Publication details for Dr Phil JohnsonP. Johnson & G. Papageorgiou (2005). Do particle ideas help or hinder pupils' understanding of phenomena? International Journal of Science Education 27(11): 1299-1317.
- Publication type: Journal papers: academic
- ISSN/ISBN: 0950-0693, 1464-5289
- DOI: 10.1080/09500690500102698
- Keywords: Primary science curriculum.
- View online: Online version
- Durham research online: DRO record
Author(s) from Durham
This paper addresses the question of whether particle ideas help or hinder young pupils’ understanding of changes of state and dissolving. Two matched groups in a primary school in Greece (ages 10/11, n = 20 and n = 19) were respectively taught one of two parallel lesson schemes. Covering the same phenomena, one scheme incorporated particle ideas, and the other did not. Data were collected pre and post intervention through individual interviews (n = 24). Results suggest that pupils’ understanding benefited from the introduction of particle ideas. Implications for the primary science curriculum are discussed.
Ahtee, M., & Varjola, I. (1998). Students understanding of chemical reaction. International Journal
of Science Education, 20, 305–316.
Andersson, B. (1986). Pupils’ explanations of some aspects of chemical reactions. Science Education,
Andersson, B. (1990). Pupils’ conceptions of matter and its transformations (age 12–16). Studies
in Science Education, 18, 53–55.
Bar, V., & Galili, I. (1994). Stages of children’s views about evaporation. International Journal of
Science Education, 16, 157–174.
Besson, U. (2003). The distinction between heat and work: an approach based on a classical
mechanical model. European Journal of Physics, 24, 245–252.
Dickinson, D. K. (1987). The development of a concept of material kind. Science Education, 71,
Fensham, P. (1994). Beginning to teach chemistry. In P. Fensham, R. Gunstone & R. White
(Eds.) The content of science: A constructivist approach to its teaching and learning (pp.14–28)
Harrison, A., Grayson, D., & Treagust, D. (1999). Investigating a grade 11 student’s evolving
conceptions of heat and temperature. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 36, 55–87.
Hatzinikita, V., & Koulaidis, V. (1997). Pupils’ ideas on conservation during changes in the state
of water. Research in Science and Technology Education, 15(1), 53–70.
Johnson, P. M. (1996). What’s a substance? Education in Chemistry, 33, 41–42.
Johnson, P. M. (1998a). Progression in children’s understanding of a ‘basic’ particle theory: A
longitudinal study. International Journal of Science Education, 20, 393–412.
Johnson, P. M. (1998b). Children’s understanding of changes of state involving the gas state,
Part 1. Boiling water and the particle theory. International Journal of Science Education, 20,
Johnson, P. M. (1998c). Children’s understanding of state involving the gas state, Part 2. Evaporation
and condensation below boiling point. International Journal of Science Education, 20, 695–709.
Johnson, P. M. (2000). Children’s understanding of substances, Part 1. Recognizing chemical
change. International Journal of Science Education, 22, 719–737.
Johnson, P. M. (2002). Children’s understanding of substances, Part 2. Explaining chemical
change. International Journal of Science Education, 24, 1037–1054.
Johnson, P. M., & Gott, R. (1996). Constructivism and evidence from children’s ideas. Science
Education, 80, 561–577.
Krnel, D., Watson, R., & Glazar, A. S. (1998). Survey of research related to the development of
the concept of ‘matter’. International Journal of Science Education, 20, 257–289.
Krnel, D., Glazar, S. S., & Watson, R. (2003). The development of the concept of ‘matter’: A
cross-age study of how children classify materials. Science Education, 87, 621–639.
Lee, O., Eichinger, D., Anderson, C., Berkheimer, C., & Blakeslee, T. (1993). Changing middle
school students’ conceptions of matter and molecules. Journal of Research in Science Teaching,
Leisten J. (1995). Teach atoms earlier! School Science Review, 77(297), 23–27.
Lewis, E. L., & Linn, M. C. (1994). Heat energy and temperature concepts of adolescents, adults,
and experts: Implications for curricular improvements. Journal of Research in Science Teaching,
Longden, K., Black, P., & Solomon, J. (1991). Children’s interpretation of dissolving. International
Journal of Science Education, 13, 59–68.
Palmer, B., & Treagust, D. F. (1996). Physical and chemical change in textbooks: An initial view.
Research in Science Education, 26(1), 129–140.
Posner, C. J., & Gertzog, W. A. (1982). The clinical interview and the measurement of conceptual
change. Science Education, 66, 195–209.
Prieto, T., Blanco, A., & Rodriquez, A. (1989). The ideas of 11- to 14-year old students about the
nature of solutions. International Journal of Science Education, 11, 451–463.
Osborne, R. J., & Cosgrove, M. M. (1983). Children’s conceptions of the changes of state of
water. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 20, 825–838.
Skamp, K. (1999). Are atoms and molecules too difficult for Primary education? School Science
Review, 81(295), 87–96.
Slone, M., & Bokhurst, F. D. (1992). Children’s understanding of sugar water solutions.
International Journal of Science Education, 14, 221–235.
Solomonidou, C., & Stavridou, E. (2000). From inert object to chemical substance: Students’ initial
conceptions and conceptual development during an introductory experimental chemistry
sequence. Science Education, 84, 382–400.
Stavridou, H., & Solomonidou, C. (1989). Physical phenomena — chemical phenomena: do
pupils make the distinction? International Journal of Science Education, 11, 83–92.
Stavy, R. (1990). Children’s conception of changes in the state of matter from liquid (or solid) to
gas. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 27, 247–266.
Tsai, C.-C. (1999). Overcoming junior high school students’ misconceptions about microscopic
views of phase change: A study of an analogy activity. Journal of Science Education and
Technology, 8(1), 83–91.
Tytler, R. (2000). A comparison of year 1 and year 6 students; conceptions of evaporation and
condensation: Dimensions of conceptual progression. International Journal of Science Education,