Developing Middle School Students’ Conceptions of the Particulate Nature of Matter

By Michael Skoumios and Nikolaos Giannakopoulos.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Educational Studies

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

While an extensive body of research exists regarding students’ conceptions about the particulate nature of matter, research studying the impact of teaching interventions on the development of students’ conceptions is limited. This study investigates the impact of a teaching intervention for the conceptual area of the particulate nature of matter on the development of thirteen-year-old students’ conceptions. Instructional material for the particulate nature of matter, which was based on a constructivist approach to science learning, where students construct new knowledge through science practices using simulations, was developed. This instructional material was tested on twenty-nine middle school students. Questionnaires were used to assess student knowledge before and after the teaching intervention. The analysis of the data allowed the recording of students’ conceptions about the particulate nature of matter before and after the teaching intervention. It appeared that the instructive treatment of students’ conceptions about the particulate nature of matter through the teaching intervention that was designed and implemented is possible. The paper concludes with a discussion on the outcomes and limitations of the study as well as with recommendations for future research.

Keywords: Learning Science, Particulate Nature of Matter, Students’ Conceptions, Constructivist Approach

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Educational Studies, Volume 12, Issue 1, March 2017, pp.13-25. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.141MB).

Dr. Michael Skoumios

Assistant Professor, Department of Primary Education, University of the Aegean, Rhodes, Greece

Nikolaos Giannakopoulos

Secondary Education Teacher, Arsakeio School of Patras, Patras, Greece