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Picturing evaporation : learning science literacy through a particle representation

journal contribution
posted on 01.01.2006, 00:00 authored by Russell TytlerRussell Tytler, S Peterson, Vaughan PrainVaughan Prain
Evaporation is mostly taught in primary schools through a water cycle representation. This has its limitations in explaining mechanisms and local effects such as drops drying in a closed room, condensation on cold surfaces, or how we smell liquids. In this paper the authors describe a classroom sequence of activities for Grade 5 students that explored the use of a particle model in conjunction with a range of representational modes, to explain evaporation phenomena. In interviews the authors explored with students their visual and verbal accounts of particles, modelling a process of teacher-mediated negotiation of multiple representations. From the evidence, the authors argue that difficulties in understanding evaporation are inherently representational, and that by engaging with the multiple literacies of science teachers can support significant advances in conceptual learning.

History

Journal

Teaching Science : the journal of the Australian Science Teachers Association

Volume

52

Issue

1

Season

Autumn

Pagination

12 - 17

Publisher

Australian Science Teachers Association

Location

Deakin, A.C.T.

ISSN

1449-6313

eISSN

1839-2946

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

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