Design and Evaluation of an Educational Package Based on Primary Students’ Ideas about Flood and Ebb-Tide Phenomenon

By Dimitrios Marinopoulos, Vassiliki Pilatou and Christina Solomonidou.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Primary school students have difficulty in perceiving and understanding many science and geography phenomena that are taught at 6th grade. The present study detected primary students’ conceptions about tide phenomena in order to develop an educational package of digital and printed material to cope with those difficulties. Ninety three (93) students (aged 11-12) participated in the study. Initially, they answered a written pre-test questionnaire which comprised ten multiple choice and open-ended questions, as well as drawing tasks. Research data showed that initially students assign the flood and ebb-tide phenomenon to the sun that warms the earth and lowers the sea level. They seemed to think that vaporized water ‘goes’ to the clouds and falls on to the earth like rain does. We used the outcomes of the initial study to design and develop an educational package based on digital and printed material to cope with those students’ ideas and learning difficulties. The package was implemented within a constructivist and collaborative learning environment, in which 48 sixth grade students participated. During teaching students worked in small groups on the computer with three simulations of tide phenomena, where they ‘controlled’ the movement of the sun, earth and moon, and discussed to come to conclusions about the flood and ebb-tide phenomenon. After teaching, the 48 students answered a post-test questionnaire. Their answers depicted an improvement of their initial ideas. So, the new constructivist and collaborative learning environment seemed to have helped them create proper mental representations about tide phenomena.

Keywords: Flood/Ebb-Tide Phenomenon Spring/Neap-Tide, Primary Students’ Ideas, Educational Package, Digital Material, Simulations, Constructivist Approach, Collaborative Learning

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 11, pp.239-252. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.705MB).

Dimitrios Marinopoulos

Teacher, Researcher of Science Education, Pedagogical Department of Primary Education, University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece

Mr. Dimitrios Marinopoulos received his bachelor in Pedagogy from the Department of Primary Education of the University of Thessaly (1997) and PhD in Teaching and Learning Science Education (2003) from the same institution. He has participated in numerous research programs, which include “The island of Faiakes: A pilot educational exploitation of the network and the computational technology in Elementary School”, “Study of models of import and evaluation of educational technology in Primary and Secondary Education” and “Innovative approaches for an effective teaching and learning of the concepts of vital and non-vital substance”. Mr. Marinopoulos has many published articles in scientific magazines written in English and Greek. He works as a teacher in a Primary School and he teaches Science Education to the Pedagogical Department of Primary Education of the University of Thessaly.

Vassiliki Pilatou

Teacher, Researcher of Science Education, Pedagogical Department of Primary Education, University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece

Mrs. Vassiliki Pilatou received her bachelor in Pedagogy from the Department of Primary Education of the University of Thessaly (1997) and PhD in Teaching and Learning Science Education (2003) from the same institution. She has participated in numerous research programs, which include “The island of Faiakes: A pilot educational exploitation of the network and the computational technology in Elementary School” and “Innovative approaches for an effective teaching and learning of the concepts of vital and non-vital substance”. Mrs. Pilatou has many published articles in scientific magazines written in English and Greek. She works as a teacher in a Primary School and she teaches Science Education to the Pedagogical Department of Primary Education of the University of Thessaly.

Prof. Christina Solomonidou

Professor, Pedagogical Department of Primary Education, University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece

Dr. Christina Solomonidou, PhD, is actually professor at the University of Thessaly, Greece. She has graduated from the Physics Department of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and made her master and doctoral studies at the University of Paris 7, France in Science and Technology Education. She has written 4 books and made many publications in International and Greek scientific journals and Conference Proceedings. Her research interests refer to the teaching and learning with use of Educational Technology, and especially ICT, the design and development of constructivist educational software (especially in Science, but also in History, Art, Geography, and Mathematics), the design, development and implementation of integrated educational packages with digital and printed material, distance education with the use of ICT, and equity issues regarding the use of computers by students.

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