ERIC Number: ED336258
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Representation and Feedback in the Formation of a Physical Science Concept.
The main purposes of this study were to determine: (1) how high school students represent the physical phenomena of phase changes; (2) how they modify their representation of these physical phenomena to accommodate new observation; (3) what factors lead to student difficulty in modifying representations; and (4) how the field-dependence/independence construct relates to the character of the models and receptivity to feedback. A videotape was prepared of five experiments that involved the phenomena of phase change under various conditions. An introductory question about solids, liquids, and gases was asked to determine recall independent of context. Then for each experiment the subject was shown the apparatus and was asked what will happen when a certain procedure is carried out. The subject was then asked to justify his or her answer. The subject then observed the experiment and was asked to describe everything that he or she observed. At the conclusion of the experiment, the subject was asked if the prediction was accurate. The population was composed of 20 above-average high school students in a suburban high school. It was found that students' theories were often fragmented and "unscientific." When they differed from those of the expert, they fell into one or more of five categories, i.e., they were based on macro-level properties, unacceptable scientific theories, inappropriately applied theories, internally inconsistent explanations, or "rule" based justifications. (18 references) (Author/KR)
Descriptors: Chemistry, Cognitive Development, Concept Formation, Feedback, Field Dependence Independence, High School Students, High Schools, Misconceptions, Models, Observation, Physical Sciences, Prediction, Science Education, Scientific Concepts, Secondary School Science, Student Characteristics, Thinking Skills
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (Lake Geneva, WI, April 7-10, 1991).