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ERIC Number: EJ1172428
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Apr
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-4308
Secondary School Science Teachers' Arguments for the Particulate Nature of Matter
Gunnarsson, Robert; Hellquist, Björn; Strömdahl, Helge; Zelic, Dusan
Journal of Research in Science Teaching, v55 n4 p503-525 Apr 2018
How do secondary school science teachers justify the model of a particulate nature of matter, and how do the arguments they use relate to historical arguments? To find out, we individually interviewed 11 in-service secondary school science teachers (certified to teach chemistry and/or physics in secondary school, and with 2 to 30 years of teaching experience) regarding their arguments for the particulate nature of matter and experiments that could demonstrate the existence of particles. The collected data were qualitatively analyzed. Three qualitatively different categories of arguments could be constructed from data: "philosophical arguments," "indirect experimental arguments," and "direct experimental arguments." The indirect experimental arguments which is the largest category could be further divided into qualitatively different subcategories: nonspecific research and experiments, and chemical, physical, and subatomic experiments. Even though several experiments and arguments were suggested by the informants in our study, the arguments regarding the validity of the experiments were quite uncertain and vague. The experiments and arguments were used to corroborate the particulate nature of matter and taken for granted in advance rather than used to justify a model with particles. The outcome was discussed in relation to scientific arguments and experiments and in view of results from previous science education research. Based on our data, teacher education and in-service teacher training, as well as teacher guides, were suggested to be more elaborate regarding contemporary knowledge, with direct experimental evidence for the particulate nature of matter being presented.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A