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Understanding of the states of water, water freezing processes, and sublimation of primary school seventh graders

Valerija Tompa (2019) Understanding of the states of water, water freezing processes, and sublimation of primary school seventh graders. MSc thesis.

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    Chemical concepts are difficult to understand due to their complexity of representation on three different levels (e.g. macroscopic, submicroscopic, and symbolic level) and willingness to simplify the presentation of science processes. While teaching chemical concepts, it is reasonable to use properly designed visualization tools at all three levels of representation. The understanding of the link between all three levels of representation of chemical concepts leads to the development of an adequate understanding of the certain chemical concept which influences the successfulness of solving science problems. Problem tasks solving could be monitored by eye tracking that enables recruiting data about individual's or group's cognitive processes. In the theoretical part of the master's thesis topics are presented which are linked to teaching chemical concepts on triple level of representation, learning states of matter and particulate nature through the vertical of education, research in the field of understanding of states of matter and changing states between them, the role of representations in the field of chemical education, and information processing and studying cognitive processes while problem-solving. The empirical part of the master's thesis involves the research which included 30 students in the seventh grade of primary school. Based on four authentic problem tasks including macroscopic and submicroscopic representations, the following could be determined: 1) misconceptions of 3D dynamic submicrorepresentations of states of water and the freezing of water and the process of sublimation of water on the macroscopic and submicroscopic levels of representation; 2) how successfully and unsuccessfully students process the information between authentic problem tasks solving; 3) on which level of representation the successful and unsuccessful students justify the selection of 3D dynamic submicrorepresentations and the process of sublimation of water. While solving, the tasks were displayed on the computer in the form of screen images and the eye movements were monitored by eye tracking. An individual who tested the students was simultaneously writing down their answers. The collected data were analyzed quantitatively in the SPSS program and with the content analysis of students' answers. The results of the research showed that students can select 3D dynamic submicrorepresentations of states of water. However, they have issues in writing down the justifications of their selection. They justified the best the liquid state (20.00%) and the worst the solid state (10.00%). The most common misconception of the solid state was linked to particle arrangement (46.66%), of liquid state to particle movement (60.00%) and of gaseous state to a number of particles (23.33%). 23.33% of students selected the appropriate submicrorepresentation for the freezing of water and 13.33% of them wrote down the right justification of its selection. 19.99 % of students made a conclusion related to macroscopic properties of matter based on submicrorepresentation of the process of freezing. The students were the least successful in justifying the process of sublimation of water: only 6.66% of them were successful. 29.97% of students were connecting the process of forming a frost with the freezing of water. Successful and unsuccessful students' justifications of the selected submicrorepresentations of states of water were mostly given on two levels (e.g. macroscopic and submicroscopic level) while for the freezing of water on the macroscopic level. Most unsuccessful students wrote down the answer for the process of sublimation of water on the macroscopic level and both successful students on the macroscopic and submicroscopic levels. The research findings of eye tracking also showed that successful and unsuccessful students have issues in defining key information for the submicrorepresentation of the solid state of matter since two areas of interest were important for them while solving the task. Unsuccessful students had issues with information processing for the task related to the freezing of water. Shown difficulties in information processing and different misconceptions of states of water and changing states between them will be helpful for science teachers who could contribute to elimination or prevention of misconceptions and better information processing between different problem tasks solving by changing their teaching method.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: misconceptions, 3D dynamic submicrorepresentations, states of water, sublimation of water, freezing of water, seventh grade of primary school, eye tracking
    Number of Pages: 65
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    prof. dr. Saša A. GlažarMentor
    Link to COBISS: https://plus.si.cobiss.net/opac7/bib/12420425
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 5701
    Date Deposited: 08 May 2019 12:56
    Last Modified: 08 May 2019 12:56
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/5701

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