions based on arguments/counterarguments of the heuristic principles on which these scientists based their atomic models can facilitate students'…

  1. Urban High School Students' Critical Science Agency: Conceptual Understandings and Environmental Actions around Climate Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McNeill, Katherine L.; Vaughn, Meredith Houle

    2012-01-01

    This study investigates how the enactment of a climate change curriculum supports students' development of critical science agency, which includes students developing deep understandings of science concepts and the ability to take action at the individual and community levels. We examined the impact of a four to six week urban ecology curriculum…

  2. Urban High School Students' Critical Science Agency: Conceptual Understandings and Environmental Actions around Climate Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McNeill, Katherine L.; Vaughn, Meredith Houle

    2012-01-01

    This study investigates how the enactment of a climate change curriculum supports students' development of critical science agency, which includes students developing deep understandings of science concepts and the ability to take action at the individual and community levels. We examined the impact of a four to six week urban ecology curriculumÖ

  3. Arguments, Contradictions, Resistances, and Conceptual Change in Students' Understanding of Atomic Structure.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Niaz, Mansoor; Aguilera, Damarys; Maza, Arelys; Liendo, Gustavo

    2002-01-01

    Reports on a study aimed at facilitating freshman general chemistry students' understanding of atomic structure based on the work of Thomson, Rutherford, and Bohr. Hypothesizes that classroom discussions based on arguments/counterarguments of the heuristic principles on which these scientists based their atomic models can facilitate students

  4. Promoting Conceptual Understanding of Chemical Representations: Students' Use of a Visualization Tool in the Classroom.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wu, Hsin-kai; Krajcik, Joseph S.; Soloway, Elliot

    This study investigated how students develop their understanding of chemical representations with the aid of a visualizing tool, eChem, that allows them to build molecular models and simultaneously view multiple representations. Multiple sources of data were collected with the participation of high school students (n=71) over a six-week period.…

  5. Conceptual understanding of thermodynamics: A study of undergraduate and graduate students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patron, Francis

    1997-11-01

    There is a perception among college students that physical chemistry is an impossibly difficult subject. The hypothesis guiding this study is that this perception is caused by the mismatch between the physical chemistry curriculum and the cognitive needs of students, whose learning styles, misconceptions, and difficulties are not explicitly addressed. A qualitative approach was used to examine students' conceptions of concepts such as internal energy, enthalpy, heat capacity, entropy, and Gibbs free energy. Students' views about science, physical chemistry, and thermodynamics were also examined. The subjects of the study were nine undergraduate and graduate students taking introductory or review courses in thermodynamics. Data were obtained from twenty-five individual interviews, thirteen of which took place while respondents were taking a course and twelve after they had completed it. The interviews were tape-recorded and transcribed and the transcripts were analyzed by a cross-case comparison method. The results show that graduate students had many of the same difficulties and misconceptions as undergraduate students. After a semester, students retained a minimal understanding of the main ideas of thermodynamics and the connections between them. They had a limited understanding of the relevance of thermodynamics to chemistry. Students regarded mathematical derivations as a fundamental component of thermodynamics and relied exclusively on mathematical equations to represent concepts such as enthalpy. Mathematical presentations were emphasized in lectures. The mathematical and pictorial symbols that students copied from the blackboard did not necessarily hold the same meaning for them as they did for professors. Many students had difficulty connecting mathematical symbols to physical concepts. They often confused the macroscopic and microscopic pictures and did not understand the concept of equilibrium. They never mentioned equilibrium in their descriptions of the science of thermodynamics. Students did not make connections between thermodynamic concepts such as internal energy and their prior formal knowledge.

  6. The impact of science notebook writing on ELL and low-SES students' science language development and conceptual understanding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huerta, Margarita

    This quantitative study explored the impact of literacy integration in a science inquiry classroom involving the use of science notebooks on the academic language development and conceptual understanding of students from diverse (i.e., English Language Learners, or ELLs) and low socio-economic status (low-SES) backgrounds. The study derived from a randomized, longitudinal, field-based NSF funded research project (NSF Award No. DRL - 0822343) targeting ELL and non-ELL students from low-SES backgrounds in a large urban school district in Southeast Texas. The study used a scoring rubric (modified and tested for validity and reliability) to analyze fifth-grade school students' science notebook entries. Scores for academic language quality (or, for brevity, language ) were used to compare language growth over time across three time points (i.e., beginning, middle, and end of the school year) and to compare students across categories (ELL, former ELL, non-ELL, and gender) using descriptive statistics and mixed between-within subjects analysis of variance (ANOVA). Scores for conceptual understanding (or, for brevity, concept) were used to compare students across categories (ELL, former ELL, non-ELL, and gender) in three domains using descriptive statistics and ANOVA. A correlational analysis was conducted to explore the relationship, if any, between language scores and concept scores for each group. Students demonstrated statistically significant growth over time in their academic language as reflected by science notebook scores. While ELL students scored lower than former ELL and non-ELL students at the first two time points, they caught up to their peers by the third time point. Similarly, females outperformed males in language scores in the first two time points, but males caught up to females in the third time point. In analyzing conceptual scores, ELLs had statistically significant lower scores than former-ELL and non-ELL students, and females outperformed males in the first two domains. These differences, however, were not statistically significant in the last domain. Last, correlations between language and concept scores were overall, positive, large, and significant across domains and groups. The study presents a rubric useful for quantifying diverse students' science notebook entries, and findings add to the sparse research on the impact of writing in diverse students' language development and conceptual understanding in science.

  7. Comparison of the Effects of Conceptual Change Texts Implemented after and before Instruction on Secondary School Students' Understanding of Acid-Base Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Demircioglu, Gokhan

    2009-01-01

    This study examined whether the application of conceptual change texts are effective before or after the instruction on 10th grade students' conceptual understanding and alternative conceptions about acids and bases. The study was conducted with 76 10th grade students from three classes of a chemistry course taught by the same teacher. One of the…

  8. An examination of how middle school science teachers conduct collaborative inquiry and reflection about students' conceptual understanding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Todd-Gibson, Christine

    This qualitative case study examined how middle school science teachers conducted collaborative inquiry and reflection about students' conceptual understanding, and how individual teachers in the middle school science group acted and made reflections in response to their collaborative inquiry. It also examined external influences that affected the teachers' ability to engage in collaborative inquiry. Observational, written, and interview data were collected from observations of teachers' face-to-face meetings and reflections, individual interviews, a focus group interview, and online reflections. The results of this study revealed that collaborative inquiry is a form of professional development that includes answering curricular questions through observation, communication, action, and reflection. This approach was developed and implemented by middle school science teachers. The premise of an inquiry is based on a need with students. Middle school science teachers came to consensus about actions to affect students' conceptual understanding, took action as stated, and shared their reflections of the actions taken with consideration to current and upcoming school activities. Activities involved teachers brainstorming and sharing with one another, talking about how the variables were merged into their curriculum, and how they impacted students' conceptual understanding. Teachers valued talking with one another about science content and pedagogy, but did find the inquiry portion of the approach to require more development. The greatest challenge to conducting collaborative inquiry and reflection was embedding teacher inquiry within a prescribed inquiry that was already being conducted by the Sundown School District. Collaborative inquiry should be structured so that it meets the needs of teachers in order to attend to the needs of students. A conducive atmosphere for collaborative inquiry and reflection is one in which administrators make the process mandatory and facilitate the process by removing an existing inquiry.

  9. Short storybooks to build conceptual understanding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Variano, Evan

    2014-11-01

    To help students build intuitive or conceptual understanding of key fluids concepts, I present short stories written in the style of childrens' books. The goal is to provide analogies with a strong visual component, in a format that allows students to return for a quick review. The content, philosophy, and initial student feedback will be discussed.

  10. Blending Physical and Virtual Manipulatives: An Effort to Improve Students' Conceptual Understanding through Science Laboratory Experimentation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olympiou, Georgios; Zacharia, Zacharias C.

    2012-01-01

    This study aimed to investigate the effect of experimenting with physical manipulatives (PM), virtual manipulatives (VM), and a blended combination of PM and VM on undergraduate students' understanding of concepts in the domain of "Light and Color." A pre-post comparison study design was used for the purposes of this study that involved 70…

  11. Representational Classroom Practices that Contribute to Students' Conceptual and Representational Understanding of Chemical Bonding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hilton, Annette; Nichols, Kim

    2011-01-01

    Understanding bonding is fundamental to success in chemistry. A number of alternative conceptions related to chemical bonding have been reported in the literature. Research suggests that many alternative conceptions held by chemistry students result from previous teaching; if teachers are explicit in the use of representations and explain their…

  12. Effects of Problem-Based Learning on University Students' Epistemological Beliefs About Physics and Physics Learning and Conceptual Understanding of Newtonian Mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahin, Mehmet

    2010-06-01

    This study investigated the effects of problem-based learning on students' beliefs about physics and physics learning and conceptual understanding of Newtonian mechanics. The study further examines the relationship between students' beliefs about physics and their conceptual understanding of mechanics concepts. Participants were 124 Turkish university students (PBL = 55, traditional = 69) enrolled in a calculus-based introductory physics class. Students' beliefs about physics and physics learning and their physics conceptual understanding were measured with the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey (CLASS) and the Force Concept Inventory (FCI), respectively. Repeated measures analysis of variance of how PBL influence beliefs and conceptual understanding were performed. The PBL group showed significantly higher conceptual learning gains in FCI than the traditional group. PBL approach showed no influence on students' beliefs about physics; both groups displayed similar beliefs. A significant positive correlation was found between beliefs and conceptual understanding. Students with more expert-like beliefs at the beginning of the semester were more likely to obtain higher conceptual understanding scores at the end of the semester. Suggestions are presented regarding the implementation of the PBL approach.

  13. The Effects of Writing-to-Learn Activities on Elementary Students' Conceptual Understanding: Learning about Force and Motion through Writing to Older Peers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Ying-Chih; Hand, Brian; McDowell, Leah

    2013-01-01

    This quasi-experimental and pre/posttest study was designed to examine whether fourth-grade students who engaged in collaboratively writing letters to 11th-grade students performed better on tests of conceptual understanding of a unit on force and motion than students who did not. The participants included 835 fourth-grade students and 416Ö

  14. The Effects of Writing-to-Learn Activities on Elementary Students' Conceptual Understanding: Learning about Force and Motion through Writing to Older Peers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Ying-Chih; Hand, Brian; McDowell, Leah

    2013-01-01

    This quasi-experimental and pre/posttest study was designed to examine whether fourth-grade students who engaged in collaboratively writing letters to 11th-grade students performed better on tests of conceptual understanding of a unit on force and motion than students who did not. The participants included 835 fourth-grade students and 416…

  15. Bridging the Educational Research-Teaching Practice Gap: Conceptual Understanding, Part 2--Assessing and Developing Student Knowledge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schonborn, Konrad J.; Anderson, Trevor R.

    2008-01-01

    The first paper in this two-part miniseries on conceptual understanding discussed expert and novice conceptual knowledge, the multifaceted nature of conceptual understanding, and the cognitive skills essential for constructing it. This second article presents examples of instruments for the assessment and development of five facets of conceptual…

  16. Analysis of Physical Science Textbooks for Conceptual Frameworks on Acids, Bases and Neutralization: Implications for Students' Conceptual Understanding.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Erduran, Sibel

    Eight physical science textbooks were analyzed for coverage on acids, bases, and neutralization. At the level of the text, clarity and coherence of statements were investigated. The conceptual framework for this topic was represented in a concept map which was used as a coding tool for tracing concepts and links present in textbooks. Cognitive…

  17. Evolution in action in the classroom: Engaging students in scientific practices to develop a conceptual understanding of natural selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Wendy Renae

    Public understanding and acceptance of the theory of evolution in the United States is not commensurate with its acceptance in the scientific community and its role as the central organizing principle of the biological sciences. There are a multitude of factors that affect student understanding of the theory of evolution documented in the literature including the proposition that understanding of evolution is intimately linked to understanding the nature of science. This study describes the development, implementation, and assessment of learning activities that address the process of natural selection and the scientific methodology that illuminates these mechanisms. While pre and post-test scores were higher for students in an Advanced Placement Biology course than students in a general biology course, similar learning gains were observed in both groups. Learning gains were documented in understanding the random nature of mutations and their importance to the process of natural selection, explaining selection as a competitive advantage of one variation over another type and specifically linking this to reproductive success, and in connecting inheritance, variation, and selection to explain the process of natural selection. Acceptance of the scientific validity of the theory of evolution as measured by the Measure of Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution (MATE) Instrument also increased significantly in both groups over the course of the school year. These findings suggest that the sequence of activities implemented in this study promote conceptual change about the nature of science and the process of evolution by natural selection in students.

  18. Conceptual Understanding of Causal Reasoning in Physics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hung, Woei; Jonassen, David H.

    2006-10-01

    College students often experience difficulties in solving physics problems. These difficulties largely result from a lack of conceptual understanding of the topic. The processes of conceptual learning reflect the nature of the causal reasoning process. Two major causal reasoning methods are the covariational and the mechanism-based approaches. This study was to investigate the effects of different causal reasoning methods on facilitating students’ conceptual understanding of physics. 125 college students from an introduction physics class were assigned into covariational group, mechanism-based group, and control group. The results show that the mechanism-based group significantly outperformed the other two groups in solving conceptual problems. However, no significant difference was found in all three groups performance on solving computational problems. Speculation on the inconsistent performance of the mechanism-based group in conceptual and computational problem solving is given. Detailed analyses of the results, findings, and educational implications are discussed

  19. Longer term impacts of transformed courses on student conceptual understanding of E&M

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pollock, Steven J.; Chasteen, Stephanie V.

    2009-11-01

    We have measured upper-division physics majors' performance using two research-based conceptual instruments in E&M, the BEMA [1] and the CUE (Colorado Upper Division Electrostatics assessment[2].) The BEMA has been given pre/post in freshman E&M (Physics II) courses, and the BEMA and CUE have been given pre/post in several upper-division E&M courses. Some of these data extend over 10 semesters. We used PER-based techniques to transform the introductory and upper-division courses starting in Fall 2004 and 2007, respectively [2, 3]. Our longitudinal data allow us to measure "fade" on BEMA performance between freshman and junior year. We investigate the effects of curricula on students by comparing juniors who were enrolled in traditional vs. transformed physics as freshmen, as well as those who were enrolled in traditional or transformed upper-division E&M I, using both BEMA and CUE measures. We find that while freshman reforms significantly impact BEMA scores, junior-level reforms affect CUE but not BEMA outcomes.

  20. An exploratory study into students' conceptual understanding of acid/base principles associated with chemical buffer systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacGowan, Catherine Elizabeth

    The overall objective of this research project was to provide an insight into students' conceptual understanding of acid/base principles as it relates to the comprehension and correct application of scientific concepts during a problem-solving activity. The difficulties experienced learning science and in developing appropriate problem-solving strategies most likely are predetermined by students' existing conceptual and procedural knowledge constructs; with the assimilation of newly acquired knowledge hindering or aiding the learning process. Learning chemistry requires a restructuring of content knowledge which will allow the individual to assemble and to integrate his/her own perception of science with instructional knowledge. The epistemology of constructivism, the theoretical grounding for this research project, recognizes the student's role as an active participant in the learning process. The study's design was exploratory in nature and descriptive in design. The problem-solving activity, the preparation of a chemical buffer solution at pH of 9, was selected and modified to reflect and meet the study's objective. Qualitative research methods (i.e., think aloud protocols, retrospective interviews, survey questionnaires such as the Scale of Intellectual Development (SID), and archival data sources) were used in the collection and assessment of data. Given its constructivist grounding, simplicity, and interpretative view of knowledge acquisition and learning of collegiate aged individuals, the Perry Intellectual and Ethical Development Model (1970) was chosen as the applied model for evaluation student cognition. The study's participants were twelve traditional college age students from a small, private liberal arts college. All participants volunteered for the project and had completed or were completing a general college chemistry course at the time of the project. Upon analysis of the data the following observations and results were noted: (1) students' overall comprehension level of key acid/base principles was at the misconception/miscued level of understanding; (2) the level of a student's conceptual knowledge effected their problem-solving performance and influenced their use of problem-solving tactics; (3) students casual use of the terms "acid" and/or "base" played a significant role in the misuse and misunderstanding of the principles of acid/base chemistry; (4) as assessed from their think aloud protocols and described by the Perry Scheme positions of intellect the study's participants' overall level of cognition were ranked as dualistic/relativistic thinkers; and (5) the SID questionnaire survey rankings did not seem to assess or reflect the participants' cognitive ability to learn or correctly use acid/base concepts as they preformed the study's problem-solving activity--the preparation of buffer solution having a pH of 9.

  1. A Study of General Education Astronomy Students' Understandings of Cosmology. Part I. Development and Validation of Four Conceptual Cosmology Surveys

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wallace, Colin S.; Prather, Edward E.; Duncan, Douglas K.

    2011-01-01

    This is the first in a series of five articles describing a national study of general education astronomy students' conceptual and reasoning difficulties with cosmology. In this paper, we describe the process by which we designed four new surveys to assess general education astronomy students' conceptual cosmology knowledge. These surveys focused…

  2. A Study of General Education Astronomy Students' Understandings of Cosmology. Part I. Development and Validation of Four Conceptual Cosmology Surveys

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wallace, Colin S.; Prather, Edward E.; Duncan, Douglas K.

    2011-01-01

    This is the first in a series of five articles describing a national study of general education astronomy students' conceptual and reasoning difficulties with cosmology. In this paper, we describe the process by which we designed four new surveys to assess general education astronomy students' conceptual cosmology knowledge. These surveys focusedÖ

  3. An analysis of the nature of students' metaconceptual processes and the effectiveness of metaconceptual teaching practices on students' conceptual understanding of force and motion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuruk, Nejla

    This study had three aims: (1) to investigate the effectiveness of facilitating students' metaconceptual processes, (2) to examine the durability of the impact of metaconceptual teaching on students' conceptual understanding of force and motion, and (3) to gain insight into the nature of metaconceptual processes as the students participated in the metaconceptual teaching activities. In examining the nature of students' metaconceptual processes, the purpose was to tease apart and categorize the types of metaconceptual processes, portray the trends within each type of metaconceptual process and describe the characteristics and the content of the metaconceptual processes related to students' ideas that changed throughout the metaconceptual teaching interventions. A multi-method research design that incorporated experimental and case study designs was employed. While the experimental group was exposed to metaconceptual teaching interventions, in the control group the same science content was taught by tradition instruction. The research was conducted in the two classrooms of a physics teacher. Participants of this study who were enrolled in one of the two physics classes involved 45 grade eleven and grade twelve high school students. In order to study the nature of students' metaconceptual processes, three students from the experimental group were selected based on their background in physics and their pre-instructional conceptual understanding of force and motion. While data of three students were used to describe the characteristics and trends within each type of metaconceptual process, data of two students were used for an in-depth analysis of their metaconceptual processes about their ideas of force and one-dimensional motion. Data from a variety of sources were collected to assess students' conceptual understanding of force and motion and their metaconceptual processes. In order to assess students' conceptual understanding of force and motion, Force Concept Inventory (FCI) was administered to both groups prior to, following, and nine weeks after the instructional interventions. Force and motion ideas of students who were the focus of the intensive case studies were identified by conducting one-to-one semi-structured interviews prior to and following the instructional interventions. The data regarding students' metaconceptual processes were derived from students' journals, audio-recordings of group-based activities, video-recordings of classroom discussions, and interviews conducted following the instructional interventions. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

  4. Defining Conceptual Understanding in General Chemistry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holme, Thomas A.; Luxford, Cynthia J.; Brandriet, Alexandra

    2015-01-01

    Among the many possible goals that instructors have for students in general chemistry, the idea that they will better understand the conceptual underpinnings of the science is certainly important. Nonetheless, identifying with clarity what exemplifies student success at achieving this goal is hindered by the challenge of clearly articulating whatÖ

  5. Defining Conceptual Understanding in General Chemistry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holme, Thomas A.; Luxford, Cynthia J.; Brandriet, Alexandra

    2015-01-01

    Among the many possible goals that instructors have for students in general chemistry, the idea that they will better understand the conceptual underpinnings of the science is certainly important. Nonetheless, identifying with clarity what exemplifies student success at achieving this goal is hindered by the challenge of clearly articulating what…

  6. Students' Communicative Resources in Relation to Their Conceptual Understanding--The Role of Non-Conventionalized Expressions in Making Sense of Visualizations of Protein Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rundgren, Carl-Johan; Hirsch, Richard; Chang Rundgren, Shu-Nu; Tibell, Lena A. E.

    2012-01-01

    This study examines how students explain their conceptual understanding of protein function using visualizations. Thirteen upper secondary students, four tertiary students (studying chemical biology), and two experts were interviewed in semi-structured interviews. The interviews were structured around 2D illustrations of proteins and an animatedÖ

  7. Students' Communicative Resources in Relation to Their Conceptual Understanding--The Role of Non-Conventionalized Expressions in Making Sense of Visualizations of Protein Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rundgren, Carl-Johan; Hirsch, Richard; Chang Rundgren, Shu-Nu; Tibell, Lena A. E.

    2012-01-01

    This study examines how students explain their conceptual understanding of protein function using visualizations. Thirteen upper secondary students, four tertiary students (studying chemical biology), and two experts were interviewed in semi-structured interviews. The interviews were structured around 2D illustrations of proteins and an animated…

  8. Development of a Student-Centered Instrument to Assess Middle School Students' Conceptual Understanding of Sound

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eshach, Haim

    2014-01-01

    This article describes the development and field test of the Sound Concept Inventory Instrument (SCII), designed to measure middle school students' concepts of sound. The instrument was designed based on known students' difficulties in understanding sound and the history of science related to sound and focuses on two main aspects of…

  9. The effects of academic literacy instruction on engagement and conceptual understanding of biology of ninth-grade students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larson, Susan C.

    Academic language, discourse, vocabulary, motivation, and comprehension of complex texts and concepts are keys to learning subject-area content. The need for a disciplinary literacy approach in high school classrooms accelerates as students become increasing disengaged in school and as content complexity increases. In the present quasi-experimental mixed-method study, a ninth-grade biology unit was designed with an emphasis on promoting academic literacy skills, discourse, meaningful constructivist learning, interest development, and positive learning experiences in order to learn science content. Quantitative and qualitative analyses on a variety of measures completed by 222 students in two high schools revealed that those who received academic literacy instruction in science class performed at significantly higher levels of conceptual understanding of biology content, academic language and vocabulary use, reasoned thought, engagement, and quality of learning experience than control-group students receiving traditionally-organized instruction. Academic literacy was embedded into biology instruction to engage students in meaning-making discourses of science to promote learning. Academic literacy activities were organized according the phases of interest development to trigger and sustain interest and goal-oriented engagement throughout the unit. Specific methods included the Generative Vocabulary Matrix (GVM), scenario-based writing, and involvement in a variety of strategically-placed discourse activities to sustain or "boost" engagement for learning. Traditional instruction for the control group included teacher lecture, whole-group discussion, a conceptual organizer, and textbook reading. Theoretical foundations include flow theory, sociocultural learning theory, and interest theory. Qualitative data were obtained from field notes and participants' journals. Quantitative survey data were collected and analyzed using the Experience Sampling Method (ESM) to measure cognitive and emotional states, revealing patterns of engagement, quality of experience, and flow over the course of the instructional unit. Conceptual understanding was measured using the state persuasive writing rubric to analyze science essays in which students supported a claim with scientific evidence. The study contributes an Engagement Model of Academic Literacy for Learning (EngageALL), a Rubric for Academic Persuasive Writing (RAPW), a unique classification system for analyzing academic vocabulary, and suggestions for situated professional development around a research-based planning framework. A discussion addresses a new direction for future research that explores academic identity development.

  10. Representing Chemistry: How Instructional Use of Symbolic, Microscopic, and Macroscopic Mode Influences Student Conceptual Understanding in Chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, Lorelei

    Chemistry as a subject is difficult to learn and understand, due in part to the specific language used by practitioners in their professional and scientific communications. The language and ways of representing chemical interactions have been grouped into three modes of representation used by chemistry instructors, and ultimately by students in understanding the discipline. The first of these three modes of representation is the symbolic mode, which uses a standard set of rules for chemical nomenclature set out by the IUPAC. The second mode of representation is that of microscopic, which depicts chemical compounds as discrete units made up of atoms and molecules, with a particular ratio of atoms to a molecule or formula unit. The third mode of representation is macroscopic, what can be seen, experienced, or measured directly, like ice melting or a color change during a chemical reaction. Recent evidence suggests that chemistry instructors can assist their students in making the connections between the modes of representation by incorporating all three modes into their teaching and discussions, and overtly connecting the modes during instruction. In this research, chemistry teachers at the community college level were observed over the course of an entire semester, to evaluate their instructional use of mode of representation. The students of these teachers were tested prior to and after a semester's worth of instruction, and changes in the basic chemistry conceptual knowledge of these students were compared. Additionally, a subset of the overall population that was pre- and post-tested was interviewed at length using demonstrations of chemical phenomenon that students were asked to translate using all three modes of representation. Analysis of the instruction of three community college teachers shows there were significant differences among these teachers in their instructional use of mode of representation. Additionally, the students of these three teachers had differential and statistically significant achievement over the course of the semester. This research supports results of other similar studies, as well as providing some unexpected results from the students involved.

  11. Development of a research-based learning progression for middle school through undergraduate students' conceptual understanding of size and scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delgado, Cesar

    Size and scale are crosscutting ideas integral to scientific understanding. However, research shows that students have little understanding of the size of objects, particularly objects too small to see with the unaided eye. Using a cross-sectional study with 101 middle-school through undergraduate students, a teaching experiment with 24 middle school students, and a theoretical task analysis, I built a learning progression for one-dimensional size and scale that focused on four aspects: ordering by size, grouping by size, relative scale (how many times bigger one object is than another), and absolute size. Over 90% of students develop their conceptual understanding of size and scale by connecting the aspects of size and scale in a specific order. Learners first connect the two qualitative aspects: ordering and grouping. They next connect ordering and relative scale, and then connect ordering and absolute size. Learners connect the two quantitative aspects, relative scale and absolute size, last. A major assumption underlying the learning progression theory is that they can be used to design learning materials that will advance student understanding. To provide empirical support for this idea, a teaching experiment was conducted to determine if students could advance in the manner suggested by the learning progression. The teaching experiment resulted in statistically and educationally significant learning gains. It showed that students increase the accuracy of their factual knowledge in tandem with their increased connectedness of knowledge, by establishing landmark objects that help them construct a mental measurement line. Measurement units including micrometers and nanometers were shown to be powerful tools for student learning about the unseen world. The task analyses revealed a variety of strategies that learners can use in addressing size and scale tasks. Types of strategies include using recall, using a single aspect, and employing the connection across aspects. Required logical and mathematical skills that precede proportional reasoning were also identified. This dissertation provides a model of how to develop a learning progression for a core idea, and showed that a learning progression can inform the design of curriculum materials that can move students to more advanced levels on the learning progression.

  12. Enhancing Students' Conceptual Understanding by Engaging Science Text with Reflective Writing as a Hermeneutical Circle

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kalman, Calvin S.

    2011-01-01

    Students can have great difficulty reading scientific texts and trying to cope with the professor in the classroom. Part of the reason for students' difficulties is that for a student taking a science gateway course the language, ontology and epistemology of science are akin to a foreign culture. There is thus an analogy between such a student and…

  13. Enhancing Students' Conceptual Understanding by Engaging Science Text with Reflective Writing as a Hermeneutical Circle

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kalman, Calvin S.

    2011-01-01

    Students can have great difficulty reading scientific texts and trying to cope with the professor in the classroom. Part of the reason for students' difficulties is that for a student taking a science gateway course the language, ontology and epistemology of science are akin to a foreign culture. There is thus an analogy between such a student andÖ

  14. The Impact of Peer Instruction on College Students' Beliefs about Physics and Conceptual Understanding of Electricity and Magnetism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gok, Tolga

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to assess students' conceptual learning of electricity and magnetism and examine how these conceptions, beliefs about physics, and quantitative problem-solving skills would change after peer instruction (PI). The Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism (CSEM), Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey…

  15. The Impact of Peer Instruction on College Students' Beliefs about Physics and Conceptual Understanding of Electricity and Magnetism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gok, Tolga

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to assess students' conceptual learning of electricity and magnetism and examine how these conceptions, beliefs about physics, and quantitative problem-solving skills would change after peer instruction (PI). The Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism (CSEM), Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science SurveyÖ

  16. Comparing the influence of physical and virtual manipulatives in the context of the Physics by Inquiry curriculum: The case of undergraduate students' conceptual understanding of heat and temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zacharia, Zacharias C.; Constantinou, Constantinos P.

    2008-04-01

    We compare the effect of experimenting with physical or virtual manipulatives on undergraduate students' conceptual understanding of heat and temperature. A pre-post comparison study design was used to replicate all aspects of a guided inquiry classroom except the mode in which students performed their experiments. This study is the first on physical and virtual manipulative experimentation in physics in which the curriculum, method of instruction, and resource capabilities were explicitly controlled. The participants were 68 undergraduates in an introductory course and were randomly assigned to an experimental or a control group. Conceptual tests were administered to both groups to assess students' understanding before, during, and after instruction. The result indicates that both modes of experimentation are equally effective in enhancing students' conceptual understanding. This result is discussed in the context of an ongoing debate on the relative importance of virtual and real laboratory work in physics education.

  17. 11th Grade Students' Conceptual Understanding about Torque Concept: A Longitudinal Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bostan Sarioglan, Ayberk; K√ľ√ß√ľk√∂zer, H√ľseyin

    2014-01-01

    In this study, it is aimed to reveal the effect of instruction on students' ideas about torque before instruction, after instruction and fifteen weeks after instruction. The working group consists of twenty five high school eleventh grade students. To reveal these students' ideas about the concept of torque a concept test consisting of seven…

  18. Explaining Newton's Laws of Motion: Using Student Reasoning through Representations to Develop Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waldrip, Bruce; Prain, Vaughan; Sellings, Peter

    2013-01-01

    The development of students' reasoning and argumentation skills in school science is currently attracting strong research interest. In this paper we report on a study where we aimed to investigate student learning on the topic of motion when students, guided by their teacher, responded to a sequence of representational challenges in which their…

  19. Evaluating Students' Conceptual Understanding of Balanced Equations and Stoichiometric Ratios Using a Particulate Drawing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sanger, Michael J.

    2005-01-01

    A total of 156 students were asked to provide free-response balanced chemical equations for a classic multiple-choice particulate-drawing question first used by Nurrenbern and Pickering. The balanced equations and the number of students providing each equation are reported in this study. The most common student errors included a confusion between…

  20. The Effects of Field Dependent/Field Independent Cognitive Styles and Motivational Styles on Students' Conceptual Understanding about Direct Current Circuits

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karaçam, Sedat; Digilli Baran, Azize

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of Field Dependent (FD)/Field Independent (FI) cognitive styles and motivational styles on high school students' conceptual understandings about direct current circuit concepts. The participants of this study consisted of 295 high school students (male = 127, female = 168) who were enrolled…

  1. Assessing the Development of Chemistry Students' Conceptual and Visual Understanding of Dimensional Analysis via Supplemental Use of Web-Based Software

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellis, Jennifer T.

