Grade 8 students' conceptual patterns of conservation, transformation and types of energy
YazarKocakülah, Mustafa Sabri
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This study aims to demonstrate the misconceptions of eighth-grade elementary school students about conservation, transformations and types of energy, as well as to examine the conceptual patterns that reveal the interconceptual associations upon which they build their conceptualizations. To this end, a conceptual understanding test was administered to 426 eighth-grade students following the instruction and semi-structured interviews were carried out with 12 students to identify the specific concepts and misconceptions that support the conceptual patterns and the underlying causes of these misconceptions. In general, the students were observed to have five different conceptual patterns. It was found out that the students misused the concepts of power, velocity, and work in place of the concept of energy; that they confused the concepts of potential energy and kinetic energy with one another; and that they were highly confused when they are faced with cases such as consumption or transformation of energy. The conceptual patterns observed in the study demonstrate the fact that the students confused the types of energy with one another, which hindered their comprehension of energy transformation and thus, the concept of energy conservation was left largely unassimilated. The results have some implications for teaching energy and its place in the curriculum, suggesting that a revision of teaching strategies and reallocation of energy concepts in different grades are needed.