Surveying Thai and Sydney introductory physics students’ understandings of heat and temperature


  • Choksin Tanahoung
  • Ratchapak Chitaree
  • Chernchok Soankwan
  • Manjula Sharma
  • Ian Johnston


In 2005 a project was undertaken at Mahidol University of Thailand. The aim of the project was to measure introductory students’ conceptual understanding of heat and temperature. In 2006 the project has been extended to the University of Sydney with the additional aim of comparing across the Universities. Students’ conceptual understanding of heat and temperature is being measured using the Heat and Temperature Conceptual Evaluation survey. A total of 910 Thai and 317 Australian students have been tested after standard first year university instruction on thermal physics. This paper compares Thai and Australian students’ conceptual understandings post instruction. Preliminary findings indicate that both Thai and Australian students have significant misconceptions relating to phase change and the rate of heat transfer. Commonalities indicate that the Thai version of the HTCE survey compares well with the English version.