A CROSS-AGE STUDY OF TURKISH STUDENTS' MENTAL MODELS: AN "ATOM" CONCEPT


Goekdere M., Calik M.

DIDACTICA SLOVENICA-PEDAGOSKA OBZORJA, vol.25, no.2, pp.185-199, 2010 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 25 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Title of Journal : DIDACTICA SLOVENICA-PEDAGOSKA OBZORJA
  • Page Numbers: pp.185-199

Abstract

This study aims to investigate Turkish students' mental models of the "atom" concept. To achieve this aim, a two-item questionnaire was administered to a total of 325 students (i.e., 104 Grade 8 students, 114 Grade 11 students, and 107 science student-teachers). The present study showed that all students under investigation have similar difficulties in modeling the concept of "atom". In addition, it was found that even if senior science student-teachers' percentages were higher than those of Grade 8 and Grade 11 students they possessed similar alternative conceptions to those of their future students. Further, it was concluded that there is no clear link between students' models and their grades. In the light of the study, it can be suggested that due to the Ministry of National Education's recent revisions of the science education curricula and instructional materials, further emphasis should be given to the concept of "atom" and its modeling in related course books by differentiating atomic models from each other

This study aims to investigate Turkish students' mental models of the "atom" concept. To achieve this aim, a two-item questionnaire was administered to a total of 325 students (i.e., 104 Grade 8 students, 114 Grade 11 students, and 107 science student-teachers). The present study showed that all students under investigation have similar difficulties in modeling the concept of "atom". In addition, it was found that even if senior science student-teachers' percentages were higher than those of Grade 8 and Grade 11 students they possessed similar alternative conceptions to those of their future students. Further, it was concluded that there is no clear link between students' models and their grades. In the light of the study, it can be suggested that due to the Ministry of National Education's recent revisions of the science education curricula and instructional materials, further emphasis should be given to the concept of "atom" and its modeling in related course books by differentiating atomic models from each other