    2013-01-01

    This study was designed to evaluate the effects of a proprietary software program on students' conceptual and visual understanding of dimensional analysis. The participants in the study were high school general chemistry students enrolled in two public schools with different demographics (School A and School B) in the Chattanooga, Tennessee,…

  2. Exploring Effects of High School Students' Mathematical Processing Skills and Conceptual Understanding of Chemical Concepts on Algorithmic Problem Solving

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gultepe, Nejla; Yalcin Celik, Ayse; Kilic, Ziya

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of students' conceptual understanding of chemical concepts and mathematical processing skills on algorithmic problem-solving skills. The sample (N = 554) included grades 9, 10, and 11 students in Turkey. Data were collected using the instrument "MPC Test" and with interviews. The…

  3. The Effect of the Conceptual Change Oriented Instruction through Cooperative Learning on 4th Grade Students' Understanding of Earth and Sky Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Celikten, Oksan; Ipekcioglu, Sevgi; Ertepinar, Hamide; Geban, Omer

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of the conceptual change oriented instruction through cooperative learning (CCICL) and traditional science instruction (TI) on 4th grade students' understanding of earth and sky concepts and their attitudes toward earth and sky concepts. In this study, 56 fourth grade students from the…

  4. Assessing the Development of Chemistry Students' Conceptual and Visual Understanding of Dimensional Analysis via Supplemental Use of Web-Based Software

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellis, Jennifer T.

    2013-01-01

    This study was designed to evaluate the effects of a proprietary software program on students' conceptual and visual understanding of dimensional analysis. The participants in the study were high school general chemistry students enrolled in two public schools with different demographics (School A and School B) in the Chattanooga, Tennessee,Ö

  5. Upper Secondary Students' Understanding of the Use of Multiple Models in Biology Textbooks‚ÄĒThe Importance of Conceptual Variation and Incommensurability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gericke, Niklas; Hagberg, Mariana; Jorde, Doris

    2013-04-01

    In this study we investigate students' ability to discern conceptual variation and the use of multiple models in genetics when reading content-specific excerpts from biology textbooks. Using the history and philosophy of science as our reference, we were able to develop a research instrument allowing students themselves to investigate the occurrence of multiple models and conceptual variation in Swedish upper secondary textbooks. Two excerpts using different models of gene function were selected from authentic textbooks. Students were given the same questionnaire-instrument after reading the two texts, and the results were compared. In this way the students themselves made a classification of the texts which could then be compared with the researchers' classification of the texts. Forty-one upper secondary students aged 18-19 participated in the study. Nine of the students also participated in semi-structured interviews. Students recognized the existence of multiple models in a general way, but had difficulty discerning the different models and the conceptual variation that occurs between them in the texts. Further they did not recognize the occurrence of incommensurability between multiple models. Students had difficulty in transforming their general knowledge of multiple models into an understanding of content specific models of gene function in the textbooks. These findings may have implications for students' understanding of conceptual knowledge because research has established textbooks as one of the most influential aspects in the planning and execution of biology lessons, and teachers commonly assign reading passages to their students without further explanation.

  6. Teaching Mathematical Trade Topics for Conceptual Understanding.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Larkin, Alan; Phillips, Keith

    This book is intended to assist trade and industrial education teachers in teaching mathematical trade topics in a way that will increase students' conceptual understanding of them. The first chapter provides an overview of the book's contents and suggests ways of using it. The next five chapters address the following aspects of using principles…

  7. Ghanaian Teacher Trainees' Conceptual Understanding of Stoichiometry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hanson, Ruby

    2015-01-01

    Chemical stoichiometry is a conceptual framework that encompasses other concepts such as the mole, writing of chemical equations in word and representative form, balancing of equations and the equilibrium concept. The underlying concepts enable students to understand relationships among entities of matter and required amounts for use when…

  8. Teachers' Beliefs about the Role of Interaction in Teaching Newtonian Mechanics and Its Influence on Students' Conceptual Understanding of Newton's Third Law

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jauhiainen, Johanna; Koponen, Ismo T.; Lavonen, Jari

    2006-01-01

    Students' conceptual understanding of Newton's third law has been the subject of numerous studies. These studies have often pointed out the importance of addressing the concept of interaction in teaching Newtonian mechanics. In this study, teachers were interviewed in order to examine how they understand interaction and use it in their…

  9. Conceptual Understanding of Shape and Space by Braille-Reading Norwegian Students in Elementary School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klingenberg, Oliv G.

    2012-01-01

    Introduction: The study presented here investigated the ways in which students who read braille were able to complete geometric tasks and how they constructed mental representations of the shapes of objects. Methods: Data were collected in an educational experiment conducted as a geometry course for students who read braille. A case study approachÖ

  10. Using a Computer Animation To Improve Students' Conceptual Understanding of a Can-Crushing Demonstration.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sanger, Michael J.; Phelps, Amy J.; Fienhold, Jason

    2000-01-01

    Presents several student responses to viewing a can-crushing demonstration in which a soda can containing a small amount of water was heated on a hot-plate to boil the water, removed from the heat, and sealed by inverting over a container of cold water. Students were given a quiz, made predictions, and explained what happened on a molecular level.…

  11. Using Reflective Peer Assessment to Promote Students' Conceptual Understanding through Asynchronous Discussions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lin, Huann-shyang; Hong, Zuway-R; Wang, Hsin-Hui; Lee, Sung-Tao

    2011-01-01

    This study explores the impact of using assessment items with competing theories to encourage students to practice evaluative reflection and collaborative argumentation in asynchronous discussions. Thirty undergraduate students from various departments worked in small groups and took turns collaboratively discussing the given item's answer,…

  12. Conceptual Understanding of Shape and Space by Braille-Reading Norwegian Students in Elementary School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klingenberg, Oliv G.

    2012-01-01

    Introduction: The study presented here investigated the ways in which students who read braille were able to complete geometric tasks and how they constructed mental representations of the shapes of objects. Methods: Data were collected in an educational experiment conducted as a geometry course for students who read braille. A case study approach…

  13. Building Conceptual Understanding of Research and Statistical Methods through Student Projects.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jamison, Margaret Godwin

    Student projects in both research and statistics classes promote active learning and critical thinking not found in more passive types of course delivery. Students start the dialogue of researchers as they internalize the process of conducting research projects with "real world" issues of interest to them in introductions to research and…

  14. Understanding Conservation of Laws in Mechanics: Students' Conceptual Change in Learning about Collisions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grimellini-Tomasini, N.; And Others

    1993-01-01

    Reviews research on student learning about collisions in physics instruction. Focus is placed on the main differences between the spontaneous perspective in describing/interpreting collisions and the disciplinary perspective based upon the energy and linear momentum conservation laws. (PR)

  15. Examining the Relationship between Students' Understanding of the Nature of Models and Conceptual Learning in Biology, Physics, and Chemistry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gobert, Janice D.; O'Dwyer, Laura; Horwitz, Paul; Buckley, Barbara C.; Levy, Sharona Tal; Wilensky, Uri

    2011-01-01

    This research addresses high school students' understandings of the nature of models, and their interaction with model-based software in three science domains, namely, biology, physics, and chemistry. Data from 736 high school students' understandings of models were collected using the Students' Understanding of Models in Science (SUMS) survey asÖ

  16. Examining the Relationship between Students' Understanding of the Nature of Models and Conceptual Learning in Biology, Physics, and Chemistry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gobert, Janice D.; O'Dwyer, Laura; Horwitz, Paul; Buckley, Barbara C.; Levy, Sharona Tal; Wilensky, Uri

    2011-01-01

    This research addresses high school students' understandings of the nature of models, and their interaction with model-based software in three science domains, namely, biology, physics, and chemistry. Data from 736 high school students' understandings of models were collected using the Students' Understanding of Models in Science (SUMS) survey as…

  17. Student Use of Scaffolding Software: Relationships with Motivation and Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Butler, Kyle A.; Lumpe, Andrew

    2008-01-01

    This study was designed to theoretically articulate and empirically assess the role of computer scaffolds. In this project, several examples of educational software were developed to scaffold the learning of students performing high level cognitive activities. The software used in this study, Artemis, focused on scaffolding the learning ofÖ

  18. Exploring the Influence of the Mass Media on Primary Students' Conceptual Understanding of Genetics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Donovan, Jenny; Venville, Grady

    2012-01-01

    The new Australian Curriculum ignites debate about science content appropriate for primary school children. Abstract genetics concepts such as genes and DNA are still being avoided in primary school, yet research has shown that, by age 10, many students have heard of DNA and/or genes. Scientific concepts appear in the mass media, but primary…

  19. The Influence of Instructional Media in Physiology Practical Teaching on Students' Conceptual Understanding.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tan, Christine Margaret; And Others

    1989-01-01

    Describes study conducted at the University Sains Malaysia with pharmacy students that compared a videotaped demonstration with a conventional laboratory experiment in physiology to determine the short-term and long-term effectiveness of the instructional media. Treatment for the experimental and control groups are described, and results are…

  20. Promoting Students' Conceptual Understanding of Plant Defense Responses Using the Fighting Plant Learning Unit (FPLU)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nantawanit, Nantawan; Panijpan, Bhinyo; Ruenwongsa, Pintip

    2012-01-01

    Most students think animals are more interesting than plants as a study topic believing that plants are inferior to animals because they are passive and unable to respond to external challenges, particularly biological invaders such as microorganisms and insect herbivores. The purpose of this study was to develop an inquiry-based learning unit,…

  1. Fundamental Computer Science Conceptual Understandings for High School Students Using Original Computer Game Design

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ernst, Jeremy V.; Clark, Aaron C.

    2012-01-01

    In 2009, the North Carolina Virtual Public Schools worked with researchers at the William and Ida Friday Institute to produce and evaluate the use of game creation by secondary students as a means for learning content related to career awareness in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines, with particular emphasis in…

  2. Student Use of Scaffolding Software: Relationships with Motivation and Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Butler, Kyle A.; Lumpe, Andrew

    2008-01-01

    This study was designed to theoretically articulate and empirically assess the role of computer scaffolds. In this project, several examples of educational software were developed to scaffold the learning of students performing high level cognitive activities. The software used in this study, Artemis, focused on scaffolding the learning of…

  3. Growing Pebbles and Conceptual Prisms - Understanding the Source of Student Misconceptions about Rock Formation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kusnick, Judi

    2002-01-01

    Analyzes narrative essays--stories of rock formation--written by pre-service elementary school teachers. Reports startling misconceptions among preservice teachers on pebbles that grow, human involvement in rock formation, and sedimentary rocks forming as puddles as dry up, even though these students had completed a college level course on Earth…

  4. Mathematics Teaching Practices with Technology that Support Conceptual Understanding for Latino/a Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zahner, William; Velazquez, Griselda; Moschkovich, Judit; Vahey, Phil; Lara-Meloy, Teresa

    2012-01-01

    We analyze how three seventh grade mathematics teachers from a majority Latino/a, linguistically diverse region of Texas taught the same lesson on interpreting graphs of motion as part of the Scaling Up SimCalc study (Roschelle et al., 2010). The students of two of the teachers made strong learning gains as measured by a curriculum-aligned…

  5. A Conceptual Framework for Understanding Students' with Disabilities Transition to Community College

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garrison-Wade, Dorothy F.; Lehmann, Jean P.

    2009-01-01

    Students with disabilities are significantly underrepresented in the nation's community college population for multiple reasons. These include low expectations, poor high school preparation and transition planning, lack of communication or support services, and ineffective or poor support from school services personnel and faculty. This paper…

  6. Effectiveness of a Conceptual Change-Oriented Teaching Strategy to Improve Students' Understanding of Galvanic Cells

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ozkaya, Ali Riza; Uce, Musa; Saricayir, Hakan; Sahin, Musa

    2006-01-01

    The results of previous educational research raise some questions about the efficacy of conventional teaching strategies and point to a need for using teaching strategies that explicitly take into account misconceptions students bring to the classes or acquire during the teaching-learning process. Accordingly, this article presents efforts to…

  7. Fundamental Computer Science Conceptual Understandings for High School Students Using Original Computer Game Design

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ernst, Jeremy V.; Clark, Aaron C.

    2012-01-01

    In 2009, the North Carolina Virtual Public Schools worked with researchers at the William and Ida Friday Institute to produce and evaluate the use of game creation by secondary students as a means for learning content related to career awareness in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines, with particular emphasis inÖ

  8. Promoting Students' Conceptual Understanding of Plant Defense Responses Using the Fighting Plant Learning Unit (FPLU)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nantawanit, Nantawan; Panijpan, Bhinyo; Ruenwongsa, Pintip

    2012-01-01

    Most students think animals are more interesting than plants as a study topic believing that plants are inferior to animals because they are passive and unable to respond to external challenges, particularly biological invaders such as microorganisms and insect herbivores. The purpose of this study was to develop an inquiry-based learning unit,Ö

  9. Applying Modeling Instruction to High School Chemistry to Improve Students' Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dukerich, Larry

    2015-01-01

    With the release of the Next Generation Science Standards, high school chemistry teachers are now pondering the implications of their recommendations for their teaching. They may agree that traditional instruction, as the Framework points out, "emphasizes discrete facts with a focus on breadth over depth, and does not provide students with…

  10. Exploring the Influence of the Mass Media on Primary Students' Conceptual Understanding of Genetics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Donovan, Jenny; Venville, Grady

    2012-01-01

    The new Australian Curriculum ignites debate about science content appropriate for primary school children. Abstract genetics concepts such as genes and DNA are still being avoided in primary school, yet research has shown that, by age 10, many students have heard of DNA and/or genes. Scientific concepts appear in the mass media, but primaryÖ

  11. Facilitating Students' Conceptual Understanding of Boiling Using a Four-Step Constructivist Teaching Method

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Calik, Muammer

    2008-01-01

    The aim of the work presented here was to devise an activity associated with factors affecting boiling points. The intervention used a four-step constructivist-based teaching strategy, which was subsequently evaluated by a cohort of students. Data collection consisted of application of a purpose designed questionnaire consisting of four open-endedÖ

  12. Using Students' Representations Constructed during Problem Solving to Infer Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Domin, Daniel; Bodner, George

    2012-01-01

    The differences in the types of representations constructed during successful and unsuccessful problem-solving episodes were investigated within the context of graduate students working on problems that involve concepts from 2D-NMR. Success at problem solving was established by having the participants solve five problems relating to material justÖ

  13. Students' Conceptual Understanding of a Function and Its Derivative in an Experimental Calculus Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Habre, Samer; Abboud, May

    2006-01-01

    Calculus has been witnessing fundamental changes in its curriculum, with an increased emphasis on visualization. This mode for representing mathematical concepts is gaining more strength due to the advances in computer technology and the development of dynamical mathematical software. This paper focuses on the understanding of the function and its…

  14. Can an Egg-Dropping Race Enhance Students' Conceptual Understanding of Air Resistance?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Yeung Chung; Kwok, Ping Wai

    2009-01-01

    Children are familiar with situations in which air resistance plays an important role, such as parachuting. However, it is not known whether they have any understanding about the concept of air resistance, how air resistance affects falling objects, and the differential effect it has on different objects. The literature reveals that there areÖ

  15. Can an Egg-Dropping Race Enhance Students' Conceptual Understanding of Air Resistance?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Yeung Chung; Kwok, Ping Wai

    2009-01-01

    Children are familiar with situations in which air resistance plays an important role, such as parachuting. However, it is not known whether they have any understanding about the concept of air resistance, how air resistance affects falling objects, and the differential effect it has on different objects. The literature reveals that there are…

  16. Exploring Middle School Students' Understanding of Three Conceptual Models in Genetics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Freidenreich, Hava Bresler; Duncan, Ravit Golan; Shea, Nicole

    2011-01-01

    Genetics is the cornerstone of modern biology and a critical aspect of scientific literacy. Research has shown, however, that many high school graduates lack fundamental understandings in genetics necessary to make informed decisions about issues and emerging technologies in this domain, such as genetic screening, genetically modified foods, etc.Ö

  17. Exploring Middle School Students' Understanding of Three Conceptual Models in Genetics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Freidenreich, Hava Bresler; Duncan, Ravit Golan; Shea, Nicole

    2011-01-01

    Genetics is the cornerstone of modern biology and a critical aspect of scientific literacy. Research has shown, however, that many high school graduates lack fundamental understandings in genetics necessary to make informed decisions about issues and emerging technologies in this domain, such as genetic screening, genetically modified foods, etc.…

  18. The Comparative Effects of Prediction/Discussion-Based Learning Cycle, Conceptual Change Text, and Traditional Instructions on Student Understanding of Genetics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yilmaz, Diba; Tekkaya, Ceren; Sungur, Semra

    2011-01-01

    The present study examined the comparative effects of a prediction/discussion-based learning cycle, conceptual change text (CCT), and traditional instructions on students' understanding of genetics concepts. A quasi-experimental research design of the pre-test-post-test non-equivalent control group was adopted. The three intact classes, taught by…

  19. Grade 12 Students' Conceptual Understanding and Mental Models of Galvanic Cells before and after Learning by Using Small-Scale Experiments in Conjunction with a Model Kit

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Supasorn, Saksri

    2015-01-01

    This study aimed to develop the small-scale experiments involving electrochemistry and the galvanic cell model kit featuring the sub-microscopic level. The small-scale experiments in conjunction with the model kit were implemented based on the 5E inquiry learning approach to enhance students' conceptual understanding of electrochemistry. The…

  20. The Impact of Science Notebook Writing on ELL and Low-SES Students' Science Language Development and Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huerta, Margarita

    2013-01-01

    This quantitative study explored the impact of literacy integration in a science inquiry classroom involving the use of science notebooks on the academic language development and conceptual understanding of students from diverse (i.e., English Language Learners, or ELLs) and low socio-economic status (low-SES) backgrounds. The study derived from a…

  1. Grade 12 Students' Conceptual Understanding and Mental Models of Galvanic Cells before and after Learning by Using Small-Scale Experiments in Conjunction with a Model Kit

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Supasorn, Saksri

    2015-01-01

    This study aimed to develop the small-scale experiments involving electrochemistry and the galvanic cell model kit featuring the sub-microscopic level. The small-scale experiments in conjunction with the model kit were implemented based on the 5E inquiry learning approach to enhance students' conceptual understanding of electrochemistry. TheÖ

  2. Evaluation of the Effects of Argumentation Based Science Teaching on 5th Grade Students' Conceptual Understanding of the Subjects Related to "Matter and Change"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Çinar, Derya; Bayraktar, Sule

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study is to evaluate the effects of Argumentation Based Science Teaching on 5th grade students' conceptual understanding of the subjects related to "Matter and Change". This research is a qualitative research and its design is a multiple (compare) case study. In this study, semi-structured interviews related to the…

  3. Evaluation of the Effects of Argumentation Based Science Teaching on 5th Grade Students' Conceptual Understanding of the Subjects Related to "Matter and Change"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Çinar, Derya; Bayraktar, Sule

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study is to evaluate the effects of Argumentation Based Science Teaching on 5th grade students' conceptual understanding of the subjects related to "Matter and Change". This research is a qualitative research and its design is a multiple (compare) case study. In this study, semi-structured interviews related to the…

  4. Effect of Animation Enhanced Conceptual Change Texts on 6th Grade Students' Understanding of the Particulate Nature of Matter and Transformation During Phase Changes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ozmen, Haluk

    2011-01-01

    In this study, the effect of animation enhanced conceptual change texts (CCT-CA) on grade 6 students' understanding of the particulate nature of matter (PNM) and transformation during the phase changes was investigated. A quasi-experimental design and one control group (CG, N = 25) and one experimental group (EG, N = 26) were used. While the…

  5. The Influence of Computer-Assisted Instruction on Students' Conceptual Understanding of Chemical Bonding and Attitude toward Chemistry: A Case for Turkey

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ozmen, Haluk

    2008-01-01

    In this study, the effect of computer-assisted instruction on conceptual understanding of chemical bonding and attitude toward chemistry was investigated. The study employed a quasi-experimental design involving 11 grade students; 25 in an experimental and 25 in a control group. The Chemical Bonding Achievement Test (CBAT) consisting of 15…

  6. Using the science writing heuristic approach as a tool for assessing and promoting students' conceptual understanding and perceptions in the general chemistry laboratory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mohammad, Elham Ghazi

    This thesis reports on a study that examined the impact of implementing SWH (inquiry-based approach) in a general chemistry lab on non-science-major students' understanding of chemistry concepts and students' perceptions toward writing in science and implementing SWH. This study was conducted in a large university in the Midwest of the United States in a college freshman chemistry laboratory for non-science-major students. The research framework is presented including the following: the qualitative research design with the observation as data collection method for this design and the criteria for teacher level of implementation and the ranking mechanism; and the quantitative research design with data collection and analysis methods including pre- and post-conceptual exams, lecture question, open-ended surveys. This research was based on a quasi-experimental mixed-method design a focus on student performance on higher order conceptual questions, and open-ended survey at the end of semester about their perception toward writing to learn ad implementing SWH. Results from the qualitative and quantitative component indicated that implementing SWH approach has notably enhanced both male and female conceptual understanding and perception toward chemistry and implementing SWH. It is known that there is gender gap in science, where female have lower perception and self confident toward science. Interestingly, my findings have showed that implementing SWH helped closing the gap between male and female who started the semester with a statistically significant lower level of conceptual understanding of chemistry concepts among females than males.

  7. The effectiveness of interactive computer simulations on college engineering student conceptual understanding and problem-solving ability related to circular motion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chien, Cheng-Chih

    In the past thirty years, the effectiveness of computer assisted learning was found varied by individual studies. Today, with drastic technical improvement, computers have been widely spread in schools and used in a variety of ways. In this study, a design model involving educational technology, pedagogy, and content domain is proposed for effective use of computers in learning. Computer simulation, constructivist and Vygotskian perspectives, and circular motion are the three elements of the specific Chain Model for instructional design. The goal of the physics course is to help students remove the ideas which are not consistent with the physics community and rebuild new knowledge. To achieve the learning goal, the strategies of using conceptual conflicts and using language to internalize specific tasks into mental functions were included. Computer simulations and accompanying worksheets were used to help students explore their own ideas and to generate questions for discussions. Using animated images to describe the dynamic processes involved in the circular motion may reduce the complexity and possible miscommunications resulting from verbal explanations. The effectiveness of the instructional material on student learning is evaluated. The results of problem solving activities show that students using computer simulations had significantly higher scores than students not using computer simulations. For conceptual understanding, on the pretest students in the non-simulation group had significantly higher score than students in the simulation group. There was no significant difference observed between the two groups in the posttest. The relations of gender, prior physics experience, and frequency of computer uses outside the course to student achievement were also studied. There were fewer female students than male students and fewer students using computer simulations than students not using computer simulations. These characteristics affect the statistical power for detecting differences. For the future research, more intervention of simulations may be introduced to explore the potential of computer simulation in helping students learning. A test for conceptual understanding with more problems and appropriate difficulty level may be needed.

  8. Enhancing Grade 10 Thai Students' Stoichiometry Understanding and Ability to Solve Numerical Problems via a Conceptual Change Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dahsah, Chanyah; Coll, Richard K.; Sung-ong, Sunan; Yutakom, Naruemon; Sanguanruang, Sudjit

    2008-01-01

    The international literature suggests students frequently resort to the use of formulae when solving stoichiometry problems without understanding the concepts. In prior work we identified Thai student alternative conceptions and ability to solve numerical problem for stoichiometry. The results indicate that many Thai students also hold alternative…

  9. An Investigation into Chemical Engineering Students' Understanding of the Mole and the Use of Concrete Activities To Promote Conceptual Change.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Case, Jennifer M.; Fraser, Duncan M.

    1999-01-01

    Describes an investigation of first-year chemical engineering students' understanding of the mole concept. Finds that a series of activities designed to provide students with visual or experiential points of reference for the mole concept had a strong positive effect on student misconceptions. Contains 16 references. (Author/WRM)

  10. A cross-age study of students' conceptual understanding of interdependency in seed dispersal, pollination, and food chains using a constructivist theoretical framework

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Shirley Mccraw

    2003-06-01

    The purpose of this research was to investigate students' understanding of interdependency across grade levels. Interdependency concepts selected for this study included food chains, pollination, and seed dispersal. Children's everyday concepts and scientific concepts across grade levels represented the focus of conceptual understanding. The researcher interviewed a total of 24 students across grade levels, six students each from grades 3, 7, and 10, and 6 college students. Data were collected by means of interviews and card sorts. A constructivist theoretical framework formed the groundwork for presenting the focus of this study and for interpreting the results of the interview data. Results were analyzed on the basis of identifying student responses to interview questions as either everyday concepts or as scientific concepts, along with transition through the zone of proximal development (ZPD) by mediation, as developed by Vygotsky. Results revealed that children across grade levels vary in their everyday and scientific understanding of the three interdependency concepts. Results for seed dispersal showed little evidence of understanding for grade 3, that is, seed dispersal was not within the zone of proximal development (ZPD) for grade 3 students. Students in grades 7 and 10 showed a developing transition within the zone of proximal development from everyday to scientific understanding, and college students demonstrated scientific understanding of seed dispersal. For pollination and food chains, results showed that grades 3, 7, and 10 were in transition from everyday to scientific understanding, and all college students demonstrated scientific understanding. The seed dispersal concept proved more complex than pollination and food chains. The findings of this study have implications for classroom teachers. By understanding the dynamic nature of the ZPD continuum for students, teachers can plan instruction to meet the needs of each student.

  11. TOCUSO: Test of Conceptual Understanding on High School Optics Topics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Akarsu, Bayram

    2012-01-01

    Physics educators around the world often need reliable diagnostic materials to measure students' understanding of physics concept in high school. The purpose of this study is to evaluate a new diagnostic tool on High School Optics concept. Test of Conceptual Understanding on High School Optics (TOCUSO) consists of 25 conceptual items that…

  12. Fostering High School Students' Conceptual Understandings about Seasons: The Design of a Technology-Enhanced Learning Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hsu, Ying-Shao; Wu, Hsin-Kai; Hwang, Fu-Kwun

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to understand in what ways a technology-enhanced learning (TEL) environment supports learning about the causes of the seasons. The environment was designed to engage students in five cognitive phases: Contextualisation, Sense making, Exploration, Modeling, and Application. Seventy-five high school students participatedÖ

  13. Fostering High School Students' Conceptual Understandings about Seasons: The Design of a Technology-Enhanced Learning Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hsu, Ying-Shao; Wu, Hsin-Kai; Hwang, Fu-Kwun

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to understand in what ways a technology-enhanced learning (TEL) environment supports learning about the causes of the seasons. The environment was designed to engage students in five cognitive phases: Contextualisation, Sense making, Exploration, Modeling, and Application. Seventy-five high school students participated…

  14. Representing Chemistry: How Instructional Use of Symbolic, Microscopic, and Macroscopic Mode Influences Student Conceptual Understanding in Chemistry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wood, Lorelei

    2013-01-01

    Chemistry as a subject is difficult to learn and understand, due in part to the specific language used by practitioners in their professional and scientific communications. The language and ways of representing chemical interactions have been grouped into three modes of representation used by chemistry instructors, and ultimately by students in…

  15. Understanding groundwater - students' pre-conceptions and conceptual change by a theory-guided multimedia learning program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Unterbruner, U.; Hilberg, S.; Schiffl, I.

    2015-11-01

    Groundwater is a crucial topic in education for sustainable development. Nevertheless, international studies with students of different ages have shown that the basic hydrogeological concept of groundwater defined as water within porous and permeable rocks is not an established everyday notion. Building upon international research a multimedia learning program ("Between the raincloud and the tap") was developed. Insights from the fields of conceptual change research, multimedia research, and the Model of Educational Reconstruction were specifically implemented. Two studies were conducted with Austrian pupils (7th grade) and teacher training students from the fields of biology and geography in order to ascertain the effectiveness of the learning program. Using a quasi-experimental research design, the participants' conceptions and knowledge regarding groundwater were determined in a pre- and post-test. The pupils and students greatly profited from independently working through the learning software. Their knowledge of groundwater increased significantly compared to the control group and there was a highly significant increase in the number of scientifically correct notions of groundwater. The acceptance of the program was also generally very high. The results speak for the fact that theory-guided multimedia learning programs can play an important role in the transfer of research results into the classroom, particularly in science education.

  16. Students' understandings of electrochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Grady-Morris, Kathryn

    Electrochemistry is considered by students to be a difficult topic in chemistry. This research was a mixed methods study guided by the research question: At the end of a unit of study, what are students' understandings of electrochemistry? The framework of analysis used for the qualitative and quantitative data collected in this study was comprised of three categories: types of knowledge used in problem solving, levels of representation of knowledge in chemistry (macroscopic, symbolic, and particulate), and alternative conceptions. Although individually each of the three categories has been reported in previous studies, the contribution of this study is the inter-relationships among them. Semi-structured, task-based interviews were conducted while students were setting up and operating electrochemical cells in the laboratory, and a two-tiered, multiple-choice diagnostic instrument was designed to identify alternative conceptions that students held at the end of the unit. For familiar problems, those involving routine voltaic cells, students used a working-forwards problem-solving strategy, two or three levels of representation of knowledge during explanations, scored higher on both procedural and conceptual knowledge questions in the diagnostic instrument, and held fewer alternative conceptions related to the operation of these cells. For less familiar problems, those involving non-routine voltaic cells and electrolytic cells, students approached problem-solving with procedural knowledge, used only one level of representation of knowledge when explaining the operation of these cells, scored higher on procedural knowledge than conceptual knowledge questions in the diagnostic instrument, and held a greater number of alternative conceptions. Decision routines that involved memorized formulas and procedures were used to solve both quantitative and qualitative problems and the main source of alternative conceptions in this study was the overgeneralization of theory related to the particulate level of representation of knowledge. The findings from this study may contribute further to our understanding of students' conceptions in electrochemistry. Furthermore, understanding the influence of the three categories in the framework of analysis and their inter-relationships on how students make sense of this field may result in a better understanding of classroom practice that could promote the acquisition of conceptual knowledge --- knowledge that is "rich in relationships".

  17. Understanding Co-development of Conceptual and Epistemic Understanding through Modeling Practices with Mobile Internet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryu, Suna; Han, Yuhwha; Paik, Seoung-Hey

    2015-04-01

    The present study explores how engaging in modeling practice, along with argumentation, leverages students' epistemic and conceptual understanding in an afterschool science/math class of 16 tenth graders. The study also explores how students used mobile Internet phones (smart phones) productively to support modeling practices. As the modeling practices became more challenging, student discussion occurred more often, from what to model to providing explanations for the phenomenon. Students came to argue about evidence that supported their model and how the model could explain target and related phenomena. This finding adds to the literature that modeling practice can help students improve conceptual understanding of subject knowledge as well as epistemic understanding.

