Microscopic Models in the Teaching of Physics: The Case of Polarization and of Thermal Conductivity.

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    • Abstract:
      In the present paper we examine some aspects of using of microscopic models-simulations in the teaching of Physics. Specifically, the aim is to investigate the effect of the microscopic model of thermal conduction in explaining a thermal phenomenon and to investigate the effect of the microscopic model of polarization in predicting an electrostatic phenomenon. Twenty-five lower secondary students in compulsory education and 12 university pre-service primary education student-teachers, in Thessaloniki, Greece participated in the model-based units of thermal conduction and electric polarization respectively. In both cases students were involved in model exploration rather than in model construction, however in electric polarization the “predictive” use of models has been adopted while in the case of thermal conductivity the approach emphasized explanation. Results showed that students, to a certain extend, managed to use the microscopic models of thermal conduction and electric polarization in order to explain and predict, respectively, the phenomena. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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