Research in Science Education

, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 419–439 | Cite as

Year 12 Students' Mental Models of the Nature of Light

  • Peter Hubber
Original Paper


This article reports on the third year of a three-year longitudinal investigation into six secondary students' understanding of optics at a secondary school level. In the third year of this investigation the students, who by now were in Year 12, underwent a teaching sequence that centred on the teaching and learning of physical optics and quantum ideas. The students' mental models of the nature of light were explored prior to, and following this teaching sequence. The researcher took on the dual roles of teacher and researcher. This paper will outline the findings of the third year of this study and the implications they have for the teaching and learning of optics at secondary school level.

Key words

case study interpretive research methodology mental models optics scientific models secondary school teaching and learning models of light teacher researcher 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Deakin UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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