  18. A Study of General Education Astronomy Students' Understandings of Cosmology. Part II. Evaluating Four Conceptual Cosmology Surveys: A Classical Test Theory Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wallace, Colin S.; Prather, Edward E.; Duncan, Douglas K.

    2011-01-01

    This is the second of five papers detailing our national study of general education astronomy students' conceptual and reasoning difficulties with cosmology. This article begins our quantitative investigation of the data. We describe how we scored students' responses to four conceptual cosmology surveys, and we present evidence for the inter-raterÖ

  19. A Study of General Education Astronomy Students' Understandings of Cosmology. Part III. Evaluating Four Conceptual Cosmology Surveys: An Item Response Theory Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wallace, Colin S.; Prather, Edward E.; Duncan, Douglas K.

    2012-01-01

    This is the third of five papers detailing our national study of general education astronomy students' conceptual and reasoning difficulties with cosmology. In this paper, we use item response theory to analyze students' responses to three out of the four conceptual cosmology surveys we developed. The specific item response theory model we use isÖ

  20. A Study of General Education Astronomy Students' Understandings of Cosmology. Part III. Evaluating Four Conceptual Cosmology Surveys: An Item Response Theory Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wallace, Colin S.; Prather, Edward E.; Duncan, Douglas K.

    2012-01-01

    This is the third of five papers detailing our national study of general education astronomy students' conceptual and reasoning difficulties with cosmology. In this paper, we use item response theory to analyze students' responses to three out of the four conceptual cosmology surveys we developed. The specific item response theory model we use is…

  1. A Study of General Education Astronomy Students' Understandings of Cosmology. Part II. Evaluating Four Conceptual Cosmology Surveys: A Classical Test Theory Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wallace, Colin S.; Prather, Edward E.; Duncan, Douglas K.

    2011-01-01

    This is the second of five papers detailing our national study of general education astronomy students' conceptual and reasoning difficulties with cosmology. This article begins our quantitative investigation of the data. We describe how we scored students' responses to four conceptual cosmology surveys, and we present evidence for the inter-rater…

  2. Epistemic Beliefs and Conceptual Understanding in Biotechnology: A Case Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rebello, Carina M.; Siegel, Marcelle A.; Witzig, Stephen B.; Freyermuth, Sharyn K.; McClure, Bruce A.

    2012-04-01

    The purpose of this investigation was to explore students' epistemic beliefs and conceptual understanding of biotechnology. Epistemic beliefs can influence reasoning, how individuals evaluate information, and informed decision making abilities. These skills are important for an informed citizenry that will participate in debates regarding areas in science such as biotechnology. We report on an in-depth case study analysis of three undergraduate, non-science majors in a biotechnology course designed for non-biochemistry majors. We selected participants who performed above average and below average on the first in-class exam. Data from multiple sources‚ÄĒinterviews, exams, and a concept instrument‚ÄĒwere used to construct (a) individual profiles and (b) a cross-case analysis of our participants' conceptual development and epistemic beliefs from two different theoretical perspectives‚ÄĒWomen's Ways of Knowing and the Reflective Judgment Model. Two independent trained researchers coded all case records independently for both theoretical perspectives, with resultant initial Cohen's kappa values above .715 (substantial agreement), and then reached consensus on the codes. Results indicate that a student with more sophisticated epistemology demonstrated greater conceptual understandings at the end of the course than a student with less sophisticated epistemology, even though the latter performed higher initially. Also a student with a less sophisticated epistemology and low initial conceptual performance does not demonstrate gains in their overall conceptual understanding. Results suggest the need for instructional interventions fostering epistemological development of learners in order to facilitate their conceptual growth.

  3. Effects of Conceptual Change Texts and Laboratory Experiments on Fourth Grade Students' Understanding of Matter and Change Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Durmus, Jale; Bayraktar, Sule

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate whether conceptual change texts and laboratory experiments are effective in overcoming misconceptions and whether the concepts were acquired permanently when these methods were utilized. In this study, we addressed some topics from the "Matter and Change" unit in science and technology class of…

  4. Effects of California community college students' gender, self-efficacy, and attitudes and beliefs toward physics on conceptual understanding of Newtonian mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Said, Asma

    Despite the advances made in various fields, women are still considered as minorities in the fields of science and mathematics. There is a gender gap regarding women's participation and achievement in physics. Self-efficacy and attitudes and beliefs toward physics have been identified as predictors of students' performance on conceptual surveys in physics courses. The present study, which used two-way analysis of variance and multiple linear regression analyses at a community college in California, revealed there is no gender gap in achievement between male and female students in physics courses. Furthermore, there is an achievement gap between students who are enrolled in algebra-based and calculus-based physics courses. The findings indicate that attitudes and beliefs scores can be used as predictors of students' performance on conceptual surveys in physics courses. However, scores of self-efficacy cannot be used as predictors of students' performance on conceptual surveys in physics courses.

  5. Teacher Support in Computer-Supported Lab Work: Bridging the Gap between Lab Experiments and Students' Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Furberg, Anniken

    2016-01-01

    This paper reports on a study of teacher support in a setting where students engaged with computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) in science. The empirical basis is an intervention study where secondary school students and their teacher performed a lab experiment in genetics supported by a digital learning environment. The analytical…

  6. Explicit Argumentation Instruction to Facilitate Conceptual Understanding and Argumentation Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cetin, Pinar Seda

    2014-01-01

    Background: Argumentation is accepted by many science educators as a major component of science education. Many studies have investigated students' conceptual understanding and their engagement in argumentative activities. However, studies conducted in the subject of chemistry are very rare. Purpose: The present study aimed to investigate the…

  7. Epistemic Beliefs and Conceptual Understanding in Biotechnology: A Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rebello, Carina M.; Siegel, Marcelle A.; Witzig, Stephen B.; Freyermuth, Sharyn K.; McClure, Bruce A.

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this investigation was to explore students' epistemic beliefs and conceptual understanding of biotechnology. Epistemic beliefs can influence reasoning, how individuals evaluate information, and informed decision making abilities. These skills are important for an informed citizenry that will participate in debates regarding areas in…

  8. Prior Knowledge Moderates Instructional Effects on Conceptual Understanding of Statistics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leppink, Jimmie; Broers, Nick J.; Imbos, Tjaart; van der Vleuten, Cees P. M.; Berger, Martijn P. F.

    2012-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of different teaching and learning methods for statistics for 2 levels of prior knowledge on cognitive load, propositional knowledge, and conceptual understanding. Teaching methods were whether or not to provide students with propositional information, and learning strategies were self-explaining the learning…

  9. Explicit Argumentation Instruction to Facilitate Conceptual Understanding and Argumentation Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cetin, Pinar Seda

    2014-01-01

    Background: Argumentation is accepted by many science educators as a major component of science education. Many studies have investigated students' conceptual understanding and their engagement in argumentative activities. However, studies conducted in the subject of chemistry are very rare. Purpose: The present study aimed to investigate theÖ

  10. Epistemic Beliefs and Conceptual Understanding in Biotechnology: A Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rebello, Carina M.; Siegel, Marcelle A.; Witzig, Stephen B.; Freyermuth, Sharyn K.; McClure, Bruce A.

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this investigation was to explore students' epistemic beliefs and conceptual understanding of biotechnology. Epistemic beliefs can influence reasoning, how individuals evaluate information, and informed decision making abilities. These skills are important for an informed citizenry that will participate in debates regarding areas inÖ

  11. Upper Secondary Students' Understanding of the Use of Multiple Models in Biology Textbooks--The Importance of Conceptual Variation and Incommensurability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gericke, Niklas; Hagberg, Mariana; Jorde, Doris

    2013-01-01

    In this study we investigate students' ability to discern conceptual variation and the use of multiple models in genetics when reading content-specific excerpts from biology textbooks. Using the history and philosophy of science as our reference, we were able to develop a research instrument allowing students themselves to investigate the…

  12. Using a schoolyard garden to increase language acquisition and conceptual understanding of science in elementary ELL students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stewart, Morgan

    This action research study examined a small cross-section of a Texas public school population. Participants were kindergarten through third grade students enrolled in the English as a Second Language (ESL) Program who were pulled out of their general classroom to receive English support within the content area of science. This study looked at how effective a hands-on learning experience using a schoolyard garden enhanced the academic language and science content of the participants. The study began in mid-March and concluded at the end of April with each group receiving 40 minutes of instruction five days a week. Each group consisted of a Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced/Advanced High student for a total of 12 participants. Four forms of data were used in this study: archival, pre-test, post-test, and journal. Rubrics were used to analyze individual students' level of academic language before and after the study. The results illustrate that the younger students (kindergarten and first grade) descriptions were very basic and concrete while the older students had more accurate and descriptive responses. Upon completion of this research, it was determined that the usage of a schoolyard garden compliments both the acquisition of academic language and the increase in science content knowledge.

  13. On Automatic Assessment and Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rasila, Antti; Malinen, Jarmo; Tiitu, Hannu

    2015-01-01

    We consider two complementary aspects of mathematical skills, i.e. "procedural fluency" and "conceptual understanding," from a point of view that is related to modern e-learning environments and computer-based assessment. Pedagogical background of teaching mathematics is discussed, and it is proposed that the traditional bookÖ

  14. Young Children's Conceptual Understanding of Triangle

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dagli, ‹mmŁhan Yesil; Halat, Erdogan

    2016-01-01

    This study explored 5-6 year-old children's conceptual understanding of one geometric shape, the triangle. It focused on whether children could draw a triangle from memory, and identify triangles of different types, sizes, and orientations. The data were collected from 82 children attending state preschool programs through a one-on-one interview,Ö

  15. On Automatic Assessment and Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rasila, Antti; Malinen, Jarmo; Tiitu, Hannu

    2015-01-01

    We consider two complementary aspects of mathematical skills, i.e. "procedural fluency" and "conceptual understanding," from a point of view that is related to modern e-learning environments and computer-based assessment. Pedagogical background of teaching mathematics is discussed, and it is proposed that the traditional book…

  16. Young Children's Conceptual Understanding of Triangle

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dagli, √úmm√ľhan Yesil; Halat, Erdogan

    2016-01-01

    This study explored 5-6 year-old children's conceptual understanding of one geometric shape, the triangle. It focused on whether children could draw a triangle from memory, and identify triangles of different types, sizes, and orientations. The data were collected from 82 children attending state preschool programs through a one-on-one interview,…

  17. Promoting Conceptual Understanding via Adaptive Concept Maps

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore, Jacob P.

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to explore the feasibility and effectiveness of a scalable concept map based navigation system for a digital textbook. A literature review has been conducted to identify possible methods to promote conceptual understanding in the context of a digital textbook, and these hypothesized solutions will be evaluated throughÖ

  18. Promoting Conceptual Understanding via Adaptive Concept Maps

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore, Jacob P.

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to explore the feasibility and effectiveness of a scalable concept map based navigation system for a digital textbook. A literature review has been conducted to identify possible methods to promote conceptual understanding in the context of a digital textbook, and these hypothesized solutions will be evaluated through…

  19. Understanding Co-Development of Conceptual and Epistemic Understanding through Modeling Practices with Mobile Internet

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ryu, Suna; Han, Yuhwha; Paik, Seoung-Hey

    2015-01-01

    The present study explores how engaging in modeling practice, along with argumentation, leverages students' epistemic and conceptual understanding in an afterschool science/math class of 16 tenth graders. The study also explores how students used mobile Internet phones (smart phones) productively to support modeling practices. As the modeling…

  20. Understanding Co-Development of Conceptual and Epistemic Understanding through Modeling Practices with Mobile Internet

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ryu, Suna; Han, Yuhwha; Paik, Seoung-Hey

    2015-01-01

    The present study explores how engaging in modeling practice, along with argumentation, leverages students' epistemic and conceptual understanding in an afterschool science/math class of 16 tenth graders. The study also explores how students used mobile Internet phones (smart phones) productively to support modeling practices. As the modelingÖ

  1. The Role of Self-Regulated Learning in Fostering Students' Conceptual Understanding of Complex Systems with Hypermedia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Azevedo, Roger; Guthrie, John T.; Seibert, Diane

    2004-01-01

    This study examines the role of self-regulated learning (SRL) in facilitating students' shifts to more sophisticated mental models of the circulatory system as indicated by both performance and process data. We began with Winne and colleagues' information processing model of SRL (Winne, 2001; Winne & Hadwin, 1998) and used it to examine how…

  2. A Comparison of Students' Conceptual Understanding of Electric Circuits in Simulation Only and Simulation-Laboratory Contexts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jaakkola, Tomi; Nurmi, Sami; Veermans, Koen

    2011-01-01

    The aim of this experimental study was to compare learning outcomes of students using a simulation alone (simulation environment) with outcomes of those using a simulation in parallel with real circuits (combination environment) in the domain of electricity, and to explore how learning outcomes in these environments are mediated by implicit (only…

  3. Case-Based Instruction: Improving Students' Conceptual Understanding through Cases in a Mechanical Engineering Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yadav, Aman; Vinh, Megan; Shaver, Gregory M.; Meckl, Peter; Firebaugh, Stephanie

    2014-01-01

    Recently, there has been a push within engineering curricula to adopt more learner-centered pedagogies, such as case-based instruction. Case-based instruction has been hypothesized to make the curriculum more relevant and motivating for students by pushing them to integrate the concepts they have learned with other experiences. The current studyÖ

  4. Argument-Driven Inquiry in Undergraduate Chemistry Labs: The Impact on Students' Conceptual Understanding, Argument Skills, and Attitudes toward Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walker, Joi Phelps; Sampson, Victor; Grooms, Jonathon; Anderson, Brittany; Zimmerman, Carol O.

    2012-01-01

    This article describes a new instructional model called Argument-Driven Inquiry (ADI). This model is designed to promote student engagement in processes of investigation design and scientific argumentation. In this study, the ADI instructional model is compared with a more traditional approach to instruction across 16 laboratory sections of…

  5. Case-Based Instruction: Improving Students' Conceptual Understanding through Cases in a Mechanical Engineering Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yadav, Aman; Vinh, Megan; Shaver, Gregory M.; Meckl, Peter; Firebaugh, Stephanie

    2014-01-01

    Recently, there has been a push within engineering curricula to adopt more learner-centered pedagogies, such as case-based instruction. Case-based instruction has been hypothesized to make the curriculum more relevant and motivating for students by pushing them to integrate the concepts they have learned with other experiences. The current study…

  6. Progressive Transitions from Algorithmic to Conceptual Understanding in Student Ability To Solve Chemistry Problems: A Lakatosian Interpretation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Niaz, Mansoor

    The main objective of this study is to construct models based on strategies students use to solve chemistry problems and to show that these models form sequences of progressive transitions similar to what Lakatos (1970) in the history of science refers to as progressive 'problemshifts' that increase the explanatory' heuristic power of the models.…

  7. Understanding Cellular Respiration: An Analysis of Conceptual Change in College Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Songer, Catherine J.; Mintzes, Joel J.

    1994-01-01

    Explores and documents the frequencies of conceptual difficulties confronted by college students (n=200) seeking to understand the basic processes of cellular respiration. Findings suggest that novices harbor a wide range of conceptual difficulties that constrain their understanding of cellular respiration and many of these conceptual problems…

  8. Modelling Photosynthesis to Increase Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ross, Pauline; Tronson, Deidre; Ritchie, Raymond J.

    2006-01-01

    Biology students in their first year at university have difficulty understanding the abstract concepts of photosynthesis. The traditional didactic lecture followed by practical exercises that show various macroscopic aspects of photosynthesis often do not help the students visualise or understand the submicroscopic (molecular-level) reactions thatÖ

  9. Modelling Photosynthesis to Increase Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ross, Pauline; Tronson, Deidre; Ritchie, Raymond J.

    2006-01-01

    Biology students in their first year at university have difficulty understanding the abstract concepts of photosynthesis. The traditional didactic lecture followed by practical exercises that show various macroscopic aspects of photosynthesis often do not help the students visualise or understand the submicroscopic (molecular-level) reactions that…

  10. Mathematical vs. conceptual understanding: Where do we draw the line?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sadaghiani, Homeyra; Aguilera, Nicholas

    2013-01-01

    This research involved high school physics students and how they learn to understand Newton's laws as they relate to falling bodies and projectile motion. Students in introductory, algebra-based, high school physics classes were evaluated based on their prior knowledge through a pretest, designed to assess their initial comprehension of the motion of falling bodies and projectiles. Groups were divided and taught separately with an emphasis on either mathematical derivation of equations, followed by brief conceptual discussions, or on thorough conceptual analysis, followed by a brief mathematical verification. After a posttest was given, an evaluation of the responses and explanations of each group of students was used to determine which method of instruction was more effective. Results indicate that after the conceptual group and math groups achieved similar scores on the pretest, the conceptual group obtained a slightly higher normalized gain of 25% on the posttest, compared to the mathematical group's normalized gain of 16% (unpaired two-tailed t-test P value for posttest results was 0.1037) and, while within standard deviations, also achieved higher overall scores on all posttest questions and higher normalized gains on all but one posttest question. Further, most students, even thoes in the mathematically-instructed group, were more inclined to give conceptually-based responses on postest questions than mathematically-based ones. In the context of this topic, the dominating difficulty for both groups was in analyzing two-dimensional projectile motion and, more specifically, the behavior of each onedimensional component of such motion.

  11. Effects of Problem-Based Learning with Web-Anchored Instruction in Nanotechnology on the Science Conceptual Understanding, the Attitude towards Science, and the Perception of Science in Society of Elementary Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yurick, Karla Anne

    2011-01-01

    This study explored the effects of Problem-Based Leaning (PBL) with web-anchored instruction in nanotechnology on the science conceptual understanding, the attitude towards science, and the perception of science in society of elementary students. A mixed-methods approach was used. Subjects (N=46) participated in the study for approximately twoÖ

  12. Effects of Problem-Based Learning with Web-Anchored Instruction in Nanotechnology on the Science Conceptual Understanding, the Attitude towards Science, and the Perception of Science in Society of Elementary Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yurick, Karla Anne

    2011-01-01

    This study explored the effects of Problem-Based Leaning (PBL) with web-anchored instruction in nanotechnology on the science conceptual understanding, the attitude towards science, and the perception of science in society of elementary students. A mixed-methods approach was used. Subjects (N=46) participated in the study for approximately two…

  13. The Effectiveness of Brain-Based Teaching Approach in Dealing with the Problems of Students' Conceptual Understanding and Learning Motivation towards Physics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saleh, Salmiza

    2012-01-01

    Teachers of science-based education in Malaysian secondary schools, especially those in the field of physics, often find their students facing huge difficulties in dealing with conceptual ideas in physics, resulting thus in a lack of interest towards the subject. The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of the Brain-Based Teaching…

  14. The Effectiveness of Brain-Based Teaching Approach in Dealing with the Problems of Students' Conceptual Understanding and Learning Motivation towards Physics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saleh, Salmiza

    2012-01-01

    Teachers of science-based education in Malaysian secondary schools, especially those in the field of physics, often find their students facing huge difficulties in dealing with conceptual ideas in physics, resulting thus in a lack of interest towards the subject. The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of the Brain-Based TeachingÖ

  15. The Effects on Students' Conceptual Understanding of Electric Circuits of Introducing Virtual Manipulatives within a Physical Manipulatives-Oriented Curriculum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zacharia, Zacharias C.; de Jong, Ton

    2014-01-01

    This study investigates whether Virtual Manipulatives (VM) within a Physical Manipulatives (PM)-oriented curriculum affect conceptual understanding of electric circuits and related experimentation processes. A pre-post comparison study randomly assigned 194 undergraduates in an introductory physics course to one of five conditions: three…

  16. The Effects on Students' Conceptual Understanding of Electric Circuits of Introducing Virtual Manipulatives within a Physical Manipulatives-Oriented Curriculum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zacharia, Zacharias C.; de Jong, Ton

    2014-01-01

    This study investigates whether Virtual Manipulatives (VM) within a Physical Manipulatives (PM)-oriented curriculum affect conceptual understanding of electric circuits and related experimentation processes. A pre-post comparison study randomly assigned 194 undergraduates in an introductory physics course to one of five conditions: threeÖ

  17. College Students' Understanding of Atmospheric Ozone Formation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howard, Kristen E.; Brown, Shane A.; Chung, Serena H.; Jobson, B. Thomas; VanReken, Timothy M.

    2013-01-01

    Research has shown that high school and college students have a lack of conceptual understanding of global warming, ozone, and the greenhouse effect. Most research in this area used survey methodologies and did not include concepts of atmospheric chemistry and ozone formation. This study investigates college students' understandings of atmosphericÖ

  18. College Students' Understanding of Atmospheric Ozone Formation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howard, Kristen E.; Brown, Shane A.; Chung, Serena H.; Jobson, B. Thomas; VanReken, Timothy M.

    2013-01-01

    Research has shown that high school and college students have a lack of conceptual understanding of global warming, ozone, and the greenhouse effect. Most research in this area used survey methodologies and did not include concepts of atmospheric chemistry and ozone formation. This study investigates college students' understandings of atmospheric…

  19. Implementation of 5E Inquiry Incorporated with Analogy Learning Approach to Enhance Conceptual Understanding of Chemical Reaction Rate for Grade 11 Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Supasorn, Saksri; Promarak, Vinich

    2015-01-01

    The main purpose of this study was to enhance student understanding of the scientific concepts of chemical reaction rate. Forty-four grade 11 students were the target group. The treatment tools were seven learning plans of 5E inquiry incorporated with an analogy learning approach during 15 hours of class time. In each learning plan, the studentsÖ

  20. Students' Understanding of Photosynthesis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eisen, Yehudit; Stavy, Ruth

    1988-01-01

    Reported are the differences in the understanding of concepts involved in photosynthesis and its role in ecology between students who had studied advanced biology and those who had not. Reports that the less experienced students had a poorer understanding of autotrophic respiration and energy aspects of photosynthesis. (CW)

  1. Explorations of Year 10 Students' Conceptual Change during Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hubber, Peter

    2005-01-01

    This article reports on a classroom-based case study of a group of six Year 10 students, within a class of 23 students. The study implemented constructivist-informed teaching and learning approaches within a classroom setting in the topic of optics and documented any changes in the conceptual understanding students had about seven central concepts…

  2. A Study of General Education Astronomy Students' Understandings of Cosmology. Part V. The Effects of a New Suite of Cosmology "Lecture-Tutorials" on Students' Conceptual Knowledge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wallace, Colin S.; Prather, Edward E.; Duncan, Douglas K.

    2012-01-01

    This is the final paper in a five-paper series describing our national study of the teaching and learning of cosmology in general education astronomy college-level courses. A significant portion of this work was dedicated to the development of five new "Lecture-Tutorials" that focus on addressing the conceptual and reasoning difficulties that ourÖ

  3. A Study of General Education Astronomy Students' Understandings of Cosmology. Part V. The Effects of a New Suite of Cosmology "Lecture-Tutorials" on Students' Conceptual Knowledge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wallace, Colin S.; Prather, Edward E.; Duncan, Douglas K.

    2012-01-01

    This is the final paper in a five-paper series describing our national study of the teaching and learning of cosmology in general education astronomy college-level courses. A significant portion of this work was dedicated to the development of five new "Lecture-Tutorials" that focus on addressing the conceptual and reasoning difficulties that our…

  4. High School Intervention for Influenza Biology and Epidemics/Pandemics: Impact on Conceptual Understanding among Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dumais, Nancy; Hasni, Abdelkrim

    2009-01-01

    Understanding real-life issues such as influenza epidemiology may be of particular interest to the development of scientific knowledge and initiation of conceptual changes about viruses and their life cycles for high school students. The goal of this research project was to foster the development of adolescents' conceptual understanding of viruses…

  5. High School Intervention for Influenza Biology and Epidemics/Pandemics: Impact on Conceptual Understanding among Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dumais, Nancy; Hasni, Abdelkrim

    2009-01-01

    Understanding real-life issues such as influenza epidemiology may be of particular interest to the development of scientific knowledge and initiation of conceptual changes about viruses and their life cycles for high school students. The goal of this research project was to foster the development of adolescents' conceptual understanding of virusesÖ

  6. The Effects of Scientific Representations on Primary Students' Development of Scientific Discourse and Conceptual Understandings during Cooperative Contemporary Inquiry-Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gillies, Robyn M.; Nichols, Kim; Khan, Asaduzzaman

    2015-01-01

    Teaching students to use and interpret representations in science is critically important if they are to become scientifically literate and learn how to communicate their understandings and learning in science. This study involved 248 students (119 boys and 129 girls) from 26 grade 6 teachers' classes in nine primary schools in Brisbane,Ö

  7. The Effects of Scientific Representations on Primary Students' Development of Scientific Discourse and Conceptual Understandings during Cooperative Contemporary Inquiry-Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gillies, Robyn M.; Nichols, Kim; Khan, Asaduzzaman

    2015-01-01

    Teaching students to use and interpret representations in science is critically important if they are to become scientifically literate and learn how to communicate their understandings and learning in science. This study involved 248 students (119 boys and 129 girls) from 26 grade 6 teachers' classes in nine primary schools in Brisbane,…

  8. Implementation of 5E Inquiry Incorporated with Analogy Learning Approach to Enhance Conceptual Understanding of Chemical Reaction Rate for Grade 11 Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Supasorn, Saksri; Promarak, Vinich

    2015-01-01

    The main purpose of this study was to enhance student understanding of the scientific concepts of chemical reaction rate. Forty-four grade 11 students were the target group. The treatment tools were seven learning plans of 5E inquiry incorporated with an analogy learning approach during 15 hours of class time. In each learning plan, the students…

  9. Showing Automatically Generated Students' Conceptual Models to Students and Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perez-Marin, Diana; Pascual-Nieto, Ismael

    2010-01-01

    A student conceptual model can be defined as a set of interconnected concepts associated with an estimation value that indicates how well these concepts are used by the students. It can model just one student or a group of students, and can be represented as a concept map, conceptual diagram or one of several other knowledge representation…

  10. Enhancing Students' Understanding of Square Roots

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wiesman, Jeff L.

    2015-01-01

    Students enrolled in a middle school prealgebra or algebra course often struggle to conceptualize and understand the meaning of radical notation when it is introduced. For example, although it is important for students to approximate the decimal value of a number such as [square root of] 30 and estimate the value of a square root in the form of…

  11. Using computer simulations to facilitate conceptual understanding of electromagnetic induction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Yu-Fen

    This study investigated the use of computer simulations to facilitate conceptual understanding in physics. The use of computer simulations in the present study was grounded in a conceptual framework drawn from findings related to the use of computer simulations in physics education. To achieve the goal of effective utilization of computers for physics education, I first reviewed studies pertaining to computer simulations in physics education categorized by three different learning frameworks and studies comparing the effects of different simulation environments. My intent was to identify the learning context and factors for successful use of computer simulations in past studies and to learn from the studies which did not obtain a significant result. Based on the analysis of reviewed literature, I proposed effective approaches to integrate computer simulations in physics education. These approaches are consistent with well established education principles such as those suggested by How People Learn (Bransford, Brown, Cocking, Donovan, & Pellegrino, 2000). The research based approaches to integrated computer simulations in physics education form a learning framework called Concept Learning with Computer Simulations (CLCS) in the current study. The second component of this study was to examine the CLCS learning framework empirically. The participants were recruited from a public high school in Beijing, China. All participating students were randomly assigned to two groups, the experimental (CLCS) group and the control (TRAD) group. Research based computer simulations developed by the physics education research group at University of Colorado at Boulder were used to tackle common conceptual difficulties in learning electromagnetic induction. While interacting with computer simulations, CLCS students were asked to answer reflective questions designed to stimulate qualitative reasoning and explanation. After receiving model reasoning online, students were asked to submit their revised answers electronically. Students in the TRAD group were not granted access to the CLCS material and followed their normal classroom routine. At the end of the study, both the CLCS and TRAD students took a post-test. Questions on the post-test were divided into "what" questions, "how" questions, and an open response question. Analysis of students' post-test performance showed mixed results. While the TRAD students scored higher on the "what" questions, the CLCS students scored higher on the "how" questions and the one open response questions. This result suggested that more TRAD students knew what kinds of conditions may or may not cause electromagnetic induction without understanding how electromagnetic induction works. Analysis of the CLCS students' learning also suggested that frequent disruption and technical trouble might pose threats to the effectiveness of the CLCS learning framework. Despite the mixed results of students' post-test performance, the CLCS learning framework revealed some limitations to promote conceptual understanding in physics. Improvement can be made by providing students with background knowledge necessary to understand model reasoning and incorporating the CLCS learning framework with other learning frameworks to promote integration of various physics concepts. In addition, the reflective questions in the CLCS learning framework may be refined to better address students' difficulties. Limitations of the study, as well as suggestions for future research, are also presented in this study.

  12. Effects of problem-based learning with Web-anchored instruction in nanotechnology on the science conceptual understanding, the attitude towards science, and the perception of science in society of elementary students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yurick, Karla Anne

    2011-12-01

    This study explored the effects of Problem-Based Leaning (PBL) with web-anchored instruction in nanotechnology on the science conceptual understanding, the attitude towards science, and the perception of science in society of elementary students. A mixed-methods approach was used. Subjects (N=46) participated in the study for approximately two and a half weeks. A pretest was administered for science conceptual understanding and for attitude towards science. An intervention, web-based nanotechnology anchor, Catching the Rays, followed. Catching the Rays navigated subjects through a nano quest on sunscreen. After the intervention, a posttest was administered for each science conceptual understanding and attitude towards science. Following, a purposeful selection of interviewees (N=6) participated in a Nano Post-Interview. Pretest/posttest data were analyzed using a paired t test. Results of the paired t test for science conceptual understanding (post- being larger than pre-, p <. 01) and attitude towards science (post- being larger than pre-, p < .01) were significant at the p < .05 alpha level. Nano Post-Interview data were coded and analyzed independently by two raters for emerging themes. Two themes of "Risks and Benefits" and "Solves Problems" emerged from subjects' (N=6) responses to perception of science in society questions. The theme of "Risks and Benefits" strongly suggests that subjects have a positive perception that nanotechnology comes with risks and benefits to society. The theme of "Solves Problems" strongly suggests subjects have a positive perception that nanotechnology is governed by society's needs and is used to help solve society's problems. Findings from this study suggest that PBL with web-anchored instruction in nanotechnology had a positive effect on subjects' science conceptual understanding, attitude towards science, and perception of science in society.

  13. Learning environment, learning styles and conceptual understanding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferrer, Lourdes M.

