Advertisement

FACTORS INFLUENCING PRE-SERVICE SCIENCE TEACHERS’ IMAGINATION AT THE MICROSCOPIC LEVEL IN CHEMISTRY

  • Sulaiman M. Al-BalushiEmail author
Article

Abstract

This study explores the mental images at the microscopic level of matter created by 22 preservice science teachers in Oman. Participants were encouraged during a guided imagery session to construct mental images for a scenario written about the explanation of the reaction of sodium in water. They were then asked to describe what they envisioned in their own imagination. Participants had images that were based on textbook illustrations, modeling kits, a solar-system model, physical properties, and humanized animations. 3D mental images represented 33.36% of participants’ mental images at the microscopic level, while images in 2D format formed 39.15% of the overall created mental images. Several factors shaped the participants’ mental images, such as their imaginative ability, attention mode, and the nature of their old images stored in their long-term memory. Most of the participants experienced image transformation from one form to another as they were progressing in the GI session. This unstable reliance on different models might indicate unorganized conceptual networks in learners’ LTM: a feature that characterizes novices’ mental networking. On the contrary, past research has revealed that experts have more organized and sophisticated conceptual networking. This study argued that participants lacked the homogeneous and reliable mental model of the atom that is required to carry out advanced cognitive processes for mental exploration of chemical phenomena. The absence of this mental model might explain the overwhelming finding in literature that many learners fail to explain and predict chemical phenomena.

Key words

chemistry teaching guided imagery imagination mental images particulate level of matter science education 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Apollonia, S. T., Chales, E. S., & Boyd, G. M. (2004). Acquisition of complex systemic thinking: Mental models of evolution. Educational Research and Evaluation, 10(4–6), 499–521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Black, A. A. (2005). Spatial ability and earth science conceptual understanding. Journal of Geosciences Education, 53(4), 402–414.Google Scholar
  3. Bowen, C. W. (1994). Think-aloud methods in chemistry education: Understanding student thinking. Journal of Chemical Education, 71(3), 184–190.Google Scholar
  4. Coleman, S. L., & Gotch, A. J. (1998). Spatial perception skills of chemistry students. Journal of Chemical Education, 75(2), 206–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Connolly, B. A. (1994). An experiment in mnemonics imagery in adult basic education science instruction. Retrieved October 7, 2008, from ProQuest Database, (AAT MM95855).Google Scholar
  6. Czolpinski, A., & Babul, A. (2005). The art of physics: Visualizing the universe, seeing the unseen. Pi in the Sky, 9, 4–8 December.Google Scholar
  7. Day, R. (2004). Visual cognition in understanding biology labs; can it be connected to conceptual change? A paper presented at the National Association of Research in Science Teaching Conference, Vancouver, Canada.Google Scholar
  8. Dori, Y. J., & Hameiri, M. (2003). Multidimensional analysis system for quantitative chemistry problems: Symbol, macro, micro, and process aspects. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 40(3), 276–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gabel, D. L., Sherwood, R., & Enochs, L. (1984). Problem-solving skills of high school chemistry students. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 21(2), 221–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gooding, D. C. (2004). Envisioning explanations- the art in science. Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, 29(3), 279–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hadzigeorgiou, Y., & Stefanich, G. (2000). Imagination in science education. Contemporary Education, 71(4), 23–29.Google Scholar
  12. Harrison, A. G., & Treagust, D. F. (1996). Secondary students’ mental models of atoms and molecules: Implications for teaching chemistry. Science Education, 80(5), 509–534.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hegarty, M. (2004). Mechanical reasoning by mental simulation. TRENDS in Cognitive Sciences, 8(6), 280–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hmelo-Silver, C. E., & Pfeffer, M. G. (2004). Comparing expert and novice understanding of a complex system from the perspective of structures, behaviors, and functions. Cognitive Science, 28(2004), 127–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kozhevnikov, M., Motes, M. A., & Hegarty, M. (2007). Spatial visualization in physics problem solving. Cognitive Science, 31, 549–579.Google Scholar
  16. Lawson, R. E. (2004). The nature and development of scientific reasoning: A synthetic view. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 2, 307–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Liu, C., & Treagust, D. F. (2005). An instrument for assessing students’ mental state and learning environment in science education. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 3, 625–637.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lord, T. R. (1990). Enhancing learning in the life sciences through spatial perception. Innovative Higher Education, 15(1), 5–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Mathewson, J. H. (1999). Visual-spatial thinking: An aspect of science overlooked by educators. Science Education, 83, 33–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Nakhleh, M. B., & Samarapungavan, A. (1999). Elementary school children’s beliefs about matter. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 36(7), 777–805.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Naveh, D. (1985). Holistic education in action: An exploration of guided imagery in a middle grade science class and its impact on students. Dissertation Abstracts International, (DAI 8526358).Google Scholar
  22. Nemotko, A. (1990). The learning effects of verbally and pictorially presented biology lectures on female college students of high imagery and low imagery abilities. Dissertation Abstracts International, (DAI-A 51/05).Google Scholar
  23. Osborne, R., & Freyberg, P. (1985). Learning in Science: The implications of children’s science. Hong Kong: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  24. Ozmen, H., Demircioglu, G. & Coll, R. (2007). A Comparative study of the effects of a concept mapping enhanced laboratory experience on Turkish high school students’ understanding of acid-base chemistry. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education. Retrieved March 15, 2008, from http://www.springerlink.com/content/x65h373125r306w0/fulltext.pdf
  25. Pribyl, J. R., & Bodner, G. M. (1987). Spatial ability and its role in organic chemistry: A study of four organic courses. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 24, 229–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Reiner, M., & Gilbert, J. (2000). Epistemological resources for thought experimentation in science teaching. International Journal of Science Education, 22(5), 489–506.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Rudmann, D. S. (2002). Solving Astronomy Problems Can Be Limited by Intuited Knowledge, Spatial