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How Middle School Students Represent Phase Change and Interpret Textbook Representations: a Comparison of Student and Textbook Representations

  • Funda Savasci-AcikalinEmail author
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Abstract

The purposes of this study were to identify middle school student representations of phase change, explore how they interpret textbook representations, and compare student and textbook representations of phase change. A total of 21 middle school students (12 sixth-graders and nine eighth-graders) voluntarily participated in the study. Semi-structured interviews with each participant were conducted in order to identify students’ representations of phase change of matter and explore how they interpret the representations of phase change in their textbooks. Findings indicated that students’ representations of phase change mostly do not match the criteria for a scientific understanding of phase change. Moreover, student interpretations of representations seem to be different than the intended meanings of the textbook representations. Finally, the student and textbook representations are similar in terms of the types of particles and the distances among them, while they are different from each other in terms of the motion of particles. Textbook representations do not seem to help students understand the distances and the motion of particles during phase change. Students need more guidance than that provided by textbook authors and more class discussion to understand the language used by teachers and textbook authors.

Keywords

Middle school students Science textbooks Multiple levels of representations Phase change 

Notes

Supplementary material

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mathematics and Science Education, Hasan Ali Yucel College of EducationIstanbul University-CerrahpasaIstanbulTurkey

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