    1990-01-01

    In recent years there have been many studies on learners developing conceptions of natural phenomena. However, so far there have been few attempts to investigate how the characteristics of the learners and their environment influence such conceptions. This study began with an attempt to use an instrument developed by McCarthy (1981) to describe learners in Malaysian primary schools. This proved inappropriate as Asian primary classrooms do not provide the same kind of environment as US classrooms. It was decided to develop a learning style checklist to suit the local context and which could be used to describe differences between learners which teachers could appreciate and use. The checklist included four dimensions ‚ÄĒ perceptual, process, self-confidence and motivation. The validated instrument was used to determine the learning style preferences of primary four pupils in Penang, Malaysia. Later, an analysis was made regarding the influence of learning environment and learning styles on conceptual understanding in the topics of food, respiration and excretion. This study was replicated in the Philippines with the purpose of investigating the relationship between learning styles and achievement in science, where the topics of food, respiration and excretion have been taken up. A number of significant relationships were observed in these two studies.

  14. Improving student understanding of quantum mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Chandralekha

    2015-04-01

    Learning quantum mechanics is challenging for many students. We are investigating the difficulties that upper-level students have in learning quantum mechanics. To help improve student understanding of quantum concepts, we are developing quantum interactive learning tutorials (QuILTs) and tools for peer-instruction. Many of the QuILTs employ computer simulations to help students visualize and develop better intuition about quantum phenomena. We will discuss the common students' difficulties and research-based tools we are developing to bridge the gap between quantitative and conceptual aspects of quantum mechanics and help students develop a solid grasp of quantum concepts. Support from the National Science Foundation is gratefully acknowledged.

  15. Helping Students Understand Risk

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weihe, Paul

    2006-01-01

    Despite the central role of risk assessment in analyzing and making decisions about many environmental issues, most people are poorly equipped to understand key concepts about risk or apply them successfully. I present three class activities in which students develop a better appreciation for the magnitude of a one in a million increased risk ofÖ

  16. Procedural and Conceptual Understandings of the Arithmetic Mean: A Comparison of Visual and Numerical Approaches.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    George, Elizabeth Ann

    Although the average, or arithmetic mean, has a rich conceptual meaning, it is often defined simply as the outcome of a procedure. The purpose of this study was to compare the nature and extent of the procedural and conceptual understandings developed by two groups of students who received different forms of instruction, one based on the…

  17. Elementary Teachers' Epistemological and Ontological Understanding of Teaching for Conceptual Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kang, Nam-Hwa

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the ways in which elementary teachers applied their understanding of conceptual learning and teaching to their instructional practices as they became knowledgeable about conceptual change pedagogy. Teachers' various ways to interpret and utilize students' prior ideas were analyzed in both epistemological…

  18. A Functional Conceptualization of Understanding Science in the News

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Megan M.

    The idea that the public should have the capacity for understanding science in the news has been embraced by scientists, educators, and policymakers alike. An oft-cited goal of contemporary science education, in fact, is to enhance students' understanding of science in the news. But what exactly does it mean to understand science in the news? Surprisingly few have asked this question, or considered the significance of its answer. This dissertation steps away from issues of science teaching and learning to examine the nature of understanding science in the news itself. My work consolidates past scholarship from the multiple fields concerned with the relationship between science and society to produce a theoretical model of understanding science in the news as a complex, multidimensional process that involves an understanding of science as well as journalism. This thesis begins by exploring the relationship between the understanding implicit in understanding science in the news and understanding science. Many assume these two ways of knowing are one in the same. To rebut this assumption, I examine the types of knowledge necessary for understanding science and understanding science in the news. I then use the literature devoted to scientific literacy to show how past research has imagined the knowledge necessary to understand science in the news. Next, I argue that one of the principle difficulties with these conceptualizations is that they define science in the news in essentially the same terms as science. They also, I suggest, oversimplify how and why public interacts with science in the news. This dissertation concludes with a proposal for one way we might think about understanding science in the news on its own terms rather than those of understanding science. This dissertation attempts to connect two fields of research that rarely intersect, despite their multiple common interests: science education and mass communication. It considers the notion of understanding science in the news in light of the principles of each, rather than maintaining their distinction.

  19. Investigating High School Students' Understanding of Chemical Equilibrium Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karpudewan, Mageswary; Treagust, David F.; Mocerino, Mauro; Won, Mihye; Chandrasegaran, A. L.

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated the year 12 students' (N = 56) understanding of chemical equilibrium concepts after instruction using two conceptual tests, the "Chemical Equilibrium Conceptual Test 1" ("CECT-1") consisting of nine two-tier multiple-choice items and the "Chemical Equilibrium Conceptual Test 2"…

  20. Conceptual Understanding of Multiplicative Properties through Endogenous Digital Game Play

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Denham, Andre

    2012-01-01

    This study purposed to determine the effect of an endogenously designed instructional game on conceptual understanding of the associative and distributive properties of multiplication. Additional this study sought to investigate if performance on measures of conceptual understanding taken prior to and after game play could serve as predictors of…

  1. Deepening conceptual understanding in the high school AP biology classroom using engagement tools and techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vincent, Dusti Jean

    Instructing students within a curriculum framework based on conceptual understanding requires a shift from a lecture-style, teacher-centered delivery method to one that is student-centered and inquiry-driven. A challenge with this shift is holding students accountable to preparing for course materials so that class time can be spent exploring the content in more depth through class discussions, experiential and laboratory exercises, and modeling. Three components were implemented in an AP Biology classroom of 39 students to increase engagement and accountability. These components were short readings with corresponding tutorials, formative assessments called ConcepTests, and reflective writing. Student participation in these components was measured. Conceptual understanding of biology was evaluated with a pre-test at the beginning of the term and measured again with a post-test. A Project-Based Learning (PBL) assessment was also implemented to further engage students and provide a way for students to apply their understanding to solving a real-world problem. Students demonstrated significant gains in conceptual understanding through the concept and PBL assessment. Participation in the components ranged from 73% to 86%, but it was difficult to show a positive correlation between participation and conceptual understanding.

  2. Three Phase Ranking Framework for Assessing Conceptual Understanding in Algebra Using Multiple Representations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Panasuk, Regina M.

    2010-01-01

    Algebra students may often demonstrate a certain degree of proficiency when manipulating algebraic expressions and verbalizing their behaviors. Do these abilities imply conceptual understanding? What is a reliable indicator that would provide educators with a relatively trustworthy and consistent measure to identify whether students learnÖ

  3. Riding the Mathematical Merry-Go-Round to Foster Conceptual Understanding of Angle

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tzur, Ron; Clark, Matthew R.

    2006-01-01

    This article presents playful activities for fostering students' conceptual understanding of angle--a root concept in mathematics--that revolve around the Mathematical Merry-Go-Round game. The authors focus on activities for two reasons. On one hand, NCTM's Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (2000) stresses the central role of studentÖ

  4. Supporting Conceptual Change in School Science: A Possible Role for Tacit Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howe, Christine; Devine, Amy; Tavares, Joana Taylor

    2013-01-01

    When students reason during school science, they often refer to conceptions that are derived from out-of-school experiences and are poor proxies for science orthodoxy. However, for some areas of science, these conceptions represent only a proportion of students' full conceptual knowledge, for tacit understanding exists that is superior to the…

  5. Three Phase Ranking Framework for Assessing Conceptual Understanding in Algebra Using Multiple Representations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Panasuk, Regina M.

    2010-01-01

    Algebra students may often demonstrate a certain degree of proficiency when manipulating algebraic expressions and verbalizing their behaviors. Do these abilities imply conceptual understanding? What is a reliable indicator that would provide educators with a relatively trustworthy and consistent measure to identify whether students learn…

  6. Understanding psychiatric institutionalization: a conceptual review

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Since Goffman’s seminal work on psychiatric institutions, deinstitutionalization has become a leading term in the psychiatric debate. It described the process of closure or downsizing of large psychiatric hospitals and the establishment of alternative services in the community. Yet, there is a lack of clarity on what exactly the concept of institutionalization means in present-day psychiatry. This review aims to identify the meaning of psychiatric institutionalization since the early 1960s to present-day. Method A conceptual review of institutionalization in psychiatry was conducted. Thematic analysis was used to synthesize the findings. Results Four main themes were identified in conceptualizing institutionalization: bricks and mortar of care institutions; policy and legal frameworks regulating care; clinical responsibility and paternalism in clinician-patient relationships; and patients’ adaptive behavior to institutionalized care. Conclusions The concept of institutionalization in psychiatry reflects four distinct themes. All themes have some relevance for the contemporary debate on how psychiatric care should develop and on the role of institutional care in psychiatry. PMID:23773398

  7. Cross-Grade Comparison of Students' Understanding of Energy Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saglam-Arslan, Aysegul

    2010-01-01

    The aims of this cross-grade study were (1) to determine the level of understanding of energy concepts of students at different academic grades and the differences in understanding between these grades and (2) to analyse the conceptual development of these students. Two hundred and forty-three students at 3 different levels (high school,…

  8. Cross-Grade Comparison of Students' Understanding of Energy Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saglam-Arslan, Aysegul

    2010-01-01

    The aims of this cross-grade study were (1) to determine the level of understanding of energy concepts of students at different academic grades and the differences in understanding between these grades and (2) to analyse the conceptual development of these students. Two hundred and forty-three students at 3 different levels (high school,Ö

  9. Calculus Students' Understanding of Volume

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dorko, Allison; Speer, Natasha M.

    2013-01-01

    Researchers have documented difficulties that elementary school students have in understanding volume. Despite its importance in higher mathematics, we know little about college students' understanding of volume. This study investigated calculus students' understanding of volume. Clinical interview transcripts and written responses to volume…

  10. Conceptual Change among Arab Student Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rass, Ruwaida Abu

    2013-01-01

    This paper reports the results of a qualitative research study designed to examine the effectiveness of an attempt to make a conceptual change among pre-service teachers to their role as trainees and the role of their pedagogical advisor. The participants are six Arab-Muslim female student teachers who are highly influenced by their first learning…

  11. Biology Student Teachers' Conceptual Frameworks regarding Biodiversity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dikmenli, Musa

    2010-01-01

    In recent years, biodiversity has received a great deal of attention worldwide, especially in environmental education. The reasons for this attention are the increase of human activities on biodiversity and environmental problems. The purpose of this study is to investigate biology student teachers' conceptual frameworks regarding biodiversity.Ö

  12. Biology Student Teachers' Conceptual Frameworks regarding Biodiversity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dikmenli, Musa

    2010-01-01

    In recent years, biodiversity has received a great deal of attention worldwide, especially in environmental education. The reasons for this attention are the increase of human activities on biodiversity and environmental problems. The purpose of this study is to investigate biology student teachers' conceptual frameworks regarding biodiversity.…

  13. Dialogic Framing of Scientific Content for Conceptual and Epistemic Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ford, Michael J.; Wargo, Brian M.

    2012-01-01

    This article draws on M. M. Bakhtin's (1981) notion of dialogism to articulate what it means to understand a scientific idea. In science, understanding an idea is both conceptual and epistemic and is exhibited by an ability to use it in explanation and argumentation. Some distillation of these activities implies that dialogic understanding of a…

  14. Dialogic Framing of Scientific Content for Conceptual and Epistemic Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ford, Michael J.; Wargo, Brian M.

    2012-01-01

    This article draws on M. M. Bakhtin's (1981) notion of dialogism to articulate what it means to understand a scientific idea. In science, understanding an idea is both conceptual and epistemic and is exhibited by an ability to use it in explanation and argumentation. Some distillation of these activities implies that dialogic understanding of aÖ

  15. Building Conceptual Understanding in Young Scientists.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hawley, Duncan

    2002-01-01

    Describes the use of a new pedagogic approach to geology used to create a sequence of investigative activities enabling students to speculate, hypothesize, observe, test, reason, and infer about the characteristics of rocks. The approach is framed by two questions: (1) What are the key characteristics of different rock groups?; and (2) How did the…

  16. Promoting Conceptual Change for Complex Systems Understanding: Outcomes of an Agent-Based Participatory Simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rates, Christopher A.; Mulvey, Bridget K.; Feldon, David F.

    2016-03-01

    Components of complex systems apply across multiple subject areas, and teaching these components may help students build unifying conceptual links. Students, however, often have difficulty learning these components, and limited research exists to understand what types of interventions may best help improve understanding. We investigated 32 high school students' understandings of complex systems components and whether an agent-based simulation could improve their understandings. Pretest and posttest essays were coded for changes in six components to determine whether students showed more expert thinking about the complex system of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Results showed significant improvement for the components Emergence (r = .26, p = .03), Order (r = .37, p = .002), and Tradeoffs (r = .44, p = .001). Implications include that the experiential nature of the simulation has the potential to support conceptual change for some complex systems components, presenting a promising option for complex systems instruction.

  17. Learning in friendship groups: developing students’ conceptual understanding through social interaction

    PubMed Central

    Senior, Carl; Howard, Chris

    2014-01-01

    The role that student friendship groups play in learning was investigated here. Employing a critical realist design, two focus groups on undergraduates were conducted to explore their experience of studying. Data from the ‚Äúcase-by-case‚ÄĚ analysis suggested student-to-student friendships produced social contexts which facilitated conceptual understanding through discussion, explanation, and application to ‚Äúreal life‚ÄĚ contemporary issues. However, the students did not conceive this as a learning experience or suggest the function of their friendships involved learning. These data therefore challenge the perspective that student groups in higher education are formed and regulated for the primary function of learning. Given these findings, further research is needed to assess the role student friendships play in developing disciplinary conceptual understanding. PMID:25309488

  18. At-Risk and Bilingual Fifth-Grade Students' On-Task Behavior and Conceptual Understanding in Earth Science-Related Topics during Inquiry-, Technology-, and Game-Based Activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNeal, K.; Vasquez, Y.; Avandano, C.; Moreno, K.; Besinaiz, J.

    2007-12-01

    The Graduate K-12 (GK12) program has been developed by NSF to support the national effort to advance scientific knowledge through educational partnerships. This paper highlights research conducted during the 2006-2007 school year with the Texas A&M University GK12 project. Two elementary schools with very high numbers of at risk students - those who are poor, speak English as their second language, and have a history of failing state-mandated tests were identified to be the field site for the GK12 project. In these two, high-minority (97% and 40% African American and Hispanic) schools, 80% and 56% of the children have been identified by the state as at risk; 94% and 52% are classified as economically disadvantaged; and 46% and 2% are limited English proficient, respectively. In the past year, 30% and 73% of fifth grade students in these schools passed the science portion of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test. Data collected during a three- week period where GK12 fellows taught the fifth graders Earth science-related topics is presented. During the implementation, students were engaged in technology-, inquiry-, and game-based activities. Students were divided into low-, medium-, and high-abilities in one school, and regular and bilingual groups in the other. Pre- post open-ended multiple choice tests indicated that all but the low performing students' conceptual understanding (CU) significantly (p < 0.05) improved during the IT activity. The low and high student groups' CU significantly improved during the inquiry activity, and the high and bilingual students' CU significantly improved for the game activities. Classroom observation assessments showed that there was a significant (p < 0.10) positive (0.347) correlation between on-task behavior and CU. Significant differences between student groups' CU and on-task behavior indicated that technology-based activities showed greatest differences between the low- ability learners and the other students, whereas, inquiry-based activities tended not to show such extremes. In the case of the bilingual and regular students however, technology-based instruction tended to increase their scores and decrease gaps with other groups. Using different pedagogical approaches (e.g., technology-, inquiry- and game-based methods) to teach Earth science is important to reach all elementary students. Earth science educators should not forget that there does not exist any one teaching and learning method that will be a 'quick fix' for the masses. However, educational partnerships between universities and K-12 schools strengthen the efforts to increase scientific literacy among all students, including diverse and at risk populations.

  19. Surveying Students' Conceptual and Procedural Knowledge of Acid-Base Behavior of Substances

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Furio-Mas, Carles; Calatayud, Maria-Luisa; Barcenas, Sergio L.

    2007-01-01

    By the end of their high school studies, students should be able to understand macroscopic and sub-microscopic conceptualization of acid-base behavior and the relationship between these conceptual models. The aim of this article is to ascertain whether grade-12 students have sufficient background knowledge to explain the properties of acids,Ö

  20. Surveying Students' Conceptual and Procedural Knowledge of Acid-Base Behavior of Substances

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Furio-Mas, Carles; Calatayud, Maria-Luisa; Barcenas, Sergio L.

    2007-01-01

    By the end of their high school studies, students should be able to understand macroscopic and sub-microscopic conceptualization of acid-base behavior and the relationship between these conceptual models. The aim of this article is to ascertain whether grade-12 students have sufficient background knowledge to explain the properties of acids,…

  1. Emphasis on Conceptual Knowledge and Its Impact on Mathematics Anxiety for Community College Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Khoule, Alioune

    2013-01-01

    The study investigated the relationship between conceptual knowledge and mathematics anxiety of remedial mathematics students in an urban community college. The impact that conceptual understanding has on mathematics achievement was also examined. The study sample consisted of 105 remedial mathematics students from four elementary algebra courses.…

  2. Understanding the Working College Student

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perna, Laura W.

    2010-01-01

    Working is now a fundamental responsibility for many undergraduates. But understanding how employment affects students' educational experiences is complicated by why students work. Many students must work to pay the costs of attending college. Some traditional-age students may use employment as a way to explore career options or earn spending…

  3. High-School Students' Conceptual Difficulties and Attempts at Conceptual Change: The Case of Basic Quantum Chemical Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tsaparlis, Georgios; Papaphotis, Georgios

    2009-01-01

    This study tested for deep understanding and critical thinking about basic quantum chemical concepts taught at 12th grade (age 17-18). Our aim was to achieve conceptual change in students. A quantitative study was conducted first (n = 125), and following this 23 selected students took part in semi-structured interviews either individually or in…

  4. High-School Students' Conceptual Difficulties and Attempts at Conceptual Change: The Case of Basic Quantum Chemical Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tsaparlis, Georgios; Papaphotis, Georgios

    2009-01-01

    This study tested for deep understanding and critical thinking about basic quantum chemical concepts taught at 12th grade (age 17-18). Our aim was to achieve conceptual change in students. A quantitative study was conducted first (n = 125), and following this 23 selected students took part in semi-structured interviews either individually or inÖ

  5. Conceptual Continuity and the Science of Baseball: Using Informal Science Literacy to Promote Students' Science Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Bryan A.; Kloser, Matt

    2009-01-01

    This project explores "conceptual continuity" as a framework for understanding students' native ways of understanding and describing. Conceptual continuity suggests that the relationship between the use of words in one genre and the scientific genre can exist at varying levels of association. This perspective can reveal the varied relationships…

  6. Evaluation of Students' Understanding of Thermal Concepts in Everyday Contexts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chu, Hye-Eun; Treagust, David F.; Yeo, Shelley; Zadnik, Marjan

    2012-01-01

    The aims of this study were to determine the underlying conceptual structure of the thermal concept evaluation (TCE) questionnaire, a pencil-and-paper instrument about everyday contexts of heat, temperature, and heat transfer, to investigate students' conceptual understanding of thermal concepts in everyday contexts across several school years and…

  7. Evaluation of Students' Understanding of Thermal Concepts in Everyday Contexts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chu, Hye-Eun; Treagust, David F.; Yeo, Shelley; Zadnik, Marjan

    2012-01-01

    The aims of this study were to determine the underlying conceptual structure of the thermal concept evaluation (TCE) questionnaire, a pencil-and-paper instrument about everyday contexts of heat, temperature, and heat transfer, to investigate students' conceptual understanding of thermal concepts in everyday contexts across several school years andÖ

  8. Mapping Student Understanding in Chemistry: The Perspectives of Chemists

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Claesgens, Jennifer; Scalise, Kathleen; Wilson, Mark; Stacy, Angelica

    2009-01-01

    Preliminary pilot studies and a field study show how a generalizable conceptual framework calibrated with item response modeling can be used to describe the development of student conceptual understanding in chemistry. ChemQuery is an assessment system that uses a framework of the key ideas in the discipline, called the Perspectives of Chemists,…

  9. Conceptual Challenges in Learning Ozone Formation for Collegiate Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howard, K. E.; Chung, S. H.; Jobson, B. T.; Vanreken, T. M.; Brown, S. A.

    2010-12-01

    Atmospheric chemistry in general, and tropospheric ozone formation in particular, are complex processes that to be understood require students to learn several interrelated concepts. These systems are particularly difficult to grasp because they are inherently nonlinear and because they are abstract- students do not have an obvious tangible model for how gases behave in an unbounded atmosphere. To address perceived shortfalls in our students’ conceptualizations of atmospheric chemical processes, we have endeavored to develop, implement, and assess curricular materials that can be used from the freshmen to graduate level. Our goal was to both improve student understanding of the fundamental concepts of atmospheric chemistry while simultaneously reinforcing the scientific method and what it means to do science. Our approach for achieving this was to build student-friendly interfaces to adapt existing research models for use in the classroom and thereby provide students with a means of exploring the evolution of pollutants in the atmosphere. A major focus of the project was student understanding of ozone formation. In this presentation we provide insight regarding collegiate students’ conceptions of ozone formation and discuss possible explanations for student misconceptions in this and related environmental topics of concern. In order to extract student understanding and conceptions of ozone formation, qualitative interview and analysis methodologies were implemented. These qualitative procedures allowed us to gain a rich and detailed understanding of the specific nature of students’ mental models of these concepts. Forty-five participants were included in the study, all of which were collegiate students enrolled in a junior-level Introduction to Environmental Engineering course at Washington State University. Our results show that the students seemed to comprehend many individual concepts within ozone production cycle to some extent. However, there were very few students who were able to link together overlapping ideas, especially when it came to piecing together a process model for ozone formation. This caused them to have a weak conceptual understanding of the overall material. Our results further suggest that a reason for these weak conceptions may be due to underlying incorrect understandings of fundamental concepts in chemistry and physics. Interestingly, students frequently verbalized synthetic models of understanding that included correct and incorrect concepts from class and information they had learned from the media. These models conflated the process being studied- tropospheric ozone formation- with two other atmospheric processes that receive extensive public attention: stratospheric ozone destruction and greenhouse gas-induced global warming. Results have implications for teaching and the challenges in guiding students in the integration of knowledge obtained outside of class and classroom concepts to develop expert understandings.

  10. Undergraduate Mathematics Students' Understanding of the Concept of Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bardini, Caroline; Pierce, Robyn; Vincent, Jill; King, Deborah

    2014-01-01

    Concern has been expressed that many commencing undergraduate mathematics students have mastered skills without conceptual understanding. A pilot study carried out at a leading Australian university indicates that a significant number of students, with high tertiary entrance ranks, have very limited understanding of the concept of function,…

  11. Understanding the Role of Academic Language on Conceptual Understanding in an Introductory Materials Science and Engineering Course

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelly, Jacquelyn

    Students may use the technical engineering terms without knowing what these words mean. This creates a language barrier in engineering that influences student learning. Previous research has been conducted to characterize the difference between colloquial and scientific language. Since this research had not yet been applied explicitly to engineering, conclusions from the area of science education were used instead. Various researchers outlined strategies for helping students acquire scientific language. However, few examined and quantified the relationship it had on student learning. A systemic functional linguistics framework was adopted for this dissertation which is a framework that has not previously been used in engineering education research. This study investigated how engineering language proficiency influenced conceptual understanding of introductory materials science and engineering concepts. To answer the research questions about engineering language proficiency, a convenience sample of forty-one undergraduate students in an introductory materials science and engineering course was used. All data collected was integrated with the course. Measures included the Materials Concept Inventory, a written engineering design task, and group observations. Both systemic functional linguistics and mental models frameworks were utilized to interpret data and guide analysis. A series of regression analyses were conducted to determine if engineering language proficiency predicts group engineering term use, if conceptual understanding predicts group engineering term use, and if conceptual understanding predicts engineering language proficiency. Engineering academic language proficiency was found to be strongly linked to conceptual understanding in the context of introductory materials engineering courses. As the semester progressed, this relationship became even stronger. The more engineering concepts students are expected to learn, the more important it is that they are proficient in engineering language. However, exposure to engineering terms did not influence engineering language proficiency. These results stress the importance of engineering language proficiency for learning, but warn that simply exposing students to engineering terms does not promote engineering language proficiency.

  12. Understanding the Hispanic Student.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dodd, John M.; And Others

    1989-01-01

    Describes cultural differences of Hispanic students in family structure, language, motivation, mysticism, machismo, touching, and time concepts which may lead to problems in the classroom. Suggests strategies teachers may employ to increase opportunities for positive school experiences for Hispanic students through recognition and acknowledgement…

  13. Assessing the Conceptual Understanding about Heat and Thermodynamics at Undergraduate Level

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kulkarni, Vasudeo Digambar; Tambade, Popat Savaleram

    2013-01-01

    In this study, a Thermodynamic Concept Test (TCT) was designed to assess student's conceptual understanding heat and thermodynamics at undergraduate level. The different statistical tests such as item difficulty index, item discrimination index, point biserial coefficient were used for assessing TCT. For each item of the test these indices…

  14. Supporting Conceptual Understandings of and Pedagogical Practice in Technology through a Website in New Zealand

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fox-Turnbull, Wendy; O'Sullivan, Gary

    2013-01-01

    This article reports on the up-date and development of an on-line resource to support of teachers' conceptual understandings and pedagogical practice in New Zealand. Techlink is a website dedicated to supporting technology teachers, students and those with an interest in technology education. This research documents part of a Ministry of Education…

  15. Posing Problems to Develop Conceptual Understanding: Two Teachers Make Sense of Division of Fractions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flores, Alfinio; Turner, Erin E.; Bachman, Renee C.

    2005-01-01

    The way in which two teachers, Elizabeth and Carolyn, posed problems to develop their own conceptual understanding of division of fractions in terms that would also be meaningful for their students is described. Carolyn and Elizabeth's approach is to pose several problems of various degrees of difficulty and complexity for each aspect of the…

  16. Combining Scaffolding for Content and Scaffolding for Dialogue to Support Conceptual Breakthroughs in Understanding Probability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kazak, Sibel; Wegerif, Rupert; Fujita, Taro

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we explore the relationship between scaffolding, dialogue, and conceptual breakthroughs, using data from a design-based research study that focuses on the development of understanding of probability in 10-12 year old students. The aim of the study is to gain insight into how the combination of scaffolding for content using…

  17. Effectiveness of Conceptual Change Instruction on Understanding of Heat and Temperature Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baser, Mustafa; Geban, Omer

    2007-01-01

    This study investigated the differential effects of two modes of instructional program (conceptual change oriented and traditionally designed) and gender difference on students' understanding of heat and temperature concepts, and their attitudes toward science as a school subject. The subjects of this study consisted of 72 seventh grade students…

  18. A Confirmatory Structural Equation Model of Achievement Estimated by Dichotomous Attitudes, Interest, and Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Minkee; Song, Jinwoong

    2010-01-01

    Many models in science education have tried to clarify the causal relationships of affective variables on student performance, by presenting theoretical models, exploratory SEM (structural equation models), and confirmatory SEM. Based on the literature, the recent AS-TI-CU model scrutinised the most robust stimuli of conceptual understanding (CU):…

  19. Children's Understanding of Scientific Inquiry: Their Conceptualization of Uncertainty in Investigations of Their Own Design

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Metz, Kathleen E.

    2004-01-01

    The study examined children's understanding of scientific inquiry, through the lens of their conceptualization of uncertainty in investigations they had designed and implemented with a partner. These largely student-regulated investigations followed a unit about animal behavior that emphasized the scaffolding of independent inquiry. ParticipantsÖ

  20. Navigating a Literacy Landscape: Teaching Conceptual Understanding with Multiple Text Types

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boyd, Fenice B.; Ikpeze, Chinwe H.

    2007-01-01

    The authors draw on Cognitive Flexibility Theory (Spiro, Coulson, Feltovich, & Anderson, 2004) as a lens to examine one seventh-grade English language arts teacher's pedagogical approach to using multiple text types to develop students' conceptual understandings about the 1957 integration of Little Rock's Central High School. Multiple text types…

  1. Is conceptual understanding compromised by a problem-solving emphasis in an introductory physics course?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ridenour, J.; Feldman, G.; Teodorescu, R.; Medsker, L.; Benmouna, N.

    2013-01-01

    Developing competency in problem solving and enhancing conceptual understanding are primary objectives in introductory physics, and many techniques and tools are available to help instructors achieve them. Pedagogically, we use an easy-to-implement intervention, the ACCESS protocol, to develop and assess problem-solving skills in our SCALE-UP classroom environment for algebra-based physics. Based on our research and teaching experience, an important question has emerged: while primarily targeting improvements in problem-solving and cognitive development, is it necessary that conceptual understanding be compromised? To address this question, we gathered and analyzed information about student abilities, backgrounds, and instructional preferences. We report on our progress and give insights into matching the instructional tools to student profiles in order to achieve optimal learning in group-based active learning. The ultimate goal of our work is to integrate individual student learning needs into a pedagogy that moves students closer to expert-like status in problem solving.

  2. Investigating Student Understanding of the Universe: Structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayes, Virginia; Coble, K.; Nickerson, M.; Cochran, G.; Camarillo, C. T.; Bailey, J. M.; McLin, K. M.; Cominsky, L. R.

    2011-05-01

    Chicago State University (CSU) offers an introductory astronomy course that services students from a variety of majors including pre-service teachers. At CSU, we have been investigating methods and tools that will improve student conceptual understanding in astronomy for this diverse group of students. We have analyzed pre-course surveys, pre-course essays, exams, and interviews in an effort to better understand the ideas and difficulties in understanding that students have in regards to the structure of the universe. Analysis of written essays has revealed that our students do have some knowledge of the objects in the universe, but interviews inform us that their understanding of the structure of the universe is superficial. This project is a part of a larger study; also see our posters on student ideas about dark matter, the age and expansion of the universe, and perceptions of astronomical sizes and distances. This work was supported by NASA ROSES E/PO Grant #NNXlOAC89G, as well as by the Illinois Space Grant Consortium and National Science Foundation CCLI Grant #0632563 at Chicago State University and the Fermi E/PO program at Sonoma State University.

