A Cross-Age Study on the Understanding of Heat and Temperature

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  • Selahattin Gönen Dicle University
  • Serhat Kocakaya Yüzüncü Yıl University




physics education, misconceptions, heat and temperature


The aims of this study were considered below under three headings. At these headings; the first was to elicit misconceptions that students had on the terms heat and temperature. The second was to understand how students’ prior learning affected their misconceptions. The third was to determine if students were able to make a connection between their own knowledge and physics in everyday life. To achieve these aims, a paper andpencil test composed of 14 multiple-chosen questions was designed, but only five questions related to heat and temperature. The test was administered to 342 students from different grades that ranged from grade 6 with students aged 11-12 years to Grade 8 with students aged 14-15 years. For this research qualitative methods were used. As a result of the analyses undertaken, it was found that students’ misunderstanding about the heat and temperature influenced their knowledge about these terms. Moreover, it was found that students had difficulties making connections between their knowledge and life experiences. Therefore, it was concluded that although students’ conceptions and misconceptions were acquired and stored, they occurred without ostensible links between everyday life and school experiences. Furthermore, depending on the instruction students received and over time, it was deduced that their conceptual understanding showed a steady increase from Grade 6 to Grade 8, except in the case of Item 1.


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How to Cite

Gönen, S., & Kocakaya, S. (2010). A Cross-Age Study on the Understanding of Heat and Temperature. International Journal of Physics and Chemistry Education, 2(1), 1–15. https://doi.org/10.51724/ijpce.v2i1.116