An analysis of the nature of students' metaconceptual processes and the effectiveness of metaconceptual teaching practices on students' conceptual understanding of force and motion
This study had three aims: (1) to investigate the effectiveness of facilitating students' metaconceptual processes, (2) to examine the durability of the impact of metaconceptual teaching on students' conceptual understanding of force and motion, and (3) to gain insight into the nature of metaconceptual processes as the students participated in the metaconceptual teaching activities. In examining the nature of students' metaconceptual processes, the purpose was to tease apart and categorize the types of metaconceptual processes, portray the trends within each type of metaconceptual process and describe the characteristics and the content of the metaconceptual processes related to students' ideas that changed throughout the metaconceptual teaching interventions. A multi-method research design that incorporated experimental and case study designs was employed. While the experimental group was exposed to metaconceptual teaching interventions, in the control group the same science content was taught by tradition instruction.
The research was conducted in the two classrooms of a physics teacher. Participants of this study who were enrolled in one of the two physics classes involved 45 grade eleven and grade twelve high school students. In order to study the nature of students' metaconceptual processes, three students from the experimental group were selected based on their background in physics and their pre-instructional conceptual understanding of force and motion. While data of three students were used to describe the characteristics and trends within each type of metaconceptual process, data of two students were used for an in-depth analysis of their metaconceptual processes about their ideas of force and one-dimensional motion.
Data from a variety of sources were collected to assess students' conceptual understanding of force and motion and their metaconceptual processes. In order to assess students' conceptual understanding of force and motion, Force Concept Inventory (FCI) was administered to both groups prior to, following, and nine weeks after the instructional interventions. Force and motion ideas of students who were the focus of the intensive case studies were identified by conducting one-to-one semi-structured interviews prior to and following the instructional interventions. The data regarding students' metaconceptual processes were derived from students' journals, audio-recordings of group-based activities, video-recordings of classroom discussions, and interviews conducted following the instructional interventions. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)
0525: Educational psychology
0714: Science education
0533: Secondary education