  3. Impact of Animation on Assessment of Conceptual Understanding in Physics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dancy, Melissa H.; Beichner, Robert

    2006-01-01

    This study investigates the effect of computer animation on assessment and the conditions under which animation may improve or hinder assessment of conceptual understanding in physics. An instrument was developed by replacing static pictures and descriptions of motion with computer animations on the Force Concept Inventory, a commonly used pencil…

  4. Graduate Employability: A Conceptual Framework for Understanding Employers' Perceptions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cai, Yuzhuo

    2013-01-01

    This study provides a conceptual framework for understanding what employers think about the value of graduates with similar educational credentials in the workplace (their employability), using insights from the new institutionalism. In this framework, the development of employers' beliefs about graduates' employability is broken into a number of…

  5. Impact of Animation on Assessment of Conceptual Understanding in Physics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dancy, Melissa H.; Beichner, Robert

    2006-01-01

    This study investigates the effect of computer animation on assessment and the conditions under which animation may improve or hinder assessment of conceptual understanding in physics. An instrument was developed by replacing static pictures and descriptions of motion with computer animations on the Force Concept Inventory, a commonly used pencilÖ

  6. Instructional Aids to Support a Conceptual Understanding of Multiple Representations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berthold, Kirsten; Renkl, Alexander

    2009-01-01

    The main goals of this study were to test whether multiple representations, such as diagrams and equations, per se help to acquire conceptual understanding in probability, and to investigate whether learners need instructional support to utilize the potentials of multiple representations. The authors conducted an experimental study with 8…

  7. Facilitating Chemistry Teachers' Understanding of Alternative Interpretations of Conceptual Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Niaz, Mansoor

    2006-01-01

    Historians and philosophers of science have recognized the importance of controversies in the progress of science. The objective of this study was to facilitate in-service chemistry teachers' understanding of conceptual change based on alternative philosophical interpretations (controversies). Selected controversies formed part of the chemistry…

  8. Transforming Year 11's Conceptual Understanding of Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fielding, Anna

    2015-01-01

    For all that history teachers appreciate the need to build substantive knowledge and conceptual understanding systematically over time, they are also likely to have experienced that sickening moment when they realise that a Year 11 pupil has somehow missed something fundamental. In Anna Fielding's case, her pupil's misconception was related to the…

  9. A CONCEPTUAL UNDERSTANDING OF LEAKAGE DURING SOIL-GAS SAMPLING

    EPA Science Inventory

    A heuristic model is developed to develop a conceptual understanding of leakage during soil-gas sampling. Leakage is shown to be simply a function of the permeability contrast between the formation and borehole and geometric factors. As the ratio of formation to borehole permea...

  10. Understanding early elementary children's conceptual knowledge of plant structure and function through drawings.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Janice L; Ellis, Jane P; Jones, Alan M

    2014-01-01

    This study examined children's drawings to explain children's conceptual understanding of plant structure and function. The study explored whether the children's drawings accurately reflect their conceptual understanding about plants in a manner that can be interpreted by others. Drawing, survey, interview, and observational data were collected from 182 students in grades K and 1 in rural southeastern United States. Results demonstrated the children held a wide range of conceptions concerning plant structure and function. These young children held very simple ideas about plants with respect to both their structure and function. Consistent with the drawings, the interviews presented similar findings. PMID:25185222

  11. Understanding Early Elementary Children's Conceptual Knowledge of Plant Structure and Function through Drawings

    PubMed Central

    Ellis, Jane P.; Jones, Alan M.

    2014-01-01

    This study examined children's drawings to explain children's conceptual understanding of plant structure and function. The study explored whether the children's drawings accurately reflect their conceptual understanding about plants in a manner that can be interpreted by others. Drawing, survey, interview, and observational data were collected from 182 students in grades K and 1 in rural southeastern United States. Results demonstrated the children held a wide range of conceptions concerning plant structure and function. These young children held very simple ideas about plants with respect to both their structure and function. Consistent with the drawings, the interviews presented similar findings. PMID:25185222

  12. Understanding Student Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Entwistle, Noel J.; Ramsden, Paul

    The purpose of the research program described here was to investigate college students' approaches to learning, and to determine the extent to which these reflected the effects of teaching and assessment demands rather than representing relatively stable characteristics of the individual learners. There were six main areas within the program: (1)…

  13. Understanding Student Motivation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seifert, Timothy

    2004-01-01

    Contemporary theories of academic motivation seek to explain students' behaviours in academic settings. While each theory seems to possess its own constructs and unique explanations, these theories are actually closely tied together. In this theoretical study of motivation, several theories of motivation were described and an underlying theme ofÖ

  14. The case method of instruction, conceptual change, and student attitude

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallucci, Kathleen K.

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of the case method of instruction (CMI) on conceptual change in students' understanding of genes, biodiversity, and evolution topics, and to investigate the effect of learning with CMI on student attitude regarding the discipline of science, and learning about science. The study also investigated students' perceptions of their learning gains based on CMI. This was a mixed-methods action research study that used a quasi-experimental design. The study participants were enrolled in three sections (n1 = 20, n2 = 16, n3 = 30) of the same introductory biology course during the spring of 2006 at a small, private university in the southeastern United States. At the beginning of the semester, students completed a pretest composed of six open-ended questions (two on each topic) to uncover their alternative conceptions---or lack of them, and after instruction using CMI, students answered the same questions as a post-test on two hourly class exams. The answers were scored with original rubrics and the differences between the scores were analyzed using the Student's paired t-Test. In addition, twelve student volunteers were interviewed twice, once after each exam, by an independent interviewer, to elicit their understanding about the method of CMI, their understanding of the topics from the recent exam, and their attitudes about science and learning about science. The interviews were audio taped and transcribed, and analyzed for themes and comments about conceptual understanding and learning about science. Students also completed two instruments anonymously: the Science Attitude Inventory (SAI II) and the Student Assessment of Learning Gains (SALG). The SAI II was completed on the first and the last day of the semester to assess change in student attitude about science and the pretest and posttest scores were analyzed for significant differences. Students completed the SALG online immediately before the course final exam to provide their opinion on learning science with CMI and their perception of learning gains made by using CMI. Student responses in each of 5 categories were studied and written comments were analyzed. According to the interview data, CMI presented a new learning paradigm for students and many agreed that the method made learning more interesting, motivating, and relevant, and as a consequence they learned more and expect to retain knowledge longer. Based on the pretest answers, many students had alternative conceptions, but some responses indicated a lack of preconceptions altogether. All classes showed an increase in conceptual learning of all three topics, based on the analysis of the posttest rubric scores, with evolution concepts showing the largest increase. CMI appears to have a no effect on student attitude toward science, according to the SAI II data, it but does affect student attitude about learning science, based on the interview data. CMI appears to be a teaching strategy that can promote student engagement in learning science and may help students to make progress toward conceptual change.

  15. Concept analysis: method to enhance interdisciplinary conceptual understanding.

    PubMed

    Bonis, Susan A

    2013-01-01

    This article is a presentation of a method of concept analysis designed to assist in understanding the unique manner in which various disciplines use the same word or group of words to describe differing conceptual ideas. Nurse researchers often borrow research instruments developed in other disciplines. However, research instruments are developed in accordance with the philosophical underpinnings of a specific discipline with the intent to contribute to the knowledge base of that discipline. Therefore, it is uncertain whether research instruments borrowed from other disciplines actually measure the conceptual phenomenon from a nursing perspective. PMID:23644261

  16. Writing to Promote and Assess Conceptual Understanding in College Algebra

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gay, A. Susan; Peterson, Ingrid

    2014-01-01

    Concept-focused quiz questions required College Algebra students to write about their understanding. The questions can be viewed in three broad categories: a focus on sense-making, a focus on describing a mathematical object such as a graph or an equation, and a focus on understanding vocabulary. Student responses from 10 classes were analyzed.Ö

  17. Making Sense of Conceptual Tools in Student-Generated Cases: Student Teachers' Problem-Solving Processes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jahreie, Cecilie Flo

    2010-01-01

    This article examines the way student teachers make sense of conceptual tools when writing cases. In order to understand the problem-solving process, an analysis of the interactions is conducted. The findings show that transforming practical experiences into theoretical reflection is not a straightforward matter. To be able to elaborate on the…

  18. Learning science in small groups: The relationship of conversation to conceptual understanding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McDonald, James Tarleton

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between conversation and conceptual understanding of erosion. The objective of this study was to investigate how fifth grade students' conceptions of erosion changed while they used stream tables and worked in groups of four within an inquiry-based curriculum. This study used symbolic interactionism and sociocognitive frameworks to interpret science learning in the elementary classroom. The research focused on the conceptual understanding of the focal group students, their use of classroom discourse to talk about their understandings of erosion, and the expertise that emerged while using stream tables. This study took place over a one-semester long study on erosion. Key informants were eight fifth graders. The data sources consisted of children's journals; transcripts of audiotaped interviews with the key informants before, during, and after the erosion unit; transcripts of videotapes of the students using the stream tables; and field notes recording children's discourse and activity. Individual and group cases were constructed during the study. The knowledge of the eight focal group children was placed on a hierarchy of conceptual understanding that contained 8 components of the erosion process. All four of the students whose ideas were examined in depth gained in their conceptual understanding of erosion. Students' individual expertise enhanced their own conceptual understanding. The contribution of classroom discourse and expertise to conceptual understanding differed between the two focal groups. Group 1 used essential expertise to sustain generative conversations, maximizing their learning opportunities. Students in Group 1 got along with one another, rotated assigned roles and jobs, and were able to start their own generative conversations. Members of Group 1 asked generative questions, connected stream table events to real life situations, and involved everyone in the group. Group 2 engaged in a predominance of procedural discourse and had fewer learning opportunities. Group 2 had two dominant personalities who developed a conflict over roles and jobs, keeping their peers out of the conversation. Students in Group 2 had generative conversations, but these were not sustained due to the lack of acknowledgment of peer expertise and the starting their own generative conversations.

  19. Students' understanding of trigonometric functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weber, Keith

    2005-10-01

    In this article students' understanding of trigonometric functions in the context of two college trigonometry courses is investigated. The first course was taught by a professor unaffiliated with the study in a lecture-based course, while the second was taught using an experimental instruction paradigm based on Gray and Tall's (1994) notion of procept and current process-object theories of learning. Via interviews and a paper-and-pencil test, I examined students' understanding of trigonometric functions for both classes. The results indicate that the students who were taught in the lecture-based course developed a very limited understanding of these functions. Students who received the experimental instruction developed a deep understanding of trigonometric functions.

  20. Student Engagement: Developing a Conceptual Framework and Survey Instrument

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burch, Gerald F.; Heller, Nathan A.; Burch, Jana J.; Freed, Rusty; Steed, Steve A.

    2015-01-01

    Student engagement is considered to be among the better predictors of learning, yet there is growing concern that there is no consensus on the conceptual foundation. The authors propose a conceptualization of student engagement grounded in A. W. Astin's (1984) Student Involvement Theory and W. A. Kahn's (1990) employee engagement research where…

  1. Probing Student Understanding of Cosmology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coble, Kimberly A.; Cochran, G.; Larrieu, D.; Bailey, J.; Sanchez, R.; Cominsky, L.; McLin, K.

    2010-01-01

    Recently, powerful new observations and advances in computation and visualization have led to a revolution in our understanding of the origin, evolution and structure of the universe. These gains have been vast, but their impact on education has been limited. At Chicago State (CSU), we are implementing new inquiry-based instructional materials in our astronomy lab course. We are researching the effectiveness of these materials, focusing on student understanding of cosmology. As part of a collaborative effort with the University of Nevada Las Vegas and Sonoma State (SSU) to develop a cosmological subject inventory, we administered an open-ended survey prior to instruction and conducted student interviews using the survey. Students taking the CSU course were also required to write a guided essay on their beliefs about cosmology. We have collected open-ended post-test data through student exams. Preliminary results regarding student misconceptions in cosmology and student attitudes toward inquiry will be presented.

  2. High School Intervention for Influenza Biology and Epidemics/Pandemics: Impact on Conceptual Understanding among Adolescents

    PubMed Central

    Hasni, Abdelkrim

    2009-01-01

    Understanding real-life issues such as influenza epidemiology may be of particular interest to the development of scientific knowledge and initiation of conceptual changes about viruses and their life cycles for high school students. The goal of this research project was to foster the development of adolescents' conceptual understanding of viruses and influenza biology. Thus, the project included two components: 1) pre- and posttests to determine students' conceptions about influenza biology, epidemics/pandemics, and vaccination; and 2) design an intervention that supports conceptual change to promote improvements in influenza knowledge based on these primary conceptions. Thirty-five female students from a high school biology class participated in a series of instructional activities and pre- and posttest assessments. Results from the pretest indicated that high school students exhibit a limited understanding of concepts related to viruses. Six weeks after an intervention that promoted active learning, results from a posttest showed that conceptions about influenza are more accurately related to the provided scientific knowledge. Although adolescents have nonscientific models to explain influenza biology, we showed that a carefully designed intervention can affect students' knowledge as well as influence the implementation of health education programs in secondary schools. PMID:19255137

  3. Using the Biodatamation(TM) strategy to learn introductory college biology: Value-added effects on selected students' conceptual understanding and conceptual integration of the processes of photosynthesis and cellular respiration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reuter, Jewel Jurovich

    The purpose of this exploratory research was to study how students learn photosynthesis and cellular respiration and to determine the value added to the student's learning by each of the three technology-scaffolded learning strategy components (animated concept presentations and WebQuest-style activities, data collection, and student-constructed animations) of the BioDatamation(TM) (BDM) Program. BDM learning strategies utilized the Theory of Interacting Visual Fields(TM) (TIVF) (Reuter & Wandersee, 2002a, 2002b; 2003a, 2003b) which holds that meaningful knowledge is hierarchically constructed using the past, present, and future visual fields, with visual metacognitive components that are derived from the principles of Visual Behavior (Jones, 1995), Human Constructivist Theory (Mintzes & Wandersee, 1998a), and Visual Information Design Theory (Tufte, 1990, 1997, 2001). Student alternative conceptions of photosynthesis and cellular respiration were determined by the item analysis of 263,267 Biology Advanced Placement Examinations and were used to develop the BDM instructional strategy and interview questions. The subjects were 24 undergraduate students of high and low biology prior knowledge enrolled in an introductory-level General Biology course at a major research university in the Deep South. Fifteen participants received BDM instruction which included original and innovative learning materials and laboratories in 6 phases; 8 of the 15 participants were the subject of in depth, extended individual analysis. The other 9 participants received traditional, non-BDM instruction. Interviews which included participants' creation of concept maps and visual field diagrams were conducted after each phase. Various content analyses, including Chi's Verbal Analysis and quantitizing/qualitizing were used for data analysis. The total value added to integrative knowledge during BDM instruction with the three visual fields was an average increase of 56% for cellular respiration and 62% increase for photosynthesis knowledge, improved long-term memory of concepts, and enhanced biological literacy to the multidimensional level, as determined by the BSCS literacy model. WebQuest-style activities and data collection provided for animated prior knowledge in the past visual field, and detailed content knowledge construction in the present visual field. During student construction of animated presentations, layering required participants to think by rearranging words and images for improved hierarchical organization of knowledge with real-life applications.

  4. A Functional Conceptualization of Understanding Science in the News

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, Megan M.

    2012-01-01

    The idea that the public should have the capacity for understanding science in the news has been embraced by scientists, educators, and policymakers alike. An oft-cited goal of contemporary science education, in fact, is to enhance students' understanding of science in the news. But what exactly does it "mean" to understand scienceÖ

  5. A Functional Conceptualization of Understanding Science in the News

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, Megan M.

    2012-01-01

    The idea that the public should have the capacity for understanding science in the news has been embraced by scientists, educators, and policymakers alike. An oft-cited goal of contemporary science education, in fact, is to enhance students' understanding of science in the news. But what exactly does it "mean" to understand science…

  6. Concept Development of Decimals in Chinese Elementary Students: A Conceptual Change Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Ru-De; Ding, Yi; Zong, Min; Zhang, Dake

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to examine the concept development of decimal numbers in 244 Chinese elementary students in grades 4-6. Three grades of students differed in their intuitive sense of decimals and conceptual understanding of decimals, with more strategic approaches used by older students. Misconceptions regarding the density nature of…

  7. Students' Perceptions of Statistics: An Exploration of Attitudes, Conceptualizations, and Content Knowledge of Statistics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bond, Marjorie E.; Perkins, Susan N.; Ramirez, Caroline

    2012-01-01

    Although statistics education research has focused on students' learning and conceptual understanding of statistics, researchers have only recently begun investigating students' perceptions of statistics. The term perception describes the overlap between cognitive and non-cognitive factors. In this mixed-methods study, undergraduate studentsÖ

  8. Cognitive Demand of Model Tracing Tutor Tasks: Conceptualizing and Predicting How Deeply Students Engage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kessler, Aaron M.; Stein, Mary Kay; Schunn, Christian D.

    2015-01-01

    Model tracing tutors represent a technology designed to mimic key elements of one-on-one human tutoring. We examine the situations in which such supportive computer technologies may devolve into mindless student work with little conceptual understanding or student development. To analyze the support of student intellectual work in the model…

  9. Improving students' understanding of quantum mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Chandralekha

    2011-03-01

    Learning quantum mechanics is especially challenging, in part due to the abstract nature of the subject. We have been conducting investigations of the difficulties that students have in learning quantum mechanics. To help improve student understanding of quantum concepts, we are developing quantum interactive learning tutorials (QuILTs) as well as tools for peer-instruction. The goal of QuILTs and peer-instruction tools is to actively engage students in the learning process and to help them build links between the formalism and the conceptual aspects of quantum physics without compromising the technical content. They focus on helping students integrate qualitative and quantitative understanding, confront and resolve their misconceptions and difficulties, and discriminate between concepts that are often confused. In this talk, I will give examples from my research in physics education of how students' prior knowledge relevant for quantum mechanics can be assessed, and how learning tools can be designed to help students develop a robust knowledge structure and critical thinking skills. Supported by the National Science Foundation.

  10. Effective Assessment: Probing Students' Understanding of Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stern, Luli

    2004-01-01

    Evolution by natural selection provides the conceptual framework upon which much of modern biology is based: therefore understanding core ideas about biological evolution is an essential part of scientific literacy. Nonetheless, research repeatedly shows that high school and college students have difficulties understanding the notion of natural…

  11. Surveying Students' Conceptual Knowledge of Electricity and Magnetism.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maloney, David P.; O'Kuma, Thomas L.; Hieggelke, Curtis J.; Van Heuvelen, Alan

    2001-01-01

    Introduces the Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism (CSEM) which was developed to assess students' knowledge of topics in electricity and magnetism. Reports on the number of student difficulties in electricity and magnetism. (Contains 23 references.) (Author/YDS)

  12. Undergraduate Students' Performance and Confidence in Procedural and Conceptual Mathematics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Engelbrecht, Johann; Harding, Ansie; Potgieter, Marietjie

    2005-01-01

    The general perception is that high school teaching of mathematics in South Africa tends to be fairly procedural and that students that enter university are better equipped to deal with procedural problems rather than conceptual. This study compares the conceptual and procedural skills of first-year calculus students in life sciences. Also…

  13. An analysis of science conceptual knowledge in journals of students with disabilities and normally achieving students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grigg, Gail S.

    Science education reforms of the last two decades have focused on raising the bar for ALL students which includes students with mild to moderate disabilities. Formative assessment can be used to assess the progress of these students to inquire, understand scientific concepts, reason scientifically, make decisions, and communicate effectively in science. The purpose of this study is to examine the use of science journals as a formative assessment in a guided inquiry unit of study for students with learning disabilities. Two normally achieving students (NA) and five students with learning disabilities (SLD) participated in a study of mammals that utilized journals to record the development of student knowledge through the course of study. Students were interviewed after the lessons were complete using the same prompts required in the journals. Themes were developed from the student writings and their verbal discourse using Grounded Theory. Journals and verbal discourse were rated following the themes of Knowledge Telling (KT) and Knowledge Transformation (KTR). Concept maps were developed for the Pre and Post test lessons (written and verbal discourses) by the raters in an attempt to further explain the knowledge that the students conveyed. The results of this study suggest that SLD are able to demonstrate knowledge about mammals better through verbal discourse than written discourse. While the NA students wrote more and used more technical discourse than did their SLD peers, the conceptual understanding of the topic by the SLD was no less inclusive than their NA peers when accessed verbally. The journals demonstrated limited conceptual growth for the SLD. Further, while lexical density is important to the development of knowledge in science, this study suggests the "conceptual density" may be another important indicator to examine.

  14. Attitudes of eighth-grade honors students toward the conceptual change methods of teaching science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heide, Clifford Lee

    1998-12-01

    The study researched the attitude of eighth grade honors science students toward the steps of the conceptual change teaching method. The attitudes of 25 students in an honors 8th grade science class in the Greater Phoenix metropolitan area were assessed using a multi-method approach. A quantitative method (student survey) and a qualitative method (focus group) were triangulated for convergence. Since conceptual change is a relatively new reform teaching modality, the study assessed students' attitudes utilizing this method. Conceptual change teaching is characterized by connections between concepts and facts which are organized around key ideas. Knowledge connected through concepts is constantly revised and edited by students as they continue to learn and add new concepts. The results of this study produced evidence that the conceptual change method of teaching science and its six process steps have qualities that foster positive student attitude. The study demonstrated that students' attitudes toward science is positively influenced through the conceptual change teaching method by enabling students to: (1) choose problems and find solutions to those problems (student directed); (2) work together in large and small groups; (3) learn through student oral presentations; (4) perform hands-on laboratory experiences; (5) learn through conceptual understanding not memorization; (6) implement higher order learning skills to make connections from the lab to the real world. Teachers can use the information in the study to become aware of the positive and negative attitudes of students taught with the conceptual change method. Even if the conceptual change teaching strategy is not the modality utilized by an educator, the factors identified by this study that affect student attitude could be used to help a teacher design lesson plans that help foster positive student attitudes.

  15. A phenomenographical investigation of gender differences in the conceptual understanding of mechanics: Implications for classroom instruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sabin, Suzanne Sells

    Using a phenomenographical approach, this study investigates the qualitatively different ways that middle school boys and girls conceptualize aspects of the relationship between force and motion. It is well documented that students enter the classroom with intuitive beliefs that are frequently inconsistent with the Newtonian concept of force. Better known as misconceptions, three such understandings were examined in this study: motion implies force; impetus dissipation; and velocity, or a change in velocity, is proportional to force. With respect to each misconception, potential gender differences in comprehension were examined by monitoring student thinking during the learning process. To gain insight into the prior knowledge of the learner, selected items from the FCI were administered. These conceptions were then compared with the student's qualitative understanding of each physics principle following classroom instruction thereby characterizing the degree of conceptual change exhibited by the learner. After documenting the student's understanding of a given topic, his or her ability to apply these concepts was explored. Not only were students found to harbor misconceptions that served as obstacles to the learning process, these beliefs proved highly contextual and inconsistently applied. Some misconceptions were more prevalent than others. In addition, students who responded with a given misconception in one context often failed to apply the same belief in a different setting. While this pattern of variability was characteristic of all comparison groups, females were generally more likely to continue employing the motion implies force and impetus dissipation misconceptions following instruction. Perhaps more important than any gender specific trend in student thinking, is the number of individuals who continued to apply misconceptions following instruction. The persistence of the learner's intuitive beliefs has serious implications. More work is needed to establish instructional strategies that promote conceptual change. In addition, the gender differences identified in this study warrant further investigation.

  16. Effects of Conceptual Change and Traditional Confirmatory Simulations on Pre-Service Teachers' Understanding of Direct Current Circuits

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baser, Mustafa

    2006-01-01

    The objective of this research is to investigate the effects of simulations based on conceptual change conditions (CCS) and traditional confirmatory simulations (TCS) on pre-service elementary school teachers' understanding of direct current electric circuits. The data was collected from a sample consisting of 89 students; 48 students in the…

  17. Effects of Conceptual Change and Traditional Confirmatory Simulations on Pre-Service Teachers' Understanding of Direct Current Circuits

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baser, Mustafa

    2006-01-01

    The objective of this research is to investigate the effects of simulations based on conceptual change conditions (CCS) and traditional confirmatory simulations (TCS) on pre-service elementary school teachers' understanding of direct current electric circuits. The data was collected from a sample consisting of 89 students; 48 students in theÖ

  18. Research in physical chemistry and chemical education: Part A: Water Mediated Chemistry of Oxidized Atmospheric Compounds Part B: The Development of Surveying Tools to Determine How Effective Laboratory Experiments Contribute to Student Conceptual Understanding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maron, Marta Katarzyna

    This dissertation is a combination of two research areas, experimental physical chemistry, Chapters I to V, and chemical education, Chapters VI to VII. Chapters I to V describe research on the water-mediated chemistry of oxidized atmospheric molecules and the impact that water has on the spectra of these environmental systems. The role of water in the Earth's atmosphere has been of considerable interest due to its ability to impact chemistry and climate. Oxidized atmospheric molecules in the presence of water have the ability to form hydrogen bonded water complexes. The spectroscopic investigation of nitric acid-water complexes, outlined in Chapter III, was undertaken to characterize intermolecular hydrogen bonds in a water-restricted environment at ambient temperatures. Additionally, this characterization of nitric acid-water complexes allowed for the comparison of calculated overtone OH-stretching vibrational band frequencies, intensities, and anharmonicities of intermolecular hydrogen-bonded water complexes with experimental observations. Oxidized organic molecules, such as aldehydes and ketones, in addition to forming hydrogen-bonded water complexes can undergo a hydration reaction of the carbonyl group and form germinal diols in the presence of water. This chemistry has been studied extensively in bulk aqueous media, however little is known about this process in the gas-phase at low water concentrations. The focus of the studies outlined in Chapters IV and V is motivated by the ability of pyruvic acid and formaldehyde to form germinal diols and water complexes in water-restricted environment. This water-mediated chemistry changes the physical and chemical properties of these organic molecules, therefore, impacting the partitioning between gas and particle phase, as well as the chemistry and photochemistry of oxidized organic molecules in the Earth's atmosphere. The results presented in this dissertation may help resolve the significant discrepancy between atmospherically measured oxidized organic molecules and predictions of atmospheric models at different relative humidities. The chemical education portion of this manuscript presented in Chapters VI and VII includes the development of a survey to determine how effective a laboratory experiment is in contributing to students' understanding of fundamental chemistry. The specific example used is an electrochemical cell. Our initial results showed that while most of our students could answer quantitative questions about the operation of the cell, their conceptual understanding of the microscopic processes that occur within the cell was inconsistent with the material presented in class. In particular, we noticed that while many students were able to correctly describe the events that take place at the surface of the anode and cathode, their understanding of the events that take place at the salt bridge was lacking. In this investigation, we were able to confirm the misconceptions reported in previous studies. Our results suggest that a relatively modest, incremental revision of the experiment reduces these misconceptions and helped the students to develop a molecular-scale picture of the processes that occur within an electrochemical cell.

  19. Understanding Eating Disorders in Elite Gymnastics: Ethical and Conceptual Challenges.

    PubMed

    Tan, Jacinta Oon Ai; Calitri, Raff; Bloodworth, Andrew; McNamee, Michael J

    2016-04-01

    Eating disorders and disordered eating are more common in high performance sports than the general population, and particularly so in high performance aesthetic sports. This paper presents some of the conceptual difficulties in understanding and diagnosing eating disorders in high performance gymnasts. It presents qualitative and quantitative data from a study designed to ascertain the pattern of eating disorder symptoms, depressive symptoms and levels of self-esteem among national and international level gymnasts from the UK in the gymnastic disciplines of sport acrobatics, tumbling, and rhythmic gymnastics. PMID:26832977

  20. Understanding systematic conceptual structures in polysemous medical terms.

    PubMed

    Gangemi, A; Pisanelli, D M; Steve, G

    2000-01-01

    Polysemy is a bottleneck for the demanding needs of semantic data management. We suggest the importance of a well-founded conceptual analysis for understanding some systematic structures underlying polysemy in the medical lexicon. We present some cases studies, which exploit the methods (ontological integration and general theories) and tools (description logics and ontology libraries) of the ONIONS methodology defined elsewhere by the authors. This paper addresses an aspect (systematic metomymies) of the project we are involved in, which investigates the feasibility of building a large-scale ontology library of medicine that integrates the most important medical terminology banks. PMID:11079890

  1. Students' Understanding of Trigonometric Functions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weber, Keith

    2005-01-01

    In this article students' understanding of trigonometric functions in the context of two college trigonometry courses is investigated. The first course was taught by a professor unaffiliated with the study in a lecture-based course, while the second was taught using an experimental instruction paradigm based on Gray and Tall's (1994) notion of…

  2. Textbook treatments and students' understanding of acceleration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dall'Alba, Gloria; Walsh, Eleanor; Bowden, John; Martin, Elaine; Masters, Geofferey; Ramsden, Paul; Stephanou, Andrew

    A single science textbook often provides the syllabus for courses at upper secondary and tertiary levels, and may be used as a principal source of information or explanation. The research reported in this article challenges such practices. The ways in which the concept, acceleration, is treated in physics textbooks is compared with understandings of the concept demonstrated by final-year secondary (Year 12) and first-year university students. Some students' understandings are shown to be incomplete in ways that parallel misleading or inaccurate textbook treatments of the concept. In addition to misleading or inaccurate statements, the limitations of some textbook treatments of acceleration were found to include: lack of attempts to make explicit relationships with other concepts, failure to point out when it is appropriate to use particular definitions or that an alternative definition might be more appropriate in specific situations, inclusion of operational definitions without conceptual explanations, and a focus on quantitative treatments while overlooking the development of qualitative understanding. Two principal aspects that distinguished the ways in which the students understood acceleration were identified: (a) the relation between acceleration and velocity; and (b) the relation between acceleration and force(s). The results of the study have implications for teaching and, in particular, for the use of textbooks in teaching. These implications are discussed in the article.

  3. Codevelopment of conceptual understanding and critical attitude: toward a systemic analysis of the survival blanket

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viennot, Laurence; Décamp, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    One key objective of physics teaching is the promotion of conceptual understanding. Additionally, the critical faculty is universally seen as a central quality to be developed in students. In recent years, however, teaching objectives have placed stronger emphasis on skills than on concepts, and there is a risk that conceptual structuring may be disregarded. The question therefore arises as to whether it is possible for students to develop a critical stance without a conceptual basis, leading in turn to the issue of possible links between the development of conceptual understanding and critical attitude. In an in-depth study to address these questions, the participants were seven prospective physics and chemistry teachers. The methodology included a ‚Äėteaching interview‚Äô, designed to observe participants‚Äô responses to limited explanations of a given phenomenon and their ensuing intellectual satisfaction or frustration. The explanatory task related to the physics of how a survival blanket works, requiring a full and appropriate system analysis of the blanket. The analysis identified five recurrent lines of reasoning and linked these to judgments of adequacy of explanation, based on metacognitive/affective (MCA) factors, intellectual (dis)satisfaction and critical stance. Recurrent themes and MCA factors were used to map the intellectual dynamics that emerged during the interview process. Participants‚Äô critical attitude was observed to develop in strong interaction with their comprehension of the topic. The results suggest that most students need to reach a certain level of conceptual mastery before they can begin to question an oversimplified explanation, although one student‚Äôs replies show that a different intellectual dynamics is also possible. The paper ends with a discussion of the implications of these findings for future research and for decisions concerning teaching objectives and the design of learning environments.

