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Title: Case studies in the use of computer software in the teaching of energy
Author: Nicholls, Gillian May
ISNI:       0000 0004 2700 0473
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1991
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The project was designed to investigate how a piece of software could be used in the teaching of Energy. The central aim of the research was to show how the incorporation of software in the teaching of energy is dependent on a variety of factors, notably pupil's cognitive levels, and their underlying conceptions of energy. The subjects of the study were four classes consisting of three age groups, who participated in a six week energy project. The data consisted of: (a) A special purpose conceptual questionnaire; (b) CSMS Science Reasoning Tasks; (c) Observations during teaching; (d) Pupils work during teaching; (e) Data about pupils from teachers and school records. The questionnaire was given to pupils before and after teaching. From an analysis of the results it was possible to describe a structure of pupil's conceptions of Energy. Three of the classes were given Piagetian tests to establish pupil's cognitive levels, as a possible way of predicting problem areas that might occur in the use of the software. Observations of the interaction between pupils and the computer were made and used to develop teaching strategies. Detailed records of the pupil's project work were collected. The analysis of this work was made through: 1 A "systemic" network, that characterised pupil's conceptions of Energy from their written work; 2 A comparison of the cognitive level (on Piagetian lines) of the written work and the cognitive demands of the tasks set through the software; 3 A comparison of cognitive levels on SRTs and cognitive level as evidence in pupil's work and in their conceptions; 4 In certain cases, data about pupils was obtained from the teachers and school records to substantiate the results found in the analysis. In so doing, some of the influences on the learning and teaching of energy with the use of a piece of software have been explored.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment