Students’ Alternative Conceptions And Patterns Of Understanding On Electric Circuits

Gil Nicetas Bareng Villarino

Abstract


The aim of this study was to investigate freshmen college students’ alternative conceptions on electric circuits. For this purpose, data gathered through audio-tape recorded classroom discussion, interviews and a 25-item open-ended alternative conceptions test were used to assess students’ conceptions concerning electric circuits. Students’ conceptions were investigated using choice-explanation-consistency analysis of their grain-size knowledge before and after instruction. The results of the pretest via grain-size knowledge analysis indicated that students’ have different patterns of preconception and that individual students have different explanations to a particular situation. The choice-explanation-consistency analysis of the pretest revealed patterns of preconception such as correct choice with accurate explanations, correct choice with a partly correct explanation, inconsistent choice/explanation and reiteration of question/choice. Similar patterns were seen considering the end points, that is pre-test and post-test results. The patterns of conceptual change that were exhibited by the students through the lens of choice-explanation-consistency analysis are unchanged alternative conceptions, regression of alternative conceptions, attenuated alternative conceptions, reinforced alternative conceptions, and reconstructed alternative conceptions. The results suggest that a substantial revision of teaching strategies is needed in relation to electric circuits. However, from the Observer Daily Diary (ODD) the teachers were using heterogeneous lecturing styles. That is, teacher’s instructional actions in the classroom are not only comprised of teaching methods, but also strategic pedagogical moves, interactions with students, cognitive engagements, laboratory activities and the use of instructional technology. This maybe because the teacher participant was a grantee in the 1990 Philippine-Australia Science and Mathematics Program (PASMEP) physics teacher.

Full Text:

PDF