  4. Students' beliefs, attitudes, and conceptual change in a traditional and a constructivistic high school physics classroom

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adams, April Dean

    In this study, the relationships between student beliefs about the nature of science, student attitudes, and conceptual change about the nature of forces were investigated within a traditional and within a constructivistic high school physics classroom. Students in both classrooms were honors students taking a first year high school physics course and were primarily white and middle to upper SES. Students in the traditional classroom were all high ability juniors, and physics instruction was integrated with pre-calculus. Students in the constructivistic classroom were a mixture of juniors and seniors. Due to the interrelated nature of these factors and the complexity of their interactions, a naturalistic inquiry design was chosen. The data sources included videotape of 7-9 weeks of instruction; analysis of the videotapes using the Secondary Teacher Analysis Matrix (Gallagher & Parker, 1995); field notes; pretest/posttest assessment with the Force Concept Inventory (Hestenes, Wells, & Swackhammer, 1992); student responses from the Views on Science-Technology-Society questionnaire (Aikenhead & Ryan, 1992), the Questionnaire for the Assessment of a Science Course (Chiappetta, 1995), and the Constructivist Learning Environment Survey (Taylor, Fraser, & White, 1994); student interviews; and teacher interviews. In the traditional classroom, (a) students did not think that physics was relevant to everyday experiences; (b) high conceptual change students were more likely to have an angular world view (Cobern, 1993) and have views more similar to the teacher's about the nature of science; and (c) high conceptual change students were able to develop an internally consistent understanding of the content; however, that content appeared to be isolated knowledge in some students. In the constructivistic classroom, (a) students saw physics as relevant and useful; (b) there was no difference in world view or agreement with the teacher's views on the nature of science between high and low conceptual change students; (c) students appreciated the importance of empirical evidence; and (d) low conceptual change students had low classroom engagement. Mean gains in conceptual change were larger for the traditional classroom.

  5. Remediating High School Students' Misconceptions Concerning Diffusion and Osmosis through Concept Mapping and Conceptual Change Text.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tekkaya, Ceren

    2003-01-01

    Investigates the effectiveness of combining conceptual change text and concept mapping strategies on students' understanding of diffusion and osmosis. Results indicate that while the average percentage of students in the experimental group holding a scientifically correct view rose, the percentage of correct responses in the control groupÖ

  6. The Effect of Supplementing Instruction with Conceptual Change Texts on Students' Conceptions of Electrochemical Cells

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yuruk, Nejla

    2007-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of instruction supplemented by conceptual change texts (CCTs) over traditional instruction on students' understanding of electrochemical (galvanic and electrolytic) cell concepts. The participants of the study consisted of 64 students from the two classes of a high school located in…

  7. Using Analogy and Model to Enhance Conceptual Change in Thai Middle School Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wichaidit, Sittichai; Wongyounoi, Somson; Dechsri, Precharn; Chaivisuthangkura, Parin

    2011-01-01

    This study examined conceptual change of Thai middle school students after learning photosynthesis with analogy and model. The analogy mapped key features from the analog (cooking food) to the target concept (photosynthesis). Modeling photosynthesis activity provided the opportunity for students to understand how plants use sugar to synthesize…

  8. Introductory Biology Students' Conceptual Models and Explanations of the Origin of Variation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bray Speth, Elena; Shaw, Neil; Momsen, Jennifer; Reinagel, Adam; Le, Paul; Taqieddin, Ranya; Long, Tammy

    2014-01-01

    Mutation is the key molecular mechanism generating phenotypic variation, which is the basis for evolution. In an introductory biology course, we used a model-based pedagogy that enabled students to integrate their understanding of genetics and evolution within multiple case studies. We used student-generated conceptual models to assessÖ

  9. Introductory Biology Students' Conceptual Models and Explanations of the Origin of Variation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bray Speth, Elena; Shaw, Neil; Momsen, Jennifer; Reinagel, Adam; Le, Paul; Taqieddin, Ranya; Long, Tammy

    2014-01-01

    Mutation is the key molecular mechanism generating phenotypic variation, which is the basis for evolution. In an introductory biology course, we used a model-based pedagogy that enabled students to integrate their understanding of genetics and evolution within multiple case studies. We used student-generated conceptual models to assess…

  10. Students' Conceptual Knowledge of Limits in Calculus: A Two-Part Constructivist Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adams, Margaret Smolinka

    2013-01-01

    This case study investigated students' conceptual knowledge of limits in calculus by implementing semi-structured interviews. The constructivist learning principles of Piaget and Inhelder as well as theories of understanding by Skemp guided the study. In Phase I, a pilot study was conducted with 15 students from a Calculus III class. By using…

  11. Remediating High School Students' Misconceptions Concerning Diffusion and Osmosis through Concept Mapping and Conceptual Change Text.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tekkaya, Ceren

    2003-01-01

    Investigates the effectiveness of combining conceptual change text and concept mapping strategies on students' understanding of diffusion and osmosis. Results indicate that while the average percentage of students in the experimental group holding a scientifically correct view rose, the percentage of correct responses in the control group…

  12. Students' Perceptions of Statistics: An Exploration of Attitudes, Conceptualizations, and Content Knowledge of Statistics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bond, Marjorie E.; Perkins, Susan N.; Ramirez, Caroline

    2012-01-01

    Although statistics education research has focused on students' learning and conceptual understanding of statistics, researchers have only recently begun investigating students' perceptions of statistics. The term perception describes the overlap between cognitive and non-cognitive factors. In this mixed-methods study, undergraduate students…

  13. Conceptual Change in Understanding the Nature of Science Learning: An Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DiBenedetto, Christina M.

    This study is the first of its kind to explore the thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and values of secondary educators as they experience conceptual change in their understanding of the nature of science learning vis a vis the Framework for K-12 Science Education published by the National Research Council. The study takes aim at the existing gap between the vision for science learning as an active process of inquiry and current pedagogical practices in K-12 science classrooms. For students to understand and explain everyday science ideas and succeed in science studies and careers, the means by which they learn science must change. Focusing on this change, the study explores the significance of educator attitudes, beliefs and values to science learning through interpretive phenomenological analysis around the central question, "In what ways do educators understand and articulate attitudes and beliefs toward the nature of science learning?" The study further explores the questions, "How do educators experience changes in their understanding of the nature of science learning?" and "How do educators believe these changes influence their pedagogical practice?" Study findings converge on four conceptions that science learning: is the action of inquiry; is a visible process initiated by both teacher and learner; values student voice and changing conceptions is science learning. These findings have implications for the primacy of educator beliefs, attitudes and values in reform efforts, science teacher leadership and the explicit instruction of both Nature of Science and conceptual change in educator preparation programs. This study supports the understanding that the nature of science learning is cognitive and affective conceptual change. Keywords: conceptual change, educator attitudes and beliefs, framework for K-12 science education, interpretive phenomenological analysis, nature of science learning, next generation science standards, science professional development, secondary science education.

  14. Students' Cognitive Conflict and Conceptual Change in a Physics by Inquiry Class

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Yeounsoo; Bao, Lei; Acar, Omer

    2006-02-01

    With proper context settings, instructors need to guide students to recognize explicitly cognitive conflicts among students' existing understandings and new observations. To study this issue, we have developed an easy-to-use instrument, the in-class Conflict and Anxiety Recognition Evaluation (iCARE), for monitoring the status of students' cognitive conflicts and anxiety in the context of Physics by Inquiry (PBI) classes. Using iCARE, we investigate what types of cognitive conflict is constructive or destructive in conceptual change when college students are confronted with anomalous situations in a PBI class. In this research, we will present our results about the relationship between students' prior knowledge and their conceptual change and the relationship between students' types of cognitive conflicts and their conceptual change.

  15. Lectures and Simulation Laboratories to Improve Learners' Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brophy, Sean P.; Magana, Alejandra J.; Strachan, Alejandro

    2013-01-01

    We studied the use of online molecular dynamics simulations (MD) to enhance student abilities to understand the atomic processes governing plastic deformation in materials. The target population included a second-year undergraduate engineering course in the School of Materials Engineering at Purdue University. The objectives of the study were to…

  16. The effects of a visualization-centered curriculum on conceptual understanding and representational competence in high school biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilder, Anna

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a visualization-centered curriculum, Hemoglobin: A Case of Double Identity, on conceptual understanding and representational competence in high school biology. Sixty-nine students enrolled in three sections of freshman biology taught by the same teacher participated in this study. Online Chemscape Chime computer-based molecular visualizations were incorporated into the 10-week curriculum to introduce students to fundamental structure and function relationships. Measures used in this study included a Hemoglobin Structure and Function Test, Mental Imagery Questionnaire, Exam Difficulty Survey, the Student Assessment of Learning Gains, the Group Assessment of Logical Thinking, the Attitude Toward Science in School Assessment, audiotapes of student interviews, students' artifacts, weekly unit activity surveys, informal researcher observations and a teacher's weekly questionnaire. The Hemoglobin Structure and Function Test, consisting of Parts A and B, was administered as a pre and posttest. Part A used exclusively verbal test items to measure conceptual understanding, while Part B used visual-verbal test items to measure conceptual understanding and representational competence. Results of the Hemoglobin Structure and Function pre and posttest revealed statistically significant gains in conceptual understanding and representational competence, suggesting the visualization-centered curriculum implemented in this study was effective in supporting positive learning outcomes. The large positive correlation between posttest results on Part A, comprised of all-verbal test items, and Part B, using visual-verbal test items, suggests this curriculum supported students' mutual development of conceptual understanding and representational competence. Evidence based on student interviews, Student Assessment of Learning Gains ratings and weekly activity surveys indicated positive attitudes toward the use of Chemscape Chime software and the computer-based molecular visualization activities as learning tools. Evidence from these same sources also indicated that students felt computer-based molecular visualization activities in conjunction with other classroom activities supported their learning. Implications for instructional design are discussed.

  17. Conceptual Ecology of Evolution Acceptance among Greek Education Students: The Contribution of Knowledge Increase

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Athanasiou, Kyriacos; Katakos, Efstratios; Papadopoulou, Penelope

    2012-01-01

    In this study, we explored the factors related to acceptance of evolutionary theory among students/preservice preschool education teachers using conceptual ecology for biological evolution as a theoretical frame. We aimed to examine the acceptance and understanding of evolutionary theory and also the relationship of acceptance and understanding ofÖ

  18. Conceptual Ecology of Evolution Acceptance among Greek Education Students: The Contribution of Knowledge Increase

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Athanasiou, Kyriacos; Katakos, Efstratios; Papadopoulou, Penelope

    2012-01-01

    In this study, we explored the factors related to acceptance of evolutionary theory among students/preservice preschool education teachers using conceptual ecology for biological evolution as a theoretical frame. We aimed to examine the acceptance and understanding of evolutionary theory and also the relationship of acceptance and understanding of…

  19. High School Students' Understanding of Projectile Motion Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dilber, Refik; Karaman, Ibrahim; Duzgun, Bahattin

    2009-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of conceptual change-based instruction and traditionally designed physics instruction on students' understanding of projectile motion concepts. Misconceptions related to projectile motion concepts were determined by related literature on this subject. Accordingly, the Projectile MotionÖ

  20. High School Students' Understanding of Projectile Motion Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dilber, Refik; Karaman, Ibrahim; Duzgun, Bahattin

    2009-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of conceptual change-based instruction and traditionally designed physics instruction on students' understanding of projectile motion concepts. Misconceptions related to projectile motion concepts were determined by related literature on this subject. Accordingly, the Projectile Motion…

  1. University Students' Understanding of Thermal Physics in Everyday Contexts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Georgiou, Helen; Sharma, Manjula Devi

    2012-01-01

    Thermal physics is in the realm of everyday experience, underlies current environmental concerns, and underpins studies in sciences, health and engineering. In the state of NSW in Australia, the coverage of thermal topics in high school is minimal, and, hence, so is the conceptual understanding of students. This study takes a new approach at…

  2. Primary Student Teachers' Understanding of Mathematics and Its Teaching.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Tony; McNamara, Olwen; Hanley, Una; Jones, Liz

    1999-01-01

    Reports on research, undertaken at the Manchester Metropolitan University (England), on primary student teachers' understanding of mathematics and its teaching. Investigates how non-specialist teachers conceptualize mathematics and its teaching and the development of their views throughout an initial training course. (CMK)

  3. Student Understanding of Liquid-Vapor Phase Equilibrium

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boudreaux, Andrew; Campbell, Craig

    2012-01-01

    Student understanding of the equilibrium coexistence of a liquid and its vapor was the subject of an extended investigation. Written assessment questions were administered to undergraduates enrolled in introductory physics and chemistry courses. Responses have been analyzed to document conceptual and reasoning difficulties in sufficient detail to…

  4. Student Understanding of Liquid-Vapor Phase Equilibrium

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boudreaux, Andrew; Campbell, Craig

    2012-01-01

    Student understanding of the equilibrium coexistence of a liquid and its vapor was the subject of an extended investigation. Written assessment questions were administered to undergraduates enrolled in introductory physics and chemistry courses. Responses have been analyzed to document conceptual and reasoning difficulties in sufficient detail toÖ

  5. Trajectories of collaborative scientific conceptual change: Middle school students learning about ecosystems in a CSCL environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Lei

    The dissertation aims to achieve two goals. First, it attempts to establish a new theoretical framework---the collaborative scientific conceptual change model, which explicitly attends to social factor and epistemic practices of science, to understand conceptual change. Second, it report the findings of a classroom study to investigate how to apply this theoretical framework to examine the trajectories of collaborative scientific conceptual change in a CSCL environment and provide pedagogical implications. Two simulations were designed to help students make connections between the macroscopic substances and the aperceptual microscopic entities and underlying processes. The reported study was focused on analyzing the aggregated data from all participants and the video and audio data from twenty focal groups' collaborative activities and the process of their conceptual development in two classroom settings. Mixed quantitative and qualitative analyses were applied to analyze the video/audio data. The results found that, overall participants showed significant improvements from pretest to posttest on system understanding. Group and teacher effect as well as group variability were detected in both students' posttest performance and their collaborative activities, and variability emerged in group interaction. Multiple data analyses found that attributes of collaborative discourse and epistemic practices made a difference in student learning. Generating warranted claims in discourse as well as the predicting, coordinating theory-evidence, and modifying knowledge in epistemic practices had an impact on student's conceptual understanding. However, modifying knowledge was found negatively related to students' learning effect. The case studies show how groups differed in using the computer tools as a medium to conduct collaborative discourse and epistemic practices. Only with certain combination of discourse features and epistemic practices can the group interaction lead to successful convergent understanding. The results of the study imply that the collaborative scientific conceptual change model is an effective framework to study conceptual change and the simulation environment may mediate the development of successful collaborative interactions (including collaborative discourse and epistemic practices) that lead to collaborative scientific conceptual change.

  6. Supporting Scientific Reasoning and Conceptual Understanding Through the use of Inscriptions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Nicole

    While there is a vast body of research on visual representations, the results do not paint a clear picture of how to use inscriptions to support learning. Part of the difficulty stems from the need for research that investigates the use of inscriptions in classroom learning contexts. Toward this end, there is a small body of work that investigates the role of inscriptions in supporting students' engagement in scientific reasoning practices. Through the development of a case study of expert practice, this dissertation contributes to that literature by examining the potential power of inscriptions as resources for science teaching and learning in the context of a teacher professional development course that aims to support 4th grade teachers' content knowledge around the topic of electric circuits. This study examined the curriculum and video record from one enactment of this course to analyze the affordances of particular representations for supporting conceptual understanding and scientific reasoning practices; examine the facilitator's inscriptional practices that supported collaborative learning; and analyze the interactions among the learners, facilitator, and inscriptions that supported conceptual understanding. This exemplary facilitator successfully used inscriptions to engage learners in scientific reasoning practices that supported their conceptual understanding. She used inscriptions to structure and support discussions that were based on learner-generated ideas, yet led to curriculum-directed conceptual and pedagogical goals. The curriculum provided a series of inscriptional resources that were well suited for the conceptual and scientific reasoning activities that they proposed to support. By using curricular inscriptions to shape the content and form of the discussions, the facilitator created opportunities to learn that were 1) contingent on learner contributions and understanding, and 2) congruent with curricular goals. This work identifies several pedagogical content knowledge demands of supporting scientific reasoning through the use of inscriptions. Beyond knowledge of the conceptual terrain, the facilitator needed to (a) understand the match between particular inscriptions (or types of inscriptions) and the conceptual or scientific reasoning work they can support; (b) understand and interpret learner ideas in relation to the curricular goals; and (c) use inscriptions to make learner ideas available for examination, analysis, revision and discussion in service of the curricular goals.

  7. Students' Conceptual Difficulties in Quantum Mechanics: Potential Well Problems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ozcan, Ozgur; Didis, Nilufer; Tasar, Mehmet Fatih

    2009-01-01

    In this study, students' conceptual difficulties about some basic concepts in quantum mechanics like one-dimensional potential well problems and probability density of tunneling particles were identified. For this aim, a multiple choice instrument named Quantum Mechanics Conceptual Test has been developed by one of the researchers of this studyÖ

  8. Students' Conceptual Difficulties in Quantum Mechanics: Potential Well Problems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ozcan, Ozgur; Didis, Nilufer; Tasar, Mehmet Fatih

    2009-01-01

    In this study, students' conceptual difficulties about some basic concepts in quantum mechanics like one-dimensional potential well problems and probability density of tunneling particles were identified. For this aim, a multiple choice instrument named Quantum Mechanics Conceptual Test has been developed by one of the researchers of this study…

  9. Conceptual continuity and the science of baseball: using informal science literacy to promote students' science learning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Bryan A.; Kloser, Matt

    2009-12-01

    This project explores conceptual continuity as a framework for understanding students' native ways of understanding and describing. Conceptual continuity suggests that the relationship between the use of words in one genre and the scientific genre can exist at varying levels of association. This perspective can reveal the varied relationships between ideas explained in everyday or vernacular genres and their association to scientific explanations. We conducted a 2-year study involving 15 high school baseball players' understanding of the physics involved in baseball. First, we conducted a quantitative assessment of their science understanding by administering a test prior to season one (2006) and season two (2007). Second, we examined the types of linguistic resources students used to explain their understanding. Third, we revisited our data by using conceptual continuity to identify similarities between students' conceptual understanding in the informal contexts and their similarities to canonical scientific ideas. The results indicated students' performance on the multiple-choice questions suggested no significant improvement. The qualitative analyses revealed that students were able to accurately explain different components of the idea by using a diversity of scientific and non-scientific genres. These results call attention to the need to reconstruct our vision of science learning to include a more language sensitive approach to teaching and learning.

  10. An investigation of the use of microcomputer-based laboratory simulations in promoting conceptual understanding in secondary physics instruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomshaw, Stephen G.

    Physics education research has shown that students bring alternate conceptions to the classroom which can be quite resistant to traditional instruction methods (Clement, 1982; Halloun & Hestenes, 1985; McDermott, 1991). Microcomputer-based laboratory (MBL) experiments that employ an active-engagement strategy have been shown to improve student conceptual understanding in high school and introductory university physics courses (Thornton & Sokoloff, 1998). These (MBL) experiments require a specialized computer interface, type-specific sensors (e.g. motion detectors, force probes, accelerometers), and specialized software in addition to the standard physics experimental apparatus. Tao and Gunstone (1997) have shown that computer simulations used in an active engagement environment can also lead to conceptual change. This study investigated 69 secondary physics students' use of computer simulations of MBL activities in place of the hands-on MBL laboratory activities. The average normalized gain in students' conceptual understanding was measured using the Force and Motion Conceptual Evaluation (FMCE). Student attitudes towards physics and computers were probed using the Views About Science Survey (VASS) and the Computer Attitude Scale (CAS). While it may be possible to obtain an equivalent level of conceptual understanding using computer simulations in combination with an active-engagement environment, this study found no significant gains in students' conceptual understanding ( = -0.02) after they completed a series of nine simulated experiments from the Tools for Scientific Thinking curriculum (Thornton & Sokoloff, 1990). The absence of gains in conceptual understanding may indicate that either the simulations were ineffective in promoting conceptual change or problems with the implementation of the treatment inhibited its effectiveness. There was a positive shift in students' attitudes towards physics in the VASS dimensions of structure and reflective thinking, while there was a negative shift in students' attitudes towards computers in the CAS subscales of anxiety and usefulness. The negative shift in attitudes towards computers may be due to the additional time and work required by the students to perform the simulation experiments with no apparent reward in terms of their physics grade. Suggestions for future research include a qualitative element to observe student interactions and alternate formats for the simulations themselves.

  11. Students Conceptualizing Transcription and Translation from a Cellular Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Concannon, James; Buzzetta, Maegan

    2010-01-01

    It is difficult for students to conceptualize biochemical processes that are portrayed as two-dimensional figures in a textbook. Instead of relying on overheads, PowerPoint, or textbook figures, the authors have students imagine themselves actually being inside a cell. Students have a specific role in the cell: helping with the transcription andÖ

  12. Students Conceptualizing Transcription and Translation from a Cellular Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Concannon, James; Buzzetta, Maegan

    2010-01-01

    It is difficult for students to conceptualize biochemical processes that are portrayed as two-dimensional figures in a textbook. Instead of relying on overheads, PowerPoint, or textbook figures, the authors have students imagine themselves actually being inside a cell. Students have a specific role in the cell: helping with the transcription and…

  13. Conceptual Understanding of Climate Change with a Simple Climate Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dommenget, Dietmar; Floeter, Janine

    2010-05-01

    The future climate change projections are essentially based on coupled general circulation model (CGCM) simulations, which give a distinct global warming pattern with arctic winter amplification, an equilibrium land-sea warming contrast and an inter-hemispheric warming gradient. While these simulations are the most important tool of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predictions, the conceptual understanding of these predicted structures of climate change and the causes of their uncertainties is very difficult to reach if only based on these highly complex CGCM simulations. In the study presented here we will introduce a very simple, globally resolved energy balance (GREB) model, which is capable of simulating the main characteristics of global warming. The model shall give a bridge between the strongly simplified energy balance models and the fully coupled 4-dimensional complex CGCMs. It provides a fast tool for the conceptual understanding and development of hypotheses for climate change studies and teaching. It is based on the surface energy balance by very simple representations of solar and thermal radiation, the atmospheric hydrological cycle, sensible turbulent heat flux, the transport by the mean atmospheric circulation and heat exchange with the deeper ocean. It can be run on any PC computer and compute 200yrs climate scenarios within minutes. The simple model's climate sensitivity and the spatial structure of the warming pattern are within the uncertainties of the IPCC models simulations. It is capable of simulating the arctic winter amplification, the equilibrium land-sea warming contrast and the inter-hemispheric warming gradient with good agreement to the IPCC models in amplitude and structure.

  14. The nature of elementary students' science discourse and conceptual learning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parks, Melissa Y.

    This qualitative study examined the nature of 5th-grade students' oral and written discourse in relation to their conceptual learning during six science inquiry-based lessons. Qualitative data were collected using small group observations, transcriptions of small group discourse, students' science notebooks, and student interviews. These data were used to create an in-depth illustration of 5th-grade students' discourse and the impact of that discourse on their science conceptual learning. Findings indicated students spoke in three main discourse classifications during small group inquiries and two of these discourses were also present in the science notebook entries. Findings further indicated gender did not impact the nature of students' oral or written discourse regarding their conceptual learning. Implications for classroom practice and suggestions for further research in elementary science education are offered.

  15. The Struggle to Understand: Exploring Medical Students' Experiences of Learning and Understanding during a Basic Science Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weurlander, Maria; Scheja, Max; Hult, Håkan; Wernerson, Annika

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the research reported in this paper was to explore students' "journey" towards conceptual understanding during an undergraduate course. The task that medical students face--to learn a substantial quantity of detailed knowledge and integrate into a coherent whole in a limited time frame--is demanding. Seven students were…

  16. K-12 Teacher Understanding of Energy Conservation: Conceptual Metaphor, Dissipation, and Degradation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daane, Abigail R.

    In K-12 educational settings, conservation of energy is typically presented in two ways: the conservation of energy principle (energy is neither created nor destroyed) and the sociopolitical need to conserve energy (we guard against energy being used up). These two meanings of conservation typically remain disconnected from each other and can appear contradictory, even after instruction. In an effort to support teachers in building robust understandings of energy from their existing knowledge, I designed a study to investigate the productive ideas in K-12 teachers' conversations about energy. A micro-analysis of discourse, gestures, and artifacts of professional development courses revealed teachers' productive ideas about three aspects of energy: conceptual metaphor, dissipation and degradation. In learning about energy, K-12 teachers come to use conceptual metaphors in their own language and value attending to students' metaphorical language as a means of formative assessment. Teachers' conversations about dissipation suggest that apparent difficulties with energy conservation may have their roots in a strong association between forms of energy (thermal) and their perceptible indicators (warmth). Teachers address this challenge by employing an exaggeration strategy to locate the dissipated thermal energy, making the energy indicator perceptible. Finally, teachers' unprompted statements about sociopolitical aspects of energy are related to both statements from the NGSS and aspects of energy degradation. I conclude that energy conservation can be better taught and learned in K-12 Education by: 1) understanding and applying conceptual metaphors about energy in K-12 settings, 2) using prior experiences to better understand dissipative energy processes involving imperceptible thermal energy, thereby understanding how energy conservation applies in all situations, and 3) connecting productive ideas about sociopolitical aspects of energy to canonical physics. Keywords: energy conservation, K-12 teachers, dissipation, degradation, conceptual metaphor.

  17. The Effects of Inquiry-Based Computer Simulation with Cooperative Learning on Scientific Thinking and Conceptual Understanding of Gas Laws

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abdullah, Sopiah; Shariff, Adilah

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of inquiry-based computer simulation with heterogeneous-ability cooperative learning (HACL) and inquiry-based computer simulation with friendship cooperative learning (FCL) on (a) scientific reasoning (SR) and (b) conceptual understanding (CU) among Form Four students in Malaysian Smart…

  18. Teaching to the Test…or Testing to Teach: Exams Requiring Higher Order Thinking Skills Encourage Greater Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jensen, Jamie L.; McDaniel, Mark A.; Woodard, Steven M.; Kummer, Tyler A.

    2014-01-01

    In order to test the effect of exam-question level on fostering student conceptual understanding, low-level and high-level quizzes and exams were administered in two sections of an introductory biology course. Each section was taught in a high-level inquiry based style but was assigned either low-level questions (memory oriented) on the quizzes…

  19. The Effectiveness of Peer Instruction and Structured Inquiry on Conceptual Understanding of Force and Motion: A Case Study from Thailand

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Suppapittayaporn, Decha; Emarat, Narumon; Arayathanitkul, Kwan

    2010-01-01

    This study proposed to investigate the effectiveness of learning activities based on a conceptual change theoretical framework by embedding a peer instruction method with structured inquiry (PISI) on tenth grade students' understanding of force and motion concepts. This teaching method was compared to the existing traditional instruction (TI).…

  20. The Effectiveness of Peer Instruction and Structured Inquiry on Conceptual Understanding of Force and Motion: A Case Study from Thailand

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Suppapittayaporn, Decha; Emarat, Narumon; Arayathanitkul, Kwan

    2010-01-01

    This study proposed to investigate the effectiveness of learning activities based on a conceptual change theoretical framework by embedding a peer instruction method with structured inquiry (PISI) on tenth grade students' understanding of force and motion concepts. This teaching method was compared to the existing traditional instruction (TI).Ö

  1. Effect of Two-Tier Diagnostic Tests on Promoting Learners' Conceptual Understanding of Variables in Conducting Scientific Experiments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Çil, Emine

    2015-01-01

    Taking a test generally improves the retention of the material tested. This is a phenomenon commonly referred to as testing effect. The present research investigated whether two-tier diagnostic tests promoted student teachers' conceptual understanding of variables in conducting scientific experiments, which is a scientific process skill. In this…

  2. The Effects of Inquiry-Based Computer Simulation with Cooperative Learning on Scientific Thinking and Conceptual Understanding of Gas Laws

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abdullah, Sopiah; Shariff, Adilah

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of inquiry-based computer simulation with heterogeneous-ability cooperative learning (HACL) and inquiry-based computer simulation with friendship cooperative learning (FCL) on (a) scientific reasoning (SR) and (b) conceptual understanding (CU) among Form Four students in Malaysian SmartÖ

  3. Understanding medical symptoms: a conceptual review and analysis.

    PubMed

    Malterud, Kirsti; Guassora, Ann Dorrit; Graungaard, Anette Hauskov; Reventlow, Susanne

    2015-12-01

    The aim of this article is to present a conceptual review and analysis of symptom understanding. Subjective bodily sensations occur abundantly in the normal population and dialogues about symptoms take place in a broad range of contexts, not only in the doctor's office. Our review of symptom understanding proceeds from an initial subliminal awareness by way of attribution of meaning and subsequent management, with and without professional involvement. We introduce theoretical perspectives from phenomenology, semiotics, social interactionism, and discourse analysis. Drew Leder's phenomenological perspectives deal with how symptom perception occurs when any kind of altered balance brings forward a bodily attention. Corporeality is brought to explicit awareness and perceived as sensations. Jesper Hoffmeyer's biosemiotic perspectives provide access to how signs are interpreted to attribute meaning to the bodily messages. Symptom management is then determined by the meaning of a symptom. Dorte E. Gannik's concept "situational disease" explains how situations can be reviewed not just in terms of their potential to produce signs or symptoms, but also in terms of their capacity to contain symptoms. Disease is a social and relational phenomenon of containment, and regulating the situation where the symptoms originate implies adjusting containment. Discourse analysis, as presented by Jonathan Potter and Margaret Wetherell, provides a tool to notice the subtle ways in which language orders perceptions and how language constructs social interaction. Symptoms are situated in culture and context, and trends in modern everyday life modify symptom understanding continuously. Our analysis suggests that a symptom can only be understood by attention to the social context in which the symptom emerges and the dialogue through which it is negotiated. PMID:26597868

  4. Students' ways of understanding aromaticity and electrophilic aromatic substitution reactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duffy, Anne Merete

    Studies in organic chemistry education focus mainly on increasing students' performance. Studies from general chemistry education reveal that students' performance is not a good indicator of conceptual understanding. In support, Bhattacharyya and Bodner (2005) reveal that chemistry graduate students can produce correct answers to reaction mechanisms tasks in organic chemistry without understanding the underlying concepts behind the tasks. This dissertation uses the constructs of Harel's DNR-based instruction (1998, 2001, in press [a]) to categorize students' ways of understanding aromaticity and electrophilic aromatic substitution reactions. DNR refers to three instructional principles: Duality Principle, Necessity Principle and Repeated Reasoning Principle. Primarily, this study applies the following constructs integral to the Duality Principle: ways of understanding and ways of thinking. The purpose of this study is three-fold. The first purpose is to identify students' ways of understanding aromaticity and electrophilic aromatic substitution reactions and subsequently the ways of thinking that are inferred by these ways of understanding. The second purpose of this study is to provide quantitative evidence of students' beliefs (one category of ways of thinking) about learning organic chemistry. The third purpose is to show how we can help students develop more desirable ways of understanding aromaticity. First, several ways of understanding were identified from semi-structured interviews conducted with 12 undergraduate-level students. Three ways of thinking were inferred from these ways of understanding: (1) non-referential symbolic reasoning, (2) non-referential use of terminology, and (3) beliefs about learning organic chemistry. Second, the results of a 46-Item Likert-scale survey provided empirical evidence to support the claim that the students have a tendency towards memorization when learning organic chemistry. Third, this study demonstrated the potential for students' developing more scientific ways of understanding aromaticity through teaching interview sessions where problem tasks were designed to perturb students existing ways of understanding.

