This study focuses on exploring conceptions of Greek secondary school students about sound. In particular, it aims to: (a) identify the conceptions of students about the nature of sound, (b) investigate the evolution of such conceptions as students move from the age of 13 to the age of 15 years and (c) study their dependence on the state of matter of the medium through which sound propagates (gas, liquid, solid). As a data collection research tool, a written questionnaire designed specifically for the purposes of research, was used. This was completed by 164 secondary school students (84 thirteen year-olds and 80 fifteen year-olds) from schools in Greece. The analysis of these results identified the conceptions that students activated about the nature of sound and highlighted their durability. Moreover, the results showed that students activate alternative conceptions about the nature of sound, which are different from school-acquired knowledge (wave nature of sound). Regarding the evolution of students’ conceptions about the nature of sound, it can be seen that conceptions remain almost unchanged during the “transition” of students from the age of 13 to the age of 15. Additionally, it was found that students’ conceptions about the nature of sound are more unclear when the medium is in solid state than in gaseous state.
|Keywords:||Students’ Conceptions, Context Dependence of Conceptions, Nature of Sound, Science Education|
Teacher, Hellenic Open University, Peiraias, Greece
Lecturer, University of Aegean, Rhodes, Dodecanisa, Greece