ALTERNATIVE IDEAS AND MODELS ABOUT THE VISION OF COLOUR IN SECONDARY EDUCATION STUDENTS

R. Limiñana, A. Menargues, C. Nicolás, S. Rosa, A. Rey

Universidad de Alicante (SPAIN)
Current research on teaching about light and vision in compulsory secondary education shows that this is an interesting topic for students. Moreover, this is also a topic that promotes the development of models, as well as understanding of nature of science. Teaching about how do we see the colours should be considered a deepening of geometrical optics, and hence, to teach this topic, it is necessary that students have functionally acquired the vision model from Kepler. According to extant literature, it would be necessary to develop a teaching sequence on the vision of the colours for secondary education using a problem-solving teaching approach, with students having to re(construct) scientific models and theories when dealing with problematic situations. The main objective of this work is to present some of the alternative ideas/models and obstacles that secondary education students have, which have to be overcome when developing the sequence of activities to meaningfully understand the topic of colour vision. These ideas arise from the extant literature and previous studies that our research group have conducted. Alternative models and ideas on how colours are seen we found amongst in secondary students are the same that historically have appeared; the main conclusions arising from the present study are: (1) the colour is a property of the object (it is a substance, a pigment); (2) colour is "something" added to the light that arrives to the eye coming from the object; (3) the light has colour. When the white light, which is formed by lights of different colours, arrives to an object, some colours are absorbed and others are reflected. Hence, light that reaches the eye after interacting with the object is only formed with unabsorbed colour(s); and (4) colour is a sensation. These abovementioned misconceptions allow, when designing the sequence of activities, to anticipate and give sense to possible answers of the students.