ERIC Number: ED291599
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Promoting 6th Graders' Understanding of Density: A Computer Modeling Approach. Technical Report 86-5.
Smith, Carol; And Others
The concept of the density of a material has an important role in elementary and secondary school science curricula, but it is a difficult concept to grasp. This project explores why this should be and whether there are some simpler, more accessible notions which can serve as the basis for building a concept of density in students' minds during the later elementary school years. The study explores the effectiveness of using computer models to help students build an understanding of density. This teaching strategy proved to be moderately successful with sixth graders. It was found that the majority of students did correctly assimilate this model in a way that supported their understanding of density as an intensive quantity and that they were able to articulate some relevant differences between weight and density. It was found that this distinction was necessary for children to have success at ordering by relative densities and in understanding a phenomenon such as sinking and floating. Appendices supply a description of the computer programs, worksheets, lesson plans, and interview instruments. (CW)
Descriptors: Chemistry, Cognitive Development, Computer Assisted Instruction, Computer Software, Computer Uses in Education, Density (Matter), Earth Science, Educational Technology, Elementary School Science, Grade 6, Intermediate Grades, Misconceptions, Physical Sciences, Physics, Science Education, Teaching Methods
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Practitioners
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Educational Technology Center, Cambridge, MA.
Note: Contains some broken type which may not reproduce well.