ERIC Number: EJ1113927
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Conceptual Change about Outer Space: How Does Informal Training Combined with Formal Teaching Affect Seventh Graders' Understanding of Gravitation?
Frappart, Sören; Frède, Valérie
European Journal of Psychology of Education, v31 n4 p515-535 Oct 2016
Concepts relating to outer space are difficult to grasp because we lack direct experience of this environment. We analysed students' understanding of gravitation on Earth and beyond by testing the effect of training on it. In a pretest (T1), 28 seventh graders answered a questionnaire about space concepts. They all then underwent the same formal teaching at school, but half of them also went on a trip to a space museum. Students then responded to the questionnaire again (T2). We found that the students in the museum-going group made significant progress between T1 and T2. Most of them correctly predicted at T2 (unlike T1) that dropped stones would fall in planetary contexts. Moreover, the misconception linking air and gravity had disappeared by T2. We conclude that combining formal teaching with a trip to a museum helped the children in the present study to develop a more accurate scientific understanding of concepts that cannot be directly experienced.
Descriptors: Middle School Students, Grade 7, Physics, Scientific Concepts, Astronomy, Secondary School Science, Science Education, Informal Education, Science Tests, Pretests Posttests, Questionnaires, Field Trips, Museums, Science Teaching Centers, Science Achievement, Attitude Change, Misconceptions, Accuracy, Science Process Skills
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; Grade 7; Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A