Over the last forty years, a significant part of research in science education was focused on investigating students’ conceptions about science concepts. While students’ conceptions of buoyancy in liquids have been widely investigated, the study of students’ conceptions about buoyancy in gases was relatively limited. Investigating the evolution of students’ conceptions on buoyancy during their education was never done. This study focuses on high school students’ conceptions on buoyancy in gases. Specifically, it aims to investigate how the students develop conceptions about the factors that affect buoyancy in gases before and after an instruction of the topic buoyancy in the classroom. The research tool used for collecting the data was a written questionnaire answered by 213 high school students in Greece (106, 13-year and 107, 14-year-old students). The 14-year-old students were taught the concept of buoyancy and the factors affecting it while the 13-year-old students were not taught about this concept. Absolute frequencies and percentage frequencies of students’ responses and justifications were calculated based on the values of x² and standardised residuals- the relationship between students’ conceptions about buoyancy in gases and their age. The analysis of the results allowed the identification of students’ conceptions about buoyancy in gases and as well as their resistance to some conceptions. More specifically, it appears that students' conceptions about the factors that affect the buoyancy in gases do not differ significantly for the two groups of students (13-year-old and 14-year-old). The results of this study can contribute to the construction and development of instructional materials for a more effective instruction of buoyancy in gases.
|Keywords:||Students’ Conceptions, Buoyancy, Science Education|
Teacher of Physics, Hellenic Open University, Thessaloniki, Greece
Lecturer, Department of Primary Education, University of Aegean, Rhodes, Dodecanisa, Greece