NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ923503
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 31
ISSN: ISSN-1756-1108
Student Test Performances on Behavior of Gas Particles and Mismatch of Teacher Predictions
Liang, Jia-Chi; Chou, Chin-Cheng; Chiu, Mei-Hung
Chemistry Education Research and Practice, v12 n2 p238-250 2011
The nature and behavior of gas particles are essential concepts in teaching and learning of school chemistry. However, findings about students' understanding of gas particles--their composition, structure, and interactions involving movement and distribution--revealed that the difficulties students encounter in understanding gas particles vary with age. The purpose of this article is to examine how students responded to six two-tier items in a diagnostic test about the behavior of gas particles in two containers and how teachers predicted students' test performance. The participants in this study were eighth graders (n = 102), ninth graders (n = 92), and physical science teachers (n = 31) in junior high schools in Taiwan. The results revealed that only a low percentage of students could answer the entire set of six questions correctly, and that the 9th graders outperformed the 8th graders. In addition, we found that students changed their models about gas behavior when the orientation of the apparatus changed, and that they had difficulty using a consistent model to answer all of the questions, especially those questions involving a change of pressure. The results also showed that the physical science teachers could not predict accurately the students' understanding of the behavior of gas particles because they underestimated the effect of the pressure influencing students' performance on test items. We conclude that the findings of this study suggested that science teachers could help students build a consistent view of gas particles by focusing on understanding why students would hold inconsistent models in different contexts. Educational implications for promoting students' and teachers' better use of models for learning and teaching the submicroscopic are discussed. (Contains 9 tables and 10 figures.)
Royal Society of Chemistry. Thomas Graham House, Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge, CB4 0WF, UK. Tel: +44-1223 420066; Fax: +44-1223 423623; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 8; Grade 9; Junior High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Taiwan