  5. A Pre-Lab Guide for General Chemistry: Improving Student Understanding of Chemical Concepts and Processes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kirk, Marla K.; Layman, John W.

    This study investigated perceptions of 56 students in 4 general chemistry labs regarding their understanding of chemical concepts and processes. Conceptual understanding of scientific investigation was the focus. Students using a pre-lab guide for lab preparation were compared with students completing a traditional pre-lab assignment. Data sources…

  6. On the Conceptual Understanding of the Photoelectric Effect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foong, S. K.; Lee, P.; Wong, D.; Chee, Y. P.

    2010-07-01

    We attempt an in-depth literature review that focuses on some finer aspects of the photoelectric effect that will help build a more coherent understanding of the phenomenon. These include the angular distribution of photoelectrons, multi-photon photoelectron emission and the work function in the photoelectric equation as being that associated with the collector rather than the emitter. We attempt to explain the intricacies of the related concepts in a way that is accessible to teachers and students at the Singapore GCE A-level or pre-university level.

  7. High-Maintenance Students: A Conceptual Exploration and Implications

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burke, Lisa A.

    2004-01-01

    This article explores high-maintenance students in the university setting: those students who complain and whine, beyond reasonable limits, thereby exhausting their instructor's energy. By drawing heavily on the personality literature, I advance a conceptual foundation, research propositions, and suggestions for future research regarding…

  8. Conceptualizations of Nature from Science Students in Northeastern Colombia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Medina-Jerez, William

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to explore rural and provincial students' conceptualizations of nature in Colombia alongside the science education offered in their school communities. Students' perceptions of nature were produced from interviews that revolved around a focusing event and two eliciting devices to document their views about home,…

  9. Conceptualizing Mathematically Significant Pedagogical Opportunities to Build on Student Thinking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leatham, Keith R.; Peterson, Blake E.; Stockero, Shari L.; Van Zoest, Laura R.

    2015-01-01

    The mathematics education community values using student thinking to develop mathematical concepts, but the nuances of this practice are not clearly understood. The authors conceptualize an important group of instances in classroom lessons that occur at the intersection of student thinking, significant mathematics, and pedagogicalÖ

  10. Conceptualizing Mathematically Significant Pedagogical Opportunities to Build on Student Thinking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leatham, Keith R.; Peterson, Blake E.; Stockero, Shari L.; Van Zoest, Laura R.

    2015-01-01

    The mathematics education community values using student thinking to develop mathematical concepts, but the nuances of this practice are not clearly understood. The authors conceptualize an important group of instances in classroom lessons that occur at the intersection of student thinking, significant mathematics, and pedagogical…

  11. High School Students' Physical Education Conceptual Knowledge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ayers, Suzan F.

    2004-01-01

    The value of conceptual physical education knowledge has long been acknowledged (American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, 1969; Kneer, 1981; NASPE, 1995) yet has not been formally measured or assessed. Seven multiple choice tests with established validity and reliability (Ayers, 2001b) were used to assess the concepts…

  12. Understanding Nursing Home Worker Conceptualizations about Good Care

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chung, Gawon

    2013-01-01

    This study explored how direct care workers in nursing homes conceptualize good care and how their conceptualizations are influenced by external factors surrounding their work environment and the relational dynamics between them and residents. Study participants were drawn from a local service employees' union, and in-depth interviews wereÖ

  13. Understanding Nursing Home Worker Conceptualizations about Good Care

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chung, Gawon

    2013-01-01

    This study explored how direct care workers in nursing homes conceptualize good care and how their conceptualizations are influenced by external factors surrounding their work environment and the relational dynamics between them and residents. Study participants were drawn from a local service employees' union, and in-depth interviews were…

  14. Understanding the Conceptual Development Phase of Applied Theory-Building Research: A Grounded Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Storberg-Walker, Julia

    2007-01-01

    This article presents a provisional grounded theory of conceptual development for applied theory-building research. The theory described here extends the understanding of the components of conceptual development and provides generalized relations among the components. The conceptual development phase of theory-building research has been widely…

  15. Student Satisfaction and Retention: A Conceptual Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schertzer, Clinton B; Schertzer, Susan M. B.

    2004-01-01

    Students in institutions of higher education are becoming more "consumer oriented" than ever before. As a result, the turnover rate is increasing-students are leaving universities almost as fast as new students are enrolled. This is both costly and inefficient. Major efforts are underway in all areas of traditional for-profit institutions to…

  16. Improving student understanding of lock-in amplifiers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeVore, Seth; Gauthier, Alexandre; Levy, Jeremy; Singh, Chandralekha

    2016-01-01

    The lock-in amplifier is a versatile instrument frequently used in physics research. We find that students tend to struggle with its basic operating principles, leading to a variety of difficulties. To improve their understanding, we have developed a research-based tutorial that makes use of a computer simulated lock-in amplifier. The tutorial allows students to realize their conceptual difficulties by comparing their predictions with the outcome of the simulations, hopefully leading them to a better understanding of the process of lock-in amplification.

  17. Long-Term Outcomes of Early Childhood Science Education: Insights from a Cross-National Comparative Case Study on Conceptual Understanding of Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tao, Ying; Oliver, Mary; Venville, Grady

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this research was to explore the long-term outcomes of either participating or not participating in early childhood science education on grade 6 students' conceptual understanding of science. The research is situated in a conceptual framework that evokes Piagetian developmental levels as both potential curriculum constraints andÖ

  18. Gestures and metaphors as indicators of conceptual understanding of sedimentary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riggs, E. M.; Herrera, J. S.

    2012-12-01

    Understanding the geometry and evolution of sedimentary systems and sequence stratigraphy is crucial to the development of geoscientists and engineers working in the petroleum industry. There is a wide variety of audiences within industry who require relatively advanced instruction in this area of geoscience, and there is an equally wide array of approaches to teaching this material in the classroom and field. This research was undertaken to develop a clearer picture of how conceptual understanding in this area of sedimentary geology grows as a result of instruction and how instructors can monitor the completeness and accuracy of student thinking and mental models. We sought ways to assess understanding that did not rely on model-specific jargon but rather was based in physical expression of basic processes and attributes of sedimentary systems. Advances in cognitive science and educational research indicate that a significant part of spatial cognition is facilitated by gesture, (e.g. giving directions, describing objects or landscape features). We aligned the analysis of gestures with conceptual metaphor theory to probe the use of mental image-schemas as a source of concept representation for students' learning of sedimentary processes. In order to explore image schemas that lie in student explanations, we focused our analysis on four core ideas about sedimentary systems that involve sea level change and sediment deposition, namely relative sea level, base level, and sea-level fluctuations and resulting basin geometry and sediment deposition changes. The study included 25 students from three U.S. Midwestern universities. Undergraduate and graduate-level participants were enrolled in senior-level undergraduate courses in sedimentology and stratigraphy. We used semi-structured interviews and videotaping for data collection. We coded the data to focus on deictic, iconic, and metaphoric gestures, and coded interview transcripts for linguistic metaphors using the rubric established by Lakoff (1987) and Lakoff and Johnson (1999). The results suggested that students attempted to make more iconic and metaphoric gestures when dealing with abstract concepts such as relative sea level, base level, and unconformities. Schemas that were evident in both gesture and linguistic expressions dominantly included container schemas, schemas that expressed a source-path-goal relationship, and schemas that represented linear scales of quantity, such as thickness or time. Based on the analysis of gestures that expressed these central ideas, we found that proper use of representational gestures likely indicates completeness in conceptual understanding. We concluded that students rely on image schemas to develop ideas about complex sedimentary systems. Our research also supports the hypothesis that gestures provide an independent and non-linguistic indicator of image-schemas serving as mental models that shape conceptual development. The implication is that instructors should encourage proper gesture use by students during instruction, and also that gesture and linguistic metaphor could potentially be used as tools to assess student understanding.

  19. The Effect of Supplementing Instruction with Conceptual Change Texts on Students' Conceptions of Electrochemical Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Y√ľr√ľk, Nejla

    2007-12-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of instruction supplemented by conceptual change texts (CCTs) over traditional instruction on students' understanding of electrochemical (galvanic and electrolytic) cell concepts. The participants of the study consisted of 64 students from the two classes of a high school located in Turkey. Classes were randomly assigned to experimental group, which was exposed to CCTs as a supplementary material, and to control group, which was exposed to traditional instruction. A 23-item multiple-choice test was developed assess students' conceptual understanding of electrochemical cells. This test was administered to both groups before and after the instruction. The results of ANCOVA indicated that students who were instructed by using CCTs had better conceptual understanding of electrochemical cells than those experiencing traditional instruction when their prior electrochemical cell concepts understanding was statistically controlled. The findings of this study suggest that CCTs can be used as a cost- and resource-effective supplement to classroom instruction to promote students' understanding science concepts.

  20. Evolution in students' understanding of thermal physics with increasing complexity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langbeheim, Elon; Safran, Samuel A.; Livne, Shelly; Yerushalmi, Edit

    2013-12-01

    We analyze the development in students‚Äô understanding of fundamental principles in the context of learning a current interdisciplinary research topic‚ÄĒsoft matter‚ÄĒthat was adapted to the level of high school students. The topic was introduced in a program for interested 11th grade high school students majoring in chemistry and/or physics, in an off-school setting. Soft matter was presented in a gradual increase in the degree of complexity of the phenomena as well as in the level of the quantitative analysis. We describe the evolution in students‚Äô use of fundamental thermodynamics principles to reason about phase separation‚ÄĒa phenomenon that is ubiquitous in soft matter. In particular, we examine the impact of the use of free energy analysis, a common approach in soft matter, on the understanding of the fundamental principles of thermodynamics. The study used diagnostic questions and classroom observations to gauge the student‚Äôs learning. In order to gain insight on the aspects that shape the understanding of the basic principles, we focus on the responses and explanations of two case-study students who represent two trends of evolution in conceptual understanding in the group. We analyze changes in the two case studies‚Äô management of conceptual resources used in their analysis of phase separation, and suggest how their prior knowledge and epistemological framing (a combination of their personal tendencies and their prior exposure to different learning styles) affect their conceptual evolution. Finally, we propose strategies to improve the instruction of these concepts.

  1. Investigating the impact of visuohaptic simulations for conceptual understanding in electricity and magnetism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanchez Martinez, Karla L.

    The present study examined the efficacy of a haptic simulation used as a pedagogical tool to teach freshmen engineering students about electromagnetism. A quasi-experimental design-based research was executed in two iterations to compare the possible benefits the haptic device provided to the cognitive learning of students. In the first iteration of the experiment performance of learners who used visual-only simulations was compared to the performance of those who used visuohaptic. In the second iteration of the experiment modifications were made to learning materials and experiment procedures to enhance research design. Research hypothesis states that multimodal presentation of information may lead to better conceptual understanding of electromagnetism compared to visual presentation alone.

  2. Stellar Ideas: Exploring Students' Understanding of Stars

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Agan, Lori

    2004-01-01

    In this study, high school and first-year undergraduate students were asked about their understanding of stars. The hypothesis guiding this research posits that high school students who have taken a semester-long astronomy course will have an understanding of stars most related to scientific knowledge, compared with high school students enrolledÖ

  3. Stellar Ideas: Exploring Students' Understanding of Stars

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Agan, Lori

    2004-01-01

    In this study, high school and first-year undergraduate students were asked about their understanding of stars. The hypothesis guiding this research posits that high school students who have taken a semester-long astronomy course will have an understanding of stars most related to scientific knowledge, compared with high school students enrolled…

  4. Spatial abilities, Earth science conceptual understanding, and psychological gender of university non-science majors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Black, Alice A. (Jill)

    Research has shown the presence of many Earth science misconceptions and conceptual difficulties that may impede concept understanding, and has also identified a number of categories of spatial ability. Although spatial ability has been linked to high performance in science, some researchers believe it has been overlooked in traditional education. Evidence exists that spatial ability can be improved. This correlational study investigated the relationship among Earth science conceptual understanding, three types of spatial ability, and psychological gender, a self-classification that reflects socially-accepted personality and gender traits. A test of Earth science concept understanding, the Earth Science Concepts (ESC) test, was developed and field tested from 2001 to 2003 in 15 sections of university classes. Criterion validity was .60, significant at the .01 level. Spearman/Brown reliability was .74 and Kuder/Richardson reliability was .63. The Purdue Visualization of Rotations (PVOR) (mental rotation), the Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT) (spatial perception), the Differential Aptitude Test: Space Relations (DAT) (spatial visualization), and the Bem Inventory (BI) (psychological gender) were administered to 97 non-major university students enrolled in undergraduate science classes. Spearman correlations revealed moderately significant correlations at the .01 level between ESC scores and each of the three spatial ability test scores. Stepwise regression analysis indicated that PVOR scores were the best predictor of ESC scores, and showed that spatial ability scores accounted for 27% of the total variation in ESC scores. Spatial test scores were moderately or weakly correlated with each other. No significant correlations were found among BI scores and other test scores. Scantron difficulty analysis of ESC items produced difficulty ratings ranging from 33.04 to 96.43, indicating the percentage of students who answered incorrectly. Mean score on the ESC was 34%, indicating that the non-majors tested exhibited many Earth science misconceptions and conceptual difficulties. A number of significant results were found when independent t-tests and correlations were conducted among test scores and demographic variables. The number of previous university Earth science courses was significantly related to ESC scores. Preservice elementary/middle majors differed significantly in several ways from other non-majors, and several earlier results were not supported. Results of this study indicate that an important opportunity may exist to improve Earth science conceptual understanding by focusing on spatial ability, a cognitive ability that has heretofore not been directly addressed in schools.

  5. Comparing student learning with multiple research-based conceptual surveys: CSEM and BEMA.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pollock, S. J.

    2008-10-01

    We present results demonstrating similar distributions of student scores, and statistically indistinguishable gains on two popular research-based assessment tools: the Brief Electricity and Magnetism Assessment (BEMA) and the Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism(CSEM). To deepen our understanding of student learning in our course environment and of these assessment tools as measures of student learning, we identify systematic trends and differences in results from these two instruments. We investigate correlations of both pre- and post- conceptual scores with other measures including traditional exam scores and course grades, student background (earlier grades), gender, a pretest of scientific reasoning, and tests of attitudes and beliefs about science and learning science. Overall, for practical purposes, we find the BEMA and CSEM are roughly equivalently useful instruments for measuring student learning in our course.

  6. Students' Conceptions of Underlying Principles in Medical Physiology: An Interview Study of Medical Students' Understanding in a PBL Curriculum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fyrenius, Anna; Silen, Charlotte; Wirell, Staffan

    2007-01-01

    Medical physiology is known to be a complex area where students develop significant errors in conceptual understanding. Students' knowledge is often bound to situational descriptions rather than underlying principles. This study explores how medical students discern and process underlying principles in physiology. Indepth interviews, where…

  7. Understanding and Managing Student Hostility

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keener, Sally; Leaman, David R.

    2007-01-01

    Conscientious educators grapple with the challenge of teaching all students, including emotionally troubled, high risk students. The general expectation is that teachers should know how to reach and teach every student--even the most irritating and obstinate child. To do that, teachers must be able to identify basic psychological factors ofÖ

  8. Understanding and Managing Student Hostility

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keener, Sally; Leaman, David R.

    2007-01-01

    Conscientious educators grapple with the challenge of teaching all students, including emotionally troubled, high risk students. The general expectation is that teachers should know how to reach and teach every student--even the most irritating and obstinate child. To do that, teachers must be able to identify basic psychological factors of…

  9. Understanding Early Elementary Children's Conceptual Knowledge of Plant Structure and Function through Drawings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, Janice L.; Ellis, Jane P.; Jones, Alan M.

    2014-01-01

    This study examined children's drawings to explain children's conceptual understanding of plant structure and function. The study explored whether the children's drawings accurately reflect their conceptual understanding about plants in a manner that can be interpreted by others. Drawing, survey, interview, and observational data…

  10. Understanding Early Elementary Children's Conceptual Knowledge of Plant Structure and Function through Drawings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, Janice L.; Ellis, Jane P.; Jones, Alan M.

    2014-01-01

    This study examined children's drawings to explain children's conceptual understanding of plant structure and function. The study explored whether the children's drawings accurately reflect their conceptual understanding about plants in a manner that can be interpreted by others. Drawing, survey, interview, and observational dataÖ

  11. Student-Student Online Coaching: Conceptualizing an Emerging Learning Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hrastinski, Stefan; Stenbom, Stefan

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to describe student-student online coaching, defined as "an online service where a student gets support on a specific subject matter from a more experienced student". Student-student online coaching emphasizes learning a subject matter by giving a student the opportunity to get coached by a coach, i.e. a more experienced…

  12. Effects of Conceptual Assignments and Conceptual Change Discussions on Students' Misconceptions and Achievement Regarding Force and Motion.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eryilmaz, Ali

    2002-01-01

    Investigates the effects of conceptual assignments and conceptual change discussions on high school students' achievement and misconceptions about force and motion. Analyzes pretest and posttest data from the Force Misconception and Force Achievement Tests (FMFAT). Discusses the effects on the conceptual change discussion on reducingÖ

  13. Learning about Seasons in a Technologically Enhanced Environment: The Impact of Teacher-Guided and Student-Centered Instructional Approaches on the Process of Students' Conceptual Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hsu, Ying-Shao

    2008-01-01

    To explore the ways in which teacher-guided and student-centered instructional approaches influence students' conceptual understanding of seasonal change, we designed a technology-enhanced learning (TEL) course to compare, by means of concept maps, the learning outcome of students in two groups: a teacher-guided (TG) class (with whole-class…

  14. A Longitudinal Study of the Impact of Curriculum on Conceptual Understanding in E&M

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pollock, S. J.

    2007-11-01

    We have collected extensive data on upper-division Electricity and Magnetism (E&M) student performance at CU Boulder since we introduced the University of Washington's Tutorials in Introductory Physics in 2004 as part of our freshman curriculum. In the earliest semesters, all upper-division students had themselves taken a non-Tutorial introductory Physics, providing a baseline at this upper-division level surprisingly close to post-scores in our reformed introductory course. More recently, the population in the upper-division is mixed with respect to freshman experience, with over half having been taught with Tutorials as freshmen. We track those students and find that on average, their individual BEMA scores do not change significantly over time. However, we do find a significantly stronger performance at the upper division level for students who went through Tutorials compared to those who had other introductory experiences, and stronger scores still for students who taught in the introductory sequence as Learning Assistants, indicating a long-term positive impact of Tutorials on conceptual understanding.

  15. Conceptual Change in Students' Molecular Biology Education: Tilting at Windmills?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Franke, Gaitano; Bogner, Franz X.

    2011-01-01

    A hands-on instructional approach with medium-achieving 10th-grade students (N = 294) successfully demonstrated the achievement of a conceptual change. Two teaching variations were applied (I-1, I-2), both dealing with a hands-on gene technology lesson in an out-of-school laboratory. I-2 additionally confronted the participants with alternative…

  16. Conceptual Change in Students' Molecular Biology Education: Tilting at Windmills?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Franke, Gaitano; Bogner, Franz X.

    2011-01-01

    A hands-on instructional approach with medium-achieving 10th-grade students (N = 294) successfully demonstrated the achievement of a conceptual change. Two teaching variations were applied (I-1, I-2), both dealing with a hands-on gene technology lesson in an out-of-school laboratory. I-2 additionally confronted the participants with alternativeÖ

  17. Exploring the Development of Students' Conceptual Profiles of Chemical Change.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Solsona, Nuria; Izquierdo, Merce; de Jong, Onno

    2003-01-01

    Carries out a naturalistic small-scale study involving a class from a senior high school in Spain over two years. Analyzes students' essays on chemical change using text analysis techniques. Reports the development of four conceptual profiles and the implications of research for the process of teaching the concept of chemical change. (Author/KHR)

  18. Students' use of resources in understanding solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richards, A. J.; Etkina, Eugenia

    2013-01-01

    We use the framework of conceptual and epistemological resources to investigate how students construct understanding of solar cells - a complex modern physics topic that requires mastery of multiple concepts. We interviewed experts and novices about their understanding of the physics of solar cells, and examined their responses for evidence of resources being activated. We used this information to create a unit dedicated to the physics of solar cells at the advanced undergraduate level, which we then implemented. Based on the patterns in the interviews and student responses in the classroom during the unit we can hypothesize what resources students draw on when they are trying to understand the complex physics involved in the functioning of solar cells.

  19. Social interaction and conceptual understanding in computer-based physics instruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoffman, Beth A.

    1997-08-01

    This investigation of conceptual understanding in computer-based physics instruction found that preconceptions are powerful predictors of performance; pair composition is related to paired, but not individualized performance; and efficient partner resolution strategies lead to improved performance. Seventy-six high school physics students were pretested individually and paired on the basis of similarity or difference in their initial level of conceptions. Pairs performed a series of computer-based exercises, after which students were individually posttested. Students' self-reports and researcher observations measured the nature and frequency of social interaction in which their pair engaged. Students who began with a more sophisticated understanding of force and motion performed significantly better than those with low Pretest scores. Those with initially lower scores improved more after instruction, but their Posttest scores rarely surpassed the scores of those who started out higher. Lower scoring students were dominated by higher scoring partners during paired learning. Pairs' performance measures therefore reflected the conceptions of the higher level student. Conversely, individual performance measures following paired instruction were unrelated to a partner's ability level. Pairing students by ability level did not affect performance except in the context of the pair. Results imply that educators need not pair students by ability level when their goal is to improve the individual's performance. Students with the most efficient resolution strategies performed significantly better than those whose resolution strategies were less sophisticated. Conflicts were constructive or destructive depending on how they were resolved. The ability to effectively negotiate solutions was associated with higher achievement, implying that educators consider training students to hone their resolution skills prior to collaborative instruction. Computer-based instruction is a reality with which teachers must now contend. The increasing presence of computers in classrooms, and the tendency for students to work together during computerized instruction, suggests the need for further research on the effects of collaborative, computer-based instruction. The results of this study imply that students can improve their performance in this type of environment not through pairing composition, but by improving their ability to cooperatively resolve differences with their peers.

  20. Perspectives on Information Literacy: A Framework for Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Addison, Colleen; Meyers, Eric

    2013-01-01

    Information literacy, 40 years since the term was coined, remains a conceptually contested aspect of library and information science research. This paper uses a review of the literature related to the concept of information literacy to identify three different perspectives, their historical origins, and connection to library and information…

  1. Teacher Development in Action: Understanding Language Teachers' Conceptual Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kubanyiova, Magdalena

    2012-01-01

    Bringing together multiple sources of data and combining existing theories across language teacher cognition, teacher education, second language motivation, and psychology, this empirically-grounded analysis of teacher development in action offers new insights into the complex and dynamic nature of language teachers' conceptual change. (Contains…

  2. Using Student-Led Seminars and Conceptual Workshops to Increase Student Participation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McMullen, Victoria Budzinski

    2014-01-01

    This article examines the use of two strategies designed to increase student participation in a teacher education class: student-led seminars and conceptual workshops. Quantitative data, collected by a graduate student observer, showed increased student participation in classroom discussion and activities. Also, qualitative findings collected…

  3. A Hierarchical Conceptualization of Enjoyment in Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goetz, Thomas; Hall, Nathan C.; Frenzel, Anne C.; Pekrun, Reinhard

    2006-01-01

    The focus of the present study is on students' experiences of enjoyment, an emotion largely neglected in educational research. We present a model in which specific levels of generalization of the construct of enjoyment are differentiated. Based on their extent of generalization, these differentiated constructs of enjoyment are located in a…

  4. Promoting Pre-Service Elementary Students' Understanding of Chemical Equilibrium through Discussions in Small Groups

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bilgin, Ibrahim

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of small group discussion on students' conceptual understanding of chemical equilibrium. Students' understanding of chemical equilibrium concepts was measured using the Misconception Identification Test. The test consisted of 30 items and administered as pre-posttests to a total of 81Ö

  5. Student Understanding of Light as an Electromagnetic Wave: Relating the Formalism to Physical Phenomena.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ambrose, Bradley S.; Heron, Paula R. L.; Vokos, Stamatis; McDermott, Lillian C.

    1999-01-01

    Some serious difficulties that students have in understanding physical optics may be due in part to a lack of understanding of light as an electromagnetic wave. Describes the development and use of tutorials designed to address students' conceptual difficulties. (Contains over 15 references.) (Author/WRM)

  6. Promoting Pre-Service Elementary Students' Understanding of Chemical Equilibrium through Discussions in Small Groups

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bilgin, Ibrahim

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of small group discussion on students' conceptual understanding of chemical equilibrium. Students' understanding of chemical equilibrium concepts was measured using the Misconception Identification Test. The test consisted of 30 items and administered as pre-posttests to a total of 81…

  7. Conceptualizing Moon Phases: Helping Students Learn How to Learn

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kruse, Jerrid; Wilcox, Jesse

    2009-01-01

    Helping students understand how to learn is an important goal for all subjects and levels of education. While this goal is highly regarded, promoting it is extremely difficult. Many times, we as teachers are consumed with how to better help our students understand the content and forget to draw their attention to how they came to understand a…

  8. Conceptualizing Moon Phases: Helping Students Learn How to Learn

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kruse, Jerrid; Wilcox, Jesse

    2009-01-01

    Helping students understand how to learn is an important goal for all subjects and levels of education. While this goal is highly regarded, promoting it is extremely difficult. Many times, we as teachers are consumed with how to better help our students understand the content and forget to draw their attention to how they came to understand

  9. Understanding Disabilities & Online Student Success

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Betts, Kristen; Welsh, Bill; Pruitt, Cheryl; Hermann, Kelly; Dietrich, Gaeir; Trevino, Jorge G.; Watson, Terry L.; Brooks, Michael L.; Cohen, Alex H.; Coombs, Norman

    2013-01-01

    Online learning has been growing at an exponential rate over the past decade, providing new opportunities for students seeking quality courses and programs offered through flexible formats. However, as higher education continues to expand online offerings, services must be expanded simultaneously to support all students. This article focuses on…

  10. Tactical Underlife: Understanding Students' Perceptions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Larson, Joanne; Gatto, Lynn Astarita

    2004-01-01

    This article describes one urban classroom and the language and literacy practices jointly constructed by a veteran urban teacher, Lynn Gatto, and her 3rd grade students. Drawing from two ethnographic studies of Gattos 2nd-4th grade looped classroom, we argue that Gatto and her students use the interplay between strategies and tactics (De Certeau,…

  11. Investigating the Effectiveness of a POE-Based Teaching Activity on Students' Understanding of Condensation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Costu, Bayram; Ayas, Alipasa; Niaz, Mansoor

    2012-01-01

    This article reports on the development of a Predict-Observe-Explain, POE-based teaching strategy to facilitate conceptual change and its effectiveness on student understanding of condensation. The sample consisted of 52 first-year students in primary science education department. Students' ideas were elicited using a test consisting of five probe…

  12. Investigating the Effectiveness of a POE-Based Teaching Activity on Students' Understanding of Condensation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Costu, Bayram; Ayas, Alipasa; Niaz, Mansoor

    2012-01-01

    This article reports on the development of a Predict-Observe-Explain, POE-based teaching strategy to facilitate conceptual change and its effectiveness on student understanding of condensation. The sample consisted of 52 first-year students in primary science education department. Students' ideas were elicited using a test consisting of five probeÖ

  13. Developing Conceptual Understanding of Relations and Functions with Attribute Blocks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Quinn, Robert

    1997-01-01

    Presents a series of lessons that extend the concrete experiences many elementary students have had with attribute blocks to provide middle school students with informal opportunities to explore the concepts and properties of relations and functions. (DDR)

  14. Assessing Student Understanding of Physical Hydrology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castillo, A. J.; Marshall, J.; Cardenas, M. B.

    2012-12-01

    Our objective is to characterize and assess upper division and graduate student thinking by developing and testing an assessment tool for a physical hydrology class. The class' learning goals are: (1) Quantitative process-based understanding of hydrologic processes, (2) Experience with different methods in hydrology, (3) Learning, problem solving, communication skills. These goals were translated into two measurable tasks asked of students in a questionnaire: (1) Describe the significant processes in the hydrological cycle and (2) Describe laws governing these processes. A third question below assessed the students' ability to apply their knowledge: You have been hired as a consultant by __ to (1) assess how urbanization and the current drought have affected a local spring and (2) predict what the effects will be in the future if the drought continues. What information would you need to gather? What measurements would you make? What analyses would you perform? Student and expert responses to the questions were then used to develop a rubric to score responses. Using the rubric, 3 researchers independently blind-coded the full set of pre and post artifacts, resulting in 89% inter-rater agreement on the pre-tests and 83% agreement on the post-tests. We present student scores to illustrate the use of the rubric and to characterize student thinking prior to and following a traditional course. Most students interpreted Q1 in terms of physical processes affecting the water cycle, the primary organizing framework for hydrology, as intended. On the pre-test, one student scored 0, indicating no response, on this question. Twenty students scored 1, indicating rudimentary understanding, 2 students scored a 2, indicating a basic understanding, and no student scored a 3. Student scores on this question improved on the post-test. On the 22 post-tests that were blind scored, 11 students demonstrated some recognition of concepts, 9 students showed a basic understanding, and 2 students had a full understanding of the processes linked to hydrology. Half the students had provided evidence of the desired understanding; however, half still demonstrated only a rudimentary understanding. Results on Q2 were similar. On the pre-test, 2 students scored 0, 21 students scored 1, indicating rudimentary understanding, 2 students scored a 2, and no student scored a 3. On the post-test, again approximately half the students achieved the desired understanding: 9 students showed some recognition of concepts, 12 students demonstrated a basic understanding; only one student exhibited full understanding. On Q3, no student scored 0, 9 scored 1, 15 scored 2 and 1 student scored 3. On the post-test, one student scored 1, 16 students scored 2, and 5 students scored 3. Students were significantly better at responding to Q3 (the application) as opposed to Q1 and Q2, which were more abstract. Research has shown that students are often better able to solve contextualized problems when they are unable to deal with more abstract tasks. This result has limitations including the small number of participants, all from one institution, and the fact that the rubric was still under development. Nevertheless, the high inter-rater agreement by a group of experts is significant; the rubric we developed is a potentially useful tool for assessment of learning and understanding physical hydrology. Supported by NSF CAREER grant (EAR-0955750).

  15. Dynamics of How Students Conceptualize the Particle in a Box

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dreyfus, Benjamin W.; Elby, Andrew; Gupta, Ayush

    2015-04-01

    The ``particle in a box'' is one of the simple systems that every introductory quantum mechanics student learns to solve exactly, but behind the mathematical simplicity is conceptual complexity. For example, it is not intuitively obvious what are the physical implications of an infinite potential, or why energy eigenstates are not also momentum eigenstates (even though there is zero potential energy at every position where the wavefunction is nonzero). We use the particle in a box to probe the dynamics of student thinking about quantum systems. By analyzing both spoken language and gestures, we observe students reasoning about quantum ``particles'' using properties associated with classical particles, with classical waves, and with neither, and switching among these ways of conceptualizing the quantum ``particle.'' This work is supported by NSF-DUE Grant 1323129.

