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Middle school students' use of the energy concept to engage in new learning: What ideas matter?

Middle school students

Middle school students
Bildquelle: JRST

Energie ist ein wichtiges Grundkonzept der Physik und Naturwissenschaften – jedoch für viele Lernende herausfordernd. Im Artikel wird eine Studie vorgestellt, in der zwei Ansätze Energie zu unterrichten miteinander verglichen wurden. Der Augenmerk lag dabei darauf, inwieweit die Ansätze das weitere Lernen über Energie fördern. Es zeigt sich, dass der sogenannte System-Transfer-Ansatz dem klassischen Unterrichtsansatz überlegen ist. Zusammen mit vorherigen Arbeiten zu diesem Thema, bedeutete dies, dass im Unterricht zum Energiekonzept verstärkt auf den Transfer von Energie zwischen interagierenden Systemen fokussiert werden sollte.

News vom 22.05.2024

Abstract

One reason for the widespread use of the energy concept across the sciences is that energy analysis can be used to interpret the behavior of systems even if one does not know the particular mechanisms that underlie the observed behavior. By providing an approach to interpreting unfamiliar phenomena, energy provides a lens on phenomena that can set the stage for deeper learning about how and why phenomena occur. However, not all energy ideas are equally productive in setting the stage for new learning. In particular, researchers have debated the value of teaching students to interpret phenomena in terms of energy forms and transformations. In this study, we investigated how two different approaches to middle school energy instruction—one emphasizing energy transformations between forms and one emphasizing energy transfers between systems—prepared students to use their existing energy knowledge to engage in new learning about a novel energy-related phenomenon. To do this, we designed a new assessment instrument to elicit student initial ideas about the phenomenon and to compare how effectively students from each approach learned from authentic learning resources. Our results indicate that students who learned to interpret phenomenon in terms of energy transfers between systems learned more effectively from available learning resources than did students who learned to interpret phenomena in terms of energy forms and transformations. This study informs the design of introductory energy instruction and approaches for assessing how students existing knowledge guides new learning about phenomena.

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