Advertisement

Students’ Alternative Conceptions about Electricity and Effect of Inquiry-Based Teaching Strategies

  • Nada Chatila Afra
  • Iman Osta
  • Wassim Zoubeir
Article

Abstract

This study attempted to investigate the alternative conceptions that a group of 12 Lebanese students in a grade 9 class hold about electricity. It also attempted to evaluate learning outcomes of implementing in that class an inquiry-based module for the acquisition of conceptual understanding of basic concepts in electricity. Fourteen mostly subjective tests were administered throughout the implementation phase of the inquiry-based module to assess the evolution of participants’ conceptions. The instrument DIRECT (Version 1.0) focusing on conceptual understanding was used as a post-instructional test to measure acquisition of understanding. The findings revealed that most of the alternative conceptions reported in literature were found amongst the participants. Results of the post-testing showed that the implemented inquiry-based approach was successful in enhancing participants’ conceptual understanding of the targeted DC circuit concepts.

Key words

alternative conceptions conceptual change electricity inquiry physics teaching and learning 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Abd-El-Khalick, F., BouJaoude, S., Duschl, R. A., Lederman, N. G., Mamlock, R., Niaz, M., et al. (2004). Inquiry in science education: International perspectives. Science Education, 88, 397–419. Wiley Periodicals.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arons, A. B. (1997). Teaching introductory physics. New York: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  3. Cohen, R., Eylon, B., & Ganiel, U. (1983). Potential difference and current in simple electric circuits: A study of students’ concepts. American Journal of Physics, 51, 407–412.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Engelhardt, P. V. & Beichner, R. J. (2004). Students’ understanding of direct current resistive circuits. American Journal of Physics, 72(1), 98–115. Retrieved June 11, 2003, from http://arxiv.org/ftp/physics/papers/0304/0304040.pdf.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Evans, J. (1978). Teaching electricity with batteries and bulbs. The Physics Teacher, 15(1), 15–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fredette, N. & Lockhead, J. (1980). Students’ conceptions of simple circuits. The Physics Teacher, 18, 194–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Licht, P. (1987). A strategy to deal with conceptual and reasoning problems in introductory electricity education. Proceedings of the second international seminar on misconceptions and educational strategies in science and mathematics, 2, 275–284.Google Scholar
  8. Licht, P. (1991). Teaching electrical energy, voltage and current: an alternative approach. Physics Education, 26, 272–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. McDermott, L. C. & Physics Education Group at the University of Washington. (1996). Physics by inquiry (vol. II). New York: John Wiley & Sons Inc.Google Scholar
  10. McDermott, L. & Shaffer, P. (1992a). Research as a guide for curriculum development: An example from introductory electricity. Part I: Investigation of student understanding. American Journal of Physics, 60, 994–1003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. McDermott, L. & Shaffer, P. (1992b). Research as a guide for curriculum development: An example from introductory electricity. Part II: Design of instructional strategies. American Journal of Physics, 60, 1003–1013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Psillos, D., Kouramas, P., & Tiberghien, A. (1988). Voltage presented as a primary concept in an introductory teaching sequence on DC circuits. International Journal of Science Education, 10, 29–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Saxena, A. B. (1992). An attempt to remove misconceptions related to electricity. International Journal of Science Education, 14, 157–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Shipstone, D. (1985). On children’s use of conceptual models in reasoning about current electricity. In R. Duit, W. Jung & C. von Rhöneck (Eds.), Aspects of understanding electricity. Proceedings of an international workshop, 1984 (pp. 73–82). Kiel, Germany: Schmidt & Klaunig.Google Scholar
  15. Shipstone, D. (1988). Pupils’ understanding of simple electrical circuits: Some implications for instruction. Physics Education, 23, 92–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Shipstone, D., & Gunstone, R. (1985). Teaching students to discriminate between current and energy. In R. Duit, W. Jung, & C. von Rhöneck (Eds.), Aspects of understanding electricity. Proceedings of an international workshop, 1984 (pp. 287–297). Kiel, Germany: Schmidt & Klaunig.Google Scholar
  17. Shipstone, D. M., Rhöneck, C., Jung, W., Dupin, J., Joshua, S., & Licht, P. (1988). A study of students’ understanding in five European countries. International Journal of Science Education, 10(3), 303–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Sinatra, G. M., & Pintrich, P. R. (2003). Intentional conceptual change. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© National Science Council, Taiwan 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.American Community SchoolBeirutLebanon
  2. 2.Education and Social Sciences DivisionLebanese American UniversityBeirutLebanon
  3. 3.International CollegeBeirutLebanon

Personalised recommendations