The effect of macroscopic and submicroscopic pictorial representations on pre-service science teachers’ explanations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The purpose of the current study is to examine whether different types of chemical representations
(macroscopic vs. submicroscopic) stimulate meaning construction differently. The sample included 152 pre-service
science teachers in Oman. The instrument included a diagram of the reaction of sodium in water and asked
participants to explain how heat transfers from the water around the sodium piece to the thermometer and how it
causes the mercury level to rise. Two different versions of the diagram were designed: macroscopic and
submicroscopic. The two versions of the instrument were distributed randomly to participants. A rubric was
designed to evaluate participants’ explanations at the submicroscopic level. The results show that participants who
received the submicroscopic diagram statistically outperformed those who received the macroscopic. These
findings indicate that 1) adding submicroscopic details to the macroscopic experimental sketch encourages
students to think at the submicroscopic level; and 2) students do not spontaneously think at the submicroscopic
level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-14
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Academic Research Part B
Volume4
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 6 2012

Keywords

  • chemistry
  • explanation
  • Macroscopic level
  • pictorial presentations
  • submicroscopic level

Cite this

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title = "The effect of macroscopic and submicroscopic pictorial representations on pre-service science teachers’ explanations",
abstract = "The purpose of the current study is to examine whether different types of chemical representations(macroscopic vs. submicroscopic) stimulate meaning construction differently. The sample included 152 pre-servicescience teachers in Oman. The instrument included a diagram of the reaction of sodium in water and askedparticipants to explain how heat transfers from the water around the sodium piece to the thermometer and how itcauses the mercury level to rise. Two different versions of the diagram were designed: macroscopic andsubmicroscopic. The two versions of the instrument were distributed randomly to participants. A rubric wasdesigned to evaluate participants’ explanations at the submicroscopic level. The results show that participants whoreceived the submicroscopic diagram statistically outperformed those who received the macroscopic. Thesefindings indicate that 1) adding submicroscopic details to the macroscopic experimental sketch encouragesstudents to think at the submicroscopic level; and 2) students do not spontaneously think at the submicroscopiclevel.",
keywords = "chemistry, explanation, Macroscopic level, pictorial presentations, submicroscopic level",
author = "Sulaiman Al-Balushi",
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N2 - The purpose of the current study is to examine whether different types of chemical representations(macroscopic vs. submicroscopic) stimulate meaning construction differently. The sample included 152 pre-servicescience teachers in Oman. The instrument included a diagram of the reaction of sodium in water and askedparticipants to explain how heat transfers from the water around the sodium piece to the thermometer and how itcauses the mercury level to rise. Two different versions of the diagram were designed: macroscopic andsubmicroscopic. The two versions of the instrument were distributed randomly to participants. A rubric wasdesigned to evaluate participants’ explanations at the submicroscopic level. The results show that participants whoreceived the submicroscopic diagram statistically outperformed those who received the macroscopic. Thesefindings indicate that 1) adding submicroscopic details to the macroscopic experimental sketch encouragesstudents to think at the submicroscopic level; and 2) students do not spontaneously think at the submicroscopiclevel.

AB - The purpose of the current study is to examine whether different types of chemical representations(macroscopic vs. submicroscopic) stimulate meaning construction differently. The sample included 152 pre-servicescience teachers in Oman. The instrument included a diagram of the reaction of sodium in water and askedparticipants to explain how heat transfers from the water around the sodium piece to the thermometer and how itcauses the mercury level to rise. Two different versions of the diagram were designed: macroscopic andsubmicroscopic. The two versions of the instrument were distributed randomly to participants. A rubric wasdesigned to evaluate participants’ explanations at the submicroscopic level. The results show that participants whoreceived the submicroscopic diagram statistically outperformed those who received the macroscopic. Thesefindings indicate that 1) adding submicroscopic details to the macroscopic experimental sketch encouragesstudents to think at the submicroscopic level; and 2) students do not spontaneously think at the submicroscopiclevel.

KW - chemistry

KW - explanation

KW - Macroscopic level

KW - pictorial presentations

KW - submicroscopic level

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