  16. A conceptual physics class where students found meaning in calculations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hull, Michael M.; Elby, Andrew

    2013-01-01

    Prior to taking a translated version of the Maryland Open Source Tutorials (OSTs) as a stand-alone course, most students at Tokyo Gakugei University in Japan had experienced physics as memorizing laws and equations to use as computational tools. We might expect this reformed physics class, which emphasizes common sense and conceptual reasoning and rarely invokes equations, to produce students who see a disconnect between equation use and intuitive/conceptual reasoning. Many students at Gakugei, however, somehow learned to integrate mathematics into their "constructivist" epistemologies of physics, even though OSTs do not emphasize this integration. Tadao, for example, came to see that although a common-sense solution to a problem is preferable for explaining to someone who doesn't know physics, solving the problem with a quantitative calculation (that connects to physical meaning) can bring clarity and concreteness to communication between experts. How this integration occurred remains an open question for future research.

  17. Conceptual mis(understandings) of fractions: From area models to multiple embodiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xiaofen; Clements, M. A. (Ken); Ellerton, Nerida F.

    2015-06-01

    Area-model representations seem to have been dominant in the teaching and learning of fractions, especially in primary school mathematics curricula. In this study, we investigated 40 fifth grade children's understandings of the unit fractions, , and , represented through a variety of different models. Analyses of pre-teaching test and interview data revealed that although the participants were adept at partitioning regional models, they did not cope well with questions for which unit fractions were embodied in non-area-model scenarios. Analyses of post-teaching test and interview data indicated that after their participation in an instructional intervention designed according to Dienes' (1960) dynamic principle, the students' performances on tests improved significantly, and their conceptual understandings of unit fractions developed to the point where they could provide reasonable explanations of how they arrived at solutions. Analysis of retention data, gathered more than 3 months after the teaching intervention, showed that the students' newly found understandings had, in most cases, been retained.

  18. Helping Students Construct Understanding about Shadows

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barrow, Lloyd H.

    2012-01-01

    The study of shadows is a common elementary science topic that facilitates students' development of understanding about light and associated waves. All elementary students have observed numerous shadows, but need assistance in developing understanding. Previous research studies about shadows were utilized in organizing aspects associated with…

  19. Behavioural Approaches to Understanding Student Choice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Diamond, Abigail; Vorley, Tim; Roberts, Jennifer; Jones, Stephen

    2012-01-01

    The Higher Education Academy (HEA), in partnership with the National Union of Students (NUS), commissioned CFE and The University of Sheffield to undertake research to explore behavioural approaches to understanding student choice. Within the research, the authors' applied insights from behavioural economics to help aid understanding of student…

  20. INFLUENCES ON STUDENTS' UNDERSTANDING OF SCIENCE.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    ABEGG, GERALD L.; CRUMB, GLENN H.

    IT WAS THE PURPOSE OF THIS RESEARCH TO ASSESS THE CONTRIBUTION OF CERTAIN SCIENCE COURSES AND OTHER FACTORS THAT MAY INFLUENCE STUDENTS' UNDERSTANDING OF SCIENTISTS, THE AIMS AND METHODS OF SCIENCE AND THE SCIENTIFIC ENTERPRISE. THE SAMPLE CONSISTED OF 1,275 PHYSICS STUDENTS AND 1,009 CHEMISTRY STUDENTS FROM HIGH SCHOOLS IN IOWA, KANSAS, NEBRASKA,…

  1. Understanding Chemical Hazards: A Guide for Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    American Chemical Society, Washington, DC.

    The goal of this safety guide is to enable students to take more responsibility for lab safety by using the Self-Audit System for Students and to understand the responsibility for safety shared by the institution through the development and maintenance of a Chemical Hygiene Plan. This student guide discusses safety equipment and the procedures…

  2. General chemistry students' understanding of the chemistry underlying climate science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Versprille, Ashley N.

    The purpose of this study is to investigate first-semester general chemistry students' understanding of the chemistry underlying climate change. The first part of this study involves the collection of qualitative data from twenty-four first-semester general chemistry students from a large Midwestern research institution. The semi-structured interview protocol was developed based on alternative conceptions identified in the research literature and the essential principles of climate change outlined in the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) document which pertain to chemistry (CCSP, 2003). The analysis and findings from the interviews indicate conceptual difficulties for students, both with basic climate literacy and underlying chemistry concepts. Students seem to confuse the greenhouse effect, global warming, and the ozone layer, and in terms of chemistry concepts, they lack a particulate level understanding of greenhouse gases and their interaction with electromagnetic radiation, causing them to not fully conceptualize the greenhouse effect and climate change. Based on the findings from these interviews, a Chemistry of Climate Science Diagnostic Instrument (CCSI) was developed for use in courses that teach chemistry with a rich context such as climate science. The CCSI is designed for professors who want to teach general chemistry, while also addressing core climate literacy principles. It will help professors examine their students' prior knowledge and alternative conceptions of the chemistry concepts associated with climate science, which could then inform their teaching and instruction.

  3. Effect of a Science Diagram on Primary Students' Understanding About Magnets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Preston, Christine

    2015-07-01

    The research investigated the effect of a science diagram on primary students' conceptual understanding about magnets. Lack of research involving students of primary age means that little is known about the potential of science diagrams to help them understand abstract concepts such as magnetism. Task-based interviews were conducted individually with 19 year 3 and year 5 students from a single school. Data captured students' prior ideas about magnets and changes in their understanding in response to a diagram as the only intervention. Results revealed a variety of outcomes‚ÄĒconceptual understanding was enhanced, reduced, simultaneously enhanced and reduced or not changed. Particular diagram features constrained students' learning for some students. The study confirms the individual nature of primary students' learning and has implications for teachers about instructional methods using science diagrams.

  4. Perspective of a Chemist: A Framework to Promote Conceptual Understanding of Chemistry.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Claesgens, Jennifer; Scalise, Kathleen; Draney, Karen; Wilson, Mark; Stacy, Angelica

    Living by Chemistry (LBC) is a high school curriculum project that proposes framing the big ideas of chemistry to provide developmental cohesion across the curriculum and promote conceptual understanding. The proposed framework, called perspectives of Chemists," is intended to allow measurement of individual conceptual change in chemistry over…

  5. Designing for Enhanced Conceptual Understanding in an Online Physics Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dunlap, Joanna C.; Furtak, Thomas E.; Tucker, Susan A.

    2009-01-01

    The calculus-based, introductory physics course is the port of entry for any student interested in pursuing a college degree in the sciences, mathematics, or engineering. There is increasing demand for online delivery options that make the course more widely available, especially those that use best practices in student engagement. However,…

  6. Conceptualizations of Spirituality, Religion, and Faith: Comparing Biblical Notions with the Perspectives of Protestant Christian Students at a Lutheran College

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Craft, Christy Moran; Rockenbach, Alyssa Bryant

    2011-01-01

    As part of a larger investigation into the spiritual climate at one Lutheran college, we interviewed Protestant Christian students in order to compare their conceptualizations of spirituality, religion, and faith with biblical notions of those concepts. We found that the students' understandings of those concepts only loosely reflected general…

  7. Investigating Student Understanding of Histograms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaplan, Jennifer J.; Gabrosek, John G.; Curtiss, Phyllis; Malone, Chris

    2014-01-01

    Histograms are adept at revealing the distribution of data values, especially the shape of the distribution and any outlier values. They are included in introductory statistics texts, research methods texts, and in the popular press, yet students often have difficulty interpreting the information conveyed by a histogram. This research identifies…

  8. Creating meaningful learning experiences: Understanding students' perspectives of engineering design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aleong, Richard James Chung Mun

    There is a societal need for design education to prepare holistic engineers with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to innovate and compete globally. Design skills are paramount to the espoused values of higher education, as institutions of higher learning strive to develop in students the cognitive abilities of critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity. To meet these interests from industry and academia, it is important to advance the teaching and learning of engineering design. This research aims to understand how engineering students learn and think about design, as a way for engineering educators to optimize instructional practice and curriculum development. Qualitative research methodology was used to investigate the meaning that engineering students' ascribe to engineering design. The recruitment of participants and corresponding collection of data occurred in two phases using two different data collection techniques. The first phase involved the distribution of a one-time online questionnaire to all first year, third year, and fourth year undergraduate engineering students at three Canadian Universities. After the questionnaire, students were asked if they would be willing to participate in the second phase of data collection consisting of a personal interview. A total of ten students participated in interviews. Qualitative data analysis procedures were conducted on students' responses from the questionnaire and interviews. The data analysis process consisted of two phases: a descriptive phase to code and categorize the data, followed by an interpretative phase to generate further meaning and relationships. The research findings present a conceptual understanding of students' descriptions about engineering design, structured within two educational orientations: a learning studies orientation and a curriculum studies orientation. The learning studies orientation captured three themes of students' understanding of engineering design: awareness, relevance, and transfer. With this framework of student learning, engineering educators can enhance learning experiences by engaging all three levels of students' understanding. The curriculum studies orientation applied the three holistic elements of curriculum---subject matter, society, and the individual---to conceptualize design considerations for engineering curriculum and teaching practice. This research supports the characterization of students' learning experiences to help educators and students optimize their teaching and learning of design education.

  9. Computer-Intensive Algebra and Students' Conceptual Knowledge of Functions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Callaghan, Brian R.

    1998-01-01

    Describes a research project that examined the effects of the Computer-Intensive Algebra (CIA) and traditional algebra curricula on students' (N=802) understanding of the function concept. Results indicate that CIA students achieved a better understanding of functions and were better at the components of modeling, interpreting, and translating.…

  10. Western Australian school students' understanding of biotechnology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dawson, Vaille; Schibeci, Renato

    2003-01-01

    Are science educators providing secondary school students with the background to understand the science behind recent controversies such as the recently introduced compulsory labelling of genetically modified foods? Research from the UK suggests that many secondary school students do not understand the processes or implications of modern biotechnology. The situation in Australia is unclear. In this study, 1116 15-year-old students from eleven Western Australian schools were surveyed to determine their understanding of, and attitude towards, recent advances in modern biotechnology. The results indicate that approximately one third of students have little or no understanding of biotechnology. Many students over-estimate the use of biotechnology in our society by confusing current uses with possible future applications. The results provide a rationale for the inclusion of biotechnology, a cutting edge science, in the school science curriculum

  11. Student understanding of time dependence in quantum mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emigh, Paul J.; Passante, Gina; Shaffer, Peter S.

    2015-12-01

    [This paper is part of the Focused Collection on Upper Division Physics Courses.] The time evolution of quantum states is arguably one of the more difficult ideas in quantum mechanics. In this article, we report on results from an investigation of student understanding of this topic after lecture instruction. We demonstrate specific problems that students have in applying time dependence to quantum systems and in recognizing the key role of the energy eigenbasis in determining the time dependence of wave functions. Through analysis of student responses to a set of four interrelated tasks, we categorize some of the difficulties that underlie common errors. The conceptual and reasoning difficulties that have been identified are illustrated through student responses to four sets of questions administered at different points in a junior-level course on quantum mechanics. Evidence is also given that the problems persist throughout undergraduate instruction and into the graduate level.

  12. Revelations from Counting: A Window to Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slovin, Hannah

    2011-01-01

    A design research study was conducted over two years with 20 second grade students who are part of the Measure Up (MU) research and development project underway at the University of Hawai'i. Students were asked to count in multiple bases. After doing so, they were asked how they knew when to go to a new place value and why it was necessary. All 20…

  13. Emergence, Learning Difficulties, and Misconceptions in Chemistry Undergraduate Students' Conceptualizations of Acid Strength

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    T√ľmay, Halil

    2016-03-01

    Philosophical debates about chemistry have clarified that the issue of emergence plays a critical role in the epistemology and ontology of chemistry. In this article, it is argued that the issue of emergence has also significant implications for understanding learning difficulties and finding ways of addressing them in chemistry. Particularly, it is argued that many misconceptions in chemistry may derive from students' failure to consider emergence in a systemic manner by taking into account all relevant factors in conjunction. Based on this argument, undergraduate students' conceptions of acids, and acid strength (an emergent chemical property) were investigated and it was examined whether or not they conceptualized acid strength as an emergent chemical property. The participants were 41 third- and fourth-year undergraduate students. A concept test and semi-structured interviews were used to probe students' conceptualizations and reasoning about acid strength. Findings of the study revealed that the majority of the undergraduate students did not conceptualize acid strength as an emergent property that arises from interactions among multiple factors. They generally focused on a single factor to predict and explain acid strength, and their faulty responses stemmed from their failure to recognize and consider all factors that affect acid strength. Based on these findings and insights from philosophy of chemistry, promoting system thinking and epistemologically sound argumentative discourses among students is suggested for meaningful chemical education.

  14. Emergence, Learning Difficulties, and Misconceptions in Chemistry Undergraduate Students' Conceptualizations of Acid Strength

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    TŁmay, Halil

    2016-01-01

    Philosophical debates about chemistry have clarified that the issue of emergence plays a critical role in the epistemology and ontology of chemistry. In this article, it is argued that the issue of emergence has also significant implications for understanding learning difficulties and finding ways of addressing them in chemistry. Particularly, it is argued that many misconceptions in chemistry may derive from students' failure to consider emergence in a systemic manner by taking into account all relevant factors in conjunction. Based on this argument, undergraduate students' conceptions of acids, and acid strength (an emergent chemical property) were investigated and it was examined whether or not they conceptualized acid strength as an emergent chemical property. The participants were 41 third- and fourth-year undergraduate students. A concept test and semi-structured interviews were used to probe students' conceptualizations and reasoning about acid strength. Findings of the study revealed that the majority of the undergraduate students did not conceptualize acid strength as an emergent property that arises from interactions among multiple factors. They generally focused on a single factor to predict and explain acid strength, and their faulty responses stemmed from their failure to recognize and consider all factors that affect acid strength. Based on these findings and insights from philosophy of chemistry, promoting system thinking and epistemologically sound argumentative discourses among students is suggested for meaningful chemical education.

  15. Supporting Students' Understanding of Percentage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rianasari, Veronika Fitri; Budayasa, I Ketut; Patahuddin, Sitti Maesuri

    2012-01-01

    Many researches revealed that pupils often find difficulties to understand percentage although they are able to recite percent as per hundred and carry out the computations correctly. This might happen due to the way in which the learning percentage has been taught that tends to focus on procedures and recall instead of getting a real…

  16. Toward a Conceptual Framework for Understanding Cosmopolitanism on the Ground

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    WahlstrŲm, Ninni

    2014-01-01

    In this article, a continuum of resistance and receptivity constitutes a framework for understanding a cosmopolitan orientation "on the ground." Such a continuum is based on an understanding of the effects of globalization, when it comes to individual people, as both containing a potential for an active interest in other ways of life,Ö

  17. Toward a Conceptual Framework for Understanding Cosmopolitanism on the Ground

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wahlström, Ninni

    2014-01-01

    In this article, a continuum of resistance and receptivity constitutes a framework for understanding a cosmopolitan orientation "on the ground." Such a continuum is based on an understanding of the effects of globalization, when it comes to individual people, as both containing a potential for an active interest in other ways of life,…

  18. From "Algorithmic Mode" to "Conceptual Gestalt" in Understanding the Behavior of Gases: An Epistemological Perspective.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Niaz, Mansoor; Robinson, William R.

    1992-01-01

    Compares performances of students on gas-law problems that require two distinct approaches, either the algorithmic technique or the conceptual gestalt. Indicates that student effectiveness is considerably different utilizing each approach and that training or experience with the algorithm process should not be expected to facilitate the…

  19. Emerging Conceptual Understanding of Complex Astronomical Phenomena by Using a Virtual Solar System

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gazit, Elhanan; Yair, Yoav; Chen, David

    2005-01-01

    This study describes high school students' conceptual development of the basic astronomical phenomena during real-time interactions with a Virtual Solar System (VSS). The VSS is a non-immersive virtual environment which has a dynamic frame of reference that can be altered by the user. Ten 10th grade students were given tasks containing a set ofÖ

  20. Emerging Conceptual Understanding of Complex Astronomical Phenomena by Using a Virtual Solar System

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gazit, Elhanan; Yair, Yoav; Chen, David

    2005-01-01

    This study describes high school students' conceptual development of the basic astronomical phenomena during real-time interactions with a Virtual Solar System (VSS). The VSS is a non-immersive virtual environment which has a dynamic frame of reference that can be altered by the user. Ten 10th grade students were given tasks containing a set of…

  1. College biology students' conceptions related to the nature of biological knowledge: Implications for conceptual change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ameny, Gloria Millie Apio

    Adequate understanding of the nature of science is a major goal of science education. Understanding of the evolutionary nature of biological knowledge is a means of reinforcing biology students' understanding of the nature of science. It provides students with the philosophical basis, explanatory ideals, and subject matter-specific views of what counts as a scientifically-acceptable biological explanation. This study examined 121 college introductory biology and advanced zoology students for their conceptions related to the nature of biological knowledge. A 60-item Likert-scale questionnaire called the Nature of Biological Knowledge Scale and student interviews were used as complementary research instruments. Firstly, the study showed that 80--100% of college biology students have an adequate understanding of scientific methods, and that a similar percentage of students had learned the theory of evolution by natural selection in their biology courses. Secondly, the study showed that at least 60--80% of the students do not understand the importance of evolution in biological knowledge. Yet the study revealed that a statistically significant positive correlation exist among students' understanding of natural selection, divergent, and convergent evolutionary models. Thirdly, the study showed that about 20--58% of college students hold prescientific conceptions which, in part, are responsible for students' lack of understanding of the nature of biological knowledge. A statistically significant negative correlation was found among students' prescientific conceptions about basis of biological knowledge and nature of change in biological processes, and their understanding of natural selection and evolutionary models. However, the study showed that students' characteristics such as gender, age, major, or years in college have no statistically significant influence on students' conceptions related to the nature of biological knowledge. Only students' depth of biological knowledge or course was found to have a statistically significant influence on students' conceptions related to scientific methods, the scope and limits of biological knowledge, the importance of evolution in biology, and students' understanding of homologous and analogous structural features as products of divergent and convergent evolutionary processes. Findings of this study have implications for college biology teaching, student learning, and conceptual change among college biology students.

  2. The Effect of Concept Mapping on Student Understanding and Correlation with Student Learning Styles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mosley, William G.

    This study investigated the use of concept mapping as a pedagogical strategy to promote change in the learning styles of pre-nursing students. Students' individual learning styles revealed two subsets of students; those who demonstrated a learning style that favors abstract conceptualization and those who demonstrated a learning style that favors concrete experience. Students in the experimental groups performed concept mapping activities designed to facilitate an integrative understanding of interactions between various organ systems of the body while the control group received a traditional didactic instruction without performing concept mapping activities. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected in order to measure differences in student achievement. Analysis of the quantitative data revealed no significant change in the learning styles of students in either the control or experimental groups. Learning style groups were analyzed qualitatively for recurring or emergent themes that students identified as facilitating their learning. An analysis of qualitative data revealed that most students in the pre-nursing program were able to identify concepts within the class based upon visual cues, and a majority of these students exhibited the learning style of abstract conceptualization. As the laboratory experience for the course involves an examination of the anatomical structures of the human body, a visual identification of these structures seemed to be the most logical method to measure students' ability to identify anatomical structures.

  3. Science Olympiad students' nature of science understandings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Philpot, Cindy J.

    2007-12-01

    Recent reform efforts in science education focus on scientific literacy for all citizens. In order to be scientifically literate, an individual must have informed understandings of nature of science (NOS), scientific inquiry, and science content matter. This study specifically focused on Science Olympiad students' understanding of NOS as one piece of scientific literacy. Research consistently shows that science students do not have informed understandings of NOS (Abd-El-Khalick, 2002; Bell, Blair, Crawford, and Lederman, 2002; Kilcrease and Lucy, 2002; Schwartz, Lederman, and Thompson, 2001). However, McGhee-Brown, Martin, Monsaas and Stombler (2003) found that Science Olympiad students had in-depth understandings of science concepts, principles, processes, and techniques. Science Olympiad teams compete nationally and are found in rural, urban, and suburban schools. In an effort to learn from students who are generally considered high achieving students and who enjoy science, as opposed to the typical science student, the purpose of this study was to investigate Science Olympiad students' understandings of NOS and the experiences that formed their understandings. An interpretive, qualitative, case study method was used to address the research questions. The participants were purposefully and conveniently selected from the Science Olympiad team at a suburban high school. Data collection consisted of the Views of Nature of Science -- High School Questionnaire (VNOS-HS) (Schwartz, Lederman, & Thompson, 2001), semi-structured individual interviews, and a focus group. The main findings of this study were similar to much of the previous research in that the participants had informed understandings of the tentative nature of science and the role of inferences in science, but they did not have informed understandings of the role of human imagination and creativity, the empirical nature of science, or theories and laws. High level science classes and participation in Science Olympiad did not translate into informed understandings of NOS. There were implications that labs with a set procedure and given data tables did not contribute to informed NOS understandings, while explicit instruction may have contributed to more informed understandings. Exploring these high achieving, Science Olympiad students' understandings of NOS was a crucial step to understanding what experiences formed these students' understandings so that teachers may better their practices and help more students succeed in becoming scientifically literate citizens.

  4. Effectiveness of Ninth-Grade Physics in Maine: Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Brien, Michael J.; Thompson, John R.

    2009-01-01

    The Physics First movement--teaching a true physics course to ninth-grade students--is gaining popularity in high schools. There are several different rhetorical arguments for and against this movement, and it is quite controversial in physics education. However, there is no actual evidence to assess the success, or failure, of this substantial…

  5. Teaching for conceptual change: An intervention to promote deeper understanding of diffusion and osmosis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berg, Cheryl

    Emergent processes are distinguished from non-emergent processes on the basis of the qualitative relationships among the agents' interactions and the causal relationships between the agents' interactions and the pattern. Research suggests students often have robust misconceptions about emergent processes (such as diffusion) because they do not have the mental model to interpret these processes This study investigates the extent to which a domain-general understanding of emergent processes can help provide students with an enhanced understanding of diffusion and osmosis This is a quasi-experimental study using non-equivalent groups design to compare the treatment and control groups. Sixty-six community college students enrolled in an introductory biology course comprised the participants. Students' prior knowledge about emergent processes, diffusion, and osmosis were assessed by pre-tests. The treatment group received the intervention -- an instructional module about the differences between scientific processes that are emergent versus processes that are non-emergent. The control group did not receive the intervention but received the process assessment to determine incoming knowledge about scientific processes and any gains in knowledge about scientific processes. Both groups received the same specific content instruction about diffusion and osmosis, which was derived from the regular and established curriculum for the course. Both groups were given post-tests to assess whether they learned the concepts, and whether they were able to achieve a deep understanding that resulted in a comprehension of the transport of substances across cell membranes and how that might be applied in particular health-related situations. Data were analyzed using t-tests and analysis of variance. No statistically significant differences were found between the two groups based on the learning measures Limitations include sample restrictions and not taking into account individual ability levels of the participants. In addition, the short length of this intervention may not provide adequate time for students to successfully acquire the schema to understand conceptually difficult science concepts such as diffusion and osmosis. Future directions of research include expanding the sample size and length of exposure to the intervention, in addition to examining the individual ability levels of the participants.

  6. Assessing and improving student understanding of quantum mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Chandralekha

    2006-02-01

    We developed a survey to probe student understanding of quantum mechanics concepts at the beginning of graduate instruction. The survey was administered to 202 graduate students in physics enrolled in first-year quantum mechanics courses from seven different universities at the beginning of the first semester. We also conducted one-on-one interviews with fifteen graduate students or advanced undergraduate students who had just finished a course in which all the content on the survey was covered. We find that students share universal difficulties about fundamental quantum mechanics concepts. The difficulties are often due to over-generalization of concepts learned in one context to other contexts where they are not directly applicable and difficulty in making sense of the abstract quantitative formalism of quantum mechanics. Instructional strategies that focus on improving student understanding of these concepts should take into account these difficulties. The results from this study can sensitize instructors of first-year graduate quantum physics to the conceptual difficulties students are likely to face.

  7. The religion-in-the-science-classroom issue: Seeking graduate student conceptual change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loving, Cathleen C.; Foster, Andrea

    2000-07-01

    This study examines the extent to which science education graduate students enjoy a well-articulated position on the compatibility of science and religion and, as a result, are comfortable with their espoused views and plans for the role of religion in science classroom discussions. We were particularly interested in examining changes in student mental states as a legitimate form of conceptual change after a course intervention. This might be evidenced by the depth of understanding, level of reasoning, and degree of comfort with classroom application. The intervention first asked students to write a talk back to the author paper shortly after reading a provocative essay on the topic. This was followed by reading and discussing a variety of alternative views after which they wrote a more formal position paper on the science-religion topic. We first conducted a content analysis of both papers, developing separate concept maps of the overall class response in the first and second papers, noting changes in emphases. Adapting a current multidimensional model of conceptual change, we then developed an individual evaluation form based on categories that emerged in the class analysis, which were strikingly similar to the categories in the multidimensional model. These included ontological, epistemological, and social/affective dimensions of conceptual change. Both papers were scored in these three areas. The conceptual change for each student from talk-back to position paper was subsequently reported using individual graphs and citing text examples. Results showed conceptual change or improved mental state in all three categories for most students.

  8. Investigating the students' understanding of surface phenomena

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamed, Kastro Mohamad

    1999-11-01

    This study investigated students' understanding of surface phenomena. The main purpose for conducting this research endeavor was to understand how students think about a complex topic about which they have little direct or formal instruction. The motivation for focusing on surface phenomena stemmed from an interest in integrating research and education. Despite the importance of surfaces and interfaces in research laboratories, in technological applications, and in everyday experiences, no previous systematic effort was done on pedagogy related to surface phenomena. The design of this research project was qualitative, exploratory, based on a Piagetian semi-structured clinical piloted interview, focused on obtaining a longitudinal view of the intended sample. The sampling was purposeful and the sample consisted of forty-four undergraduate students at Kansas State University. The student participants were enrolled in physics classes that spanned a wide academic spectrum. The data were analyzed qualitatively. The main themes that emerged from the analysis were: (a) students used analogies when confronted with novel situations, (b) students mixed descriptions and explanations, (c) students used the same explanation for several phenomena, (d) students manifested difficulties transferring the meaning of vocabulary across discipline boundaries, (e) in addition to the introductory chemistry classes, students used everyday experiences and job-related experiences as sources of knowledge, and (f) students' inquisitiveness and eagerness to investigate and discuss novel phenomena seemed to peak about the time students were enrolled in second year physics classes.

  9. Understanding the Integral: Students' Symbolic Forms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Steven R.

    2013-01-01

    Researchers are currently investigating how calculus students understand the basic concepts of first-year calculus, including the integral. However, much is still unknown regarding the "cognitive resources" (i.e., stable cognitive units that can be accessed by an individual) that students hold and draw on when thinking about the integral. This…

  10. Improving Student Understanding of Spatial Ecology Statistics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hopkins, Robert, II; Alberts, Halley

    2015-01-01

    This activity is designed as a primer to teaching population dispersion analysis. The aim is to help improve students' spatial thinking and their understanding of how spatial statistic equations work. Students use simulated data to develop their own statistic and apply that equation to experimental behavioral data for Gambusia affinis (westernÖ

  11. Understanding and Overcoming "Bottlenecks" in Student Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sturts, Jill R.; Mowatt, Rasul A.

    2012-01-01

    Pedagogically, the term "bottleneck" refers to a moment when students may face barriers to understanding content in the process of learning. As instructors identify "bottlenecks" within their courses, they are faced with the challenge of how to best assist students in overcoming them. Further, most instructors want to know what selected teaching…

  12. Understanding Student Identity from a Socialization Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weidman, John C.; DeAngelo, Linda; Bethea, Kathryn A.

    2014-01-01

    This chapter describes the contribution of current research using the Weidman model of undergraduate socialization to understanding student identity development in college. It illustrates ways in which the framework can be used flexibly and adapted for studying impacts of multiple aspects of the college experience on diverse groups of students.

  13. Understanding EFL Students' Errors in Writing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phuket, Pimpisa Rattanadilok Na; Othman, Normah Binti

    2015-01-01

    Writing is the most difficult skill in English, so most EFL students tend to make errors in writing. In assisting the learners to successfully acquire writing skill, the analysis of errors and the understanding of their sources are necessary. This study attempts to explore the major sources of errors occurred in the writing of EFL students. It…

  14. Improving Student Understanding of Spatial Ecology Statistics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hopkins, Robert, II; Alberts, Halley

    2015-01-01

    This activity is designed as a primer to teaching population dispersion analysis. The aim is to help improve students' spatial thinking and their understanding of how spatial statistic equations work. Students use simulated data to develop their own statistic and apply that equation to experimental behavioral data for Gambusia affinis (western…

  15. Western Australian School Students' Understanding of Biotechnology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dawson, Vaille; Schibeci, Renato

    2003-01-01

    Surveys (n=1116) 15-year-old students from 11 Western Australian schools to determine their understanding of and attitude towards recent advances in modern biotechnology. Discusses reasons for students' over-estimation of the use of biotechnology in society. Provides a rationale for the inclusion of biotechnology, a cutting edge science, in the…

  16. Students' Understanding of Orbitals: A Survey.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    MacKinnon, Gregory R.

    The study of chemistry includes many abstract concepts that students may find difficult to understand. A fundamental yet troublesome part of introductory chemistry courses is the topic of electron configuration and specifically quantum-mechanical orbitals. In an effort to examine the way students internalize the concept of atomic orbitals and how…

  17. Investigating Students' Understanding of the Dissolving Process

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Naah, Basil M.; Sanger, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    In a previous study, the authors identified several student misconceptions regarding the process of dissolving ionic compounds in water. The present study used multiple-choice questions whose distractors were derived from these misconceptions to assess students' understanding of the dissolving process at the symbolic and particulate levels. The…

  18. Improving Students' Understanding of Quantum Measurement

    SciTech Connect

    Zhu Guangtian; Singh, Chandralekha

    2010-10-24

    We describe the difficulties advanced undergraduate and graduate students have with quantum measurement. To reduce these difficulties, we have developed research-based learning tools such as the Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorial (QuILT) and peer instruction tools. A preliminary evaluation shows that these learning tools are effective in improving students' understanding of concepts related to quantum measurement.

  19. Error Analysis To Understand Your Students Better.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miyao, Mariko

    This paper describes one college-level English-as-a-Second-Language teacher's use of error analysis in an effort to understand students' problems with reading comprehension and writing. The research was undertaken in a Japanese junior college. Three studies are presented. In the first, 59 students in a general English course listed sentences they…

  20. Understanding and Preventing College Student Suicide

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lamis, Dorian A.; Lester, David

    2011-01-01

    Suicide is currently the second leading cause of death among college students in the United States. This complex issue on college campuses is often overlooked, and this book combines the efforts from several leaders in the field of suicidology in an attempt to grasp a better understanding of college student suicide. The book is divided into four…