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EFFECTIVENESS OF CONCEPTUAL CHANGE INSTRUCTION ON FLUID FORCE TOPIC

S. İpekcioglu, R. Elmas, O. Geban, H. Yesilyurt

Middle East Technical University (TURKEY)
Purpose of Study:

The main purpose of the study was to investigate the effectiveness of conceptual change oriented instruction over traditionally designed science instruction on 7th grade students’ understanding of fluid force concepts.

Research Methods:

a) Participants
Participants of the study were fifty five 8th grade students from two classes in a private elementary school.

b) Design
This study is a quasi experimental pretest-posttest control group design. The treatment period was four weeks. Both groups were administered Fluid Force Concept Achievement Test as pre and post test. Also Logical Thinking Ability Test was used at the beginning of the study to determine students’ reasoning ability levels. ANCOVA was used for testing the hypotheses of the study.

c) Instruments
There were 2 instruments in the study. Fluid force concept achievement test (FFCAT) to measure the academic achievement of students in the study. Logical thinking ability (LTAT) test scores were used as a covariate. FFCAT was used as a pre and post test. Logical thinking ability test was used as a covariate in the analysis to remove the effect of logical thinking ability on achievement. ANCOVA was used as a data analysis method. Fluid force concept achievement test (FFCAT) contained 15 multiple choice questions. Each question had one correct answer and three distracters. The reliability coefficient was found to be 0.77. During the development stage of the test; firstly the instructional objectives were stated. Secondly, the literature related to students’ misconceptions with respect to fluid force was carefully examined, and taxonomy was constructed. Items were constructed by considering the instructional objectives and students’ misconceptions related to fluid force concepts.

Findings:

ANCOVA was used to determine and compare the effectiveness of two different instructional methods on the achievement related to fluid force concepts by controlling the effect of students’ logical thinking ability as a covariate. The ANCOVA results showed that the post test mean scores of CCI (Conceptual Change Oriented Instruction) group and TSI (Traditional Science Instruction) group with respect to achievement related to fluid force concepts were significantly different. CCI group scored significantly higher than TSI group. ANCOVA results showed that logical thinking ability made a statistically significant contribution to the variation in achievement related to the fluid force concepts.

Conclusions:

The CCI lesson group caused a significantly better acquisition of scientific conceptions related to fluid force and elimination of misconceptions than the TSI lesson group. Logical thinking ability was a strong predictor for the achievement related to fluid force concepts.