The Contribution of Teaching Sequences to the Development of Students’ Conceptions: Temperature and Phase Changes

By Michael Skoumios and Georgia Moutzouri.

Published by The International Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Learning

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: March 24, 2016 $US5.00

Even though students' conceptions about the temperature and phase changes of matter have been explored, research studying the contribution of teaching sequences on the development of elementary school students' conceptions is very limited. The present paper aims to study the contribution of research-based teaching sequences, on the conceptual area of phase changes of matter and temperature, to the development of fifth grade students' conceptions. Instructional materials were created for the conceptual area of phase changes of matter and temperature, which were based on a constructivist approach to science learning and teaching using science practices and educational software. These instructional materials were tested on 25 fifth grade students (15 boys and 10 girls) in Greece. The assessment of learning outcomes was performed through questionnaires completed by the students before and after the teaching sequences. The research data were students' answers to the questions. The frequencies and percentage frequencies of students' answers were assessed. The analysis of the data showed that conceptions towards school science knowledge were triggered for the majority of students after the implementation of the teaching. It appears that the involvement of elementary students with teaching sequences about temperature and phase changes based on the constructivist approach to science learning and teaching using science practices and educational software is possible. The study concludes with a discussion and recommendations for future research.

Keywords: Science Learning, Students' Conceptions, Constructivist Approach, Phase Changes, Temperature

The International Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Learning, Volume 23, Issue 2, June 2016, pp.1-19. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: March 24, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 982.414KB)).

Dr. Michael Skoumios

Assistant Professor, Department of Primary Education, University of the Aegean, Rhodes, Dodecanisa, Greece

Georgia Moutzouri

Teacher, Primary Education, Atsiki, Lemnos, Greece