Students’ ideas and misconceptions about for the atom: A Latent Class Analysis with covariates

Keywords: Atom, Students’ misconceptions, Cognitive variables, Latent Class Analysis (LCA)

Abstract

The current study investigates students’ fundamental ideas and misconceptions about ontological features of atoms identity and behaviour. These conceptions are being investigated across tasks with varying context. Participants were secondary education students in eighth, tenth and twelfth grades. Latent Class Analysis (LCA), a psychometric approach, was implemented to analyze a set of four tasks, in order to identify distinct mental models, which share specific sets of misconceptions. Furthermore, the detected mental models were associated with a number of external variables, such as the age, and the three cognitive variables: formal reasoning, field dependence-independence and divergent thinking. Results indicated that age and two cognitive variables under study had significant effects on students’ mental models. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

References

Adbo, K., & Taber, K. S. (2009). Learners' mental models of the particle nature of matter: a study of 16-yearold Swedish science students. International Journal of Science Education, 31(6), 757–786.

Adbo, K, & Taber, K. S. (2014). Developing an Understanding of Chemistry: A case study of one Swedish student's rich conceptualization for making sense of upper secondary school chemistry. International Journal of Science Education, 36(7), 1107-1136.

Bakk, Z., Tekle, F. B., & Vermunt, J. K. (2013). Estimating the association between latent class membership and external variables using bias adjusted three-step approaches. Sociological Methodology, 43, 272–311.

Bahar, M. (1999). Investigation of biology students’ cognitive structure through word association tests, mind maps and structural communication grids. Ph.D. thesis: University of Glasgow.

Bartholomew, D. J., Knott, M., & Moustaki, I. (2011). Latent variable models and factor analysis: A unified approach (3rd ed.). New York, NY: John Wiley.

Cokelez, A. (2012). Junior high school students’ ideas about the shape and size of the atom. Research in Science Education, 42(4), 673-686.

Cokelez A. and Dumon A. (2005), Atom and molecule: upper secondary school French students’ representations in long-term memory. Chemistry Education, Research and Practice, 6(3), 119–135.

Danili E. and Reid N. (2006), Cognitive factors that can potentially affect pupils’ test performance. Chemistry Education, Research and Practice, 7(2), 64–83.

Derman, A., Koçak, N., & Eilks, I. (2019). Insights into Components of Prospective Science Teachers’ Mental Models and Their Preferred Visual Representations of Atoms. Education Sciences, 9(2), 154.

diSessa A. A. (1993), Toward an epistemology of physics. Cognition and Instruction, 10 (2 & 3), 105–225.

diSessa A. A., Gillespie N. and Esterly J. (2004). Coherence versus fragmentation in the development of the concept of force. Cognitive Sciences, 28, 843–900.

Eymur, G., Cetin, P., & Geban, O. (2013). Analysis of the alternative conceptions of preservice teachers and high school students concerning atomic size. Journal of Chemical Education, 90(8), 976-980.

Griffiths, K. A., & Preston, R. K. (1992). Grade-12 students’ misconceptions relating to fundamental characteristics of atoms and molecules. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 29(6), 611–628.

Hammer D. (1996). Misconceptions or p-prims: how may alternative perspectives of cognitive structure influence instructional perceptions and intentions? Journal of Learning Sciences, 5, 97–127.

Harrison A. G. and Treagust D. F. (1996). Secondary students’ mental models of atoms and molecules: implications for teaching chemistry. Science Education, 80(5), 509–534.

Ioannides C. and Vosniadou S. (2002). The changing meanings of force, Cognitive Sciences Quarterly, 2, 5–62.

Lawson, A. E. (1978). Development and validation of the classroom test of formal reasoning. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 15, 11–24.

McCutcheon, A. L. (1987). Latent class analysis. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Muniz, M. N., Crickmore, C., Kirsch, J., & Beck, J. P. (2018). Upper-division chemistry students’ navigation and use of quantum chemical models. Chemistry Education, Research and Practice, 19, 767-782.

Nicoll G. (2001). A report of undergraduates’ bonding misconceptions. International Journal of Science Education, 23(7), 707–730.

Papageorgiou G., Markos A., & Zarkadis N. (2016a). Students’ representations of the atomic structure – the effect of some individual differences in particular task contexts. Chemistry Education, Research and Practice, 17(1), 209–219.

Papageorgiou G., Markos A., & Zarkadis N. (2016b). Misconceptions relating to ontological characteristics of the atom. Focusing on students’ profiles. Science Education International, 27(4), 464–488.

Stamovlasis, D. (2010). Methodological and Epistemological Issues on Linear Regression Applied to Psychometric Variables in Problem Solving: Rethinking Variance. Chemistry Education, Research and Practice, 11, 59-68.

Stamovlasis, D. (2011). Nonlinear dynamics and Neo-Piagetian Theories in Problem solving: Perspectives on a new Epistemology and Theory Development. Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology and Life Sciences, 15(2), 145-173.

Stamovlasis D. and Papageorgiou G. (2012). Understanding Chemical Change in Primary Education: The Effect of two Cognitive Variables. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 23(2), 177–197.

Stamovlasis D., Papageorgiou G., & Tsitsipis G. (2013). The coherent versus fragmented knowledge hypotheses for the structure of matter: An investigation with a robust statistical methodology. Chemistry Education, Research and Practice, 14(4), 485–495.

Stamovlasis, D., Papageorgiou, G., Tsitsipis, G., Tsikalas, T. & Vaiopoulou, J. (2018). Illustration of Step-Wise Latent Class Modelling with Covariates and Taxometric Analysis in Research Probing Children’s Mental Models in Learning Sciences. Frontiers in Psychology, 9: 532. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00532

Straatemeier M., van der Maas H. L. J., & Jansen B. R. J. (2008). Children’s knowledge of the earth: a new methodological and statistical approach. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 100. 276-296.

Taber, K. S. (2003). The atom in the chemistry curriculum: Fundamental concept, teaching model or epistemological obstacle? Foundations of Chemistry, 5(1), 43-84.

Taber, K. S., & Adbo, K. (2013). Developing chemical understanding in the explanatory vacuum: Swedish high school students’ use of an anthropomorphic conceptual framework to make sense of chemical phenomena. In Concepts of matter in science education (pp. 347-370). Netherlands: Springer.

Talanquer, V. (2009). On cognitive constraints and learning progressions: The case of ‘structure of matter’. International Journal of Science Education, 31(15), 2123-2136.

Talanquer, V. (2013). When atoms want. Journal of Chemical Education, 90(11), 1419-1424.

Tsitsipis G., Stamovlasis D. and Papageorgiou G., (2012), A probabilistic model for students’ errors and misconceptions in relation to three cognitive variables. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 10(4), 777–802.

Vaiopoulou J. and Papageorgiou G. (2018). Primary students’ conceptions of the Earth: Re-examining a fundamental research hypothesis on mental models, Preschool and Primary Education, 6(1), 23-34.

Vaiopoulou, J., Stamovlasis, D. & Papageorgiou, G. (2017). New perspectives for theory development in science education: Rethinking mental models of force in primary school. In R.V. Nata (Ed.). Progress in Education, Volume 47 (pp. 1-16). New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc. (ISBN: 978-1-53611-022-7).

Vermunt, J. K. (2010). Latent class modelling with covariates: Two improved three-step approaches. Political Analysis, 18, 450–469.

Vermunt, J. K., & Magidson, J. (2002). Latent class cluster analysis. In J. A. Hagenaars & A. L. McCutcheon (Ed.). Applied latent class analysis (pp. 89–106). Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

Vosniadou S. (2002). On the nature of naive physics, in Reconsidering conceptual change: Issues in theory and practice, Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 61-76

Witkin H. A., Oltman P. K., Raskin E. and Karp S. A. (1971). Embedded figures test, children’s embedded figures test, group embedded figures test: manual, Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.

Zarkadis, N., Papageorgiou, G., & Stamovlasis, D. (2017). Studying the consistency between and within the student mental models for atomic structure. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 18(4), 893-902.

Published
2020-08-31
How to Cite
Stamovlasis, D., Papageorgiou, G., & Zarkadis, N. (2020). Students’ ideas and misconceptions about for the atom: A Latent Class Analysis with covariates. International Journal of Physics & Chemistry Education, 12(3), 41-52. Retrieved from http://ijpce.org/index.php/IJPCE/article/view/38