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Pupils' and students' understanding of states of matter and their transitions

Martina Bahor (2018) Pupils' and students' understanding of states of matter and their transitions. MSc thesis.

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    Abstract

    The master's thesis presents a study on the understanding of states of matter and the transitions between them by pupils of the seventh grade, students of the first year in gymnasiums (high school) and students at the Faculty of Education. The theoretical part describes the triple nature of chemical concepts and teaching chemistry on the three levels of a chemical concept, where the example of the expanding triangle and the rising iceberg model are presented. In the continuation of the theoretical part, the process of information processing is described and the significance of visualisation. The use of an eye tracker in the monitoring of cognitive processes in natural sciences teaching is described. Studies on the misconception of states of matter and transitions between them are also presented. The main aim of master's thesis was to determine the understanding of chemical concepts that relate to states of water on macroscopic and submicroscopic levels, the transitions between states on a submicroscopic level, and to compare the results of select original exercises devised for pupils of the seventh grade, students of the first year in gymnasiums (high school) and chemistry students at the Faculty of Education. The study included 31 pupils, 29 high-school students and 20 university students. The results of the analysis where original exercises were completed were then interpreted using measurements obtained using an eye tracker that made it possible to track the cognitive processes used when solving the exercises. All test participants correctly recognised the submicroscopic presentation of the solid, liquid and gas physical states on a particle level. However, they did experience problems when justifying their decision. From the study results it is possible to conclude that there were problems understanding the explanation of macroscopic findings on a submicroscopic level. The test participants also had problems with the transitions between states in the frost formation process, since less than half responded with the correct answer. The results of the eye tracker showed that the more successful pupils, high-school and university students had a greater average total time and average number of fixations on the 3D animations of how frost formed in comparison with the pictures, compared to the less successful participants. The study results can be linked to findings from other studies that showed similar misconceptions. The study findings can affect the approaches used when teaching to avoid and eliminate misconceptions.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: macroscopic level, submicroscopic level, states of water, transitions between states of water, misconception
    Number of Pages: 81
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    prof. dr. Saša A. GlažarMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=11984201)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 5057
    Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2018 12:13
    Last Modified: 25 Apr 2018 12:13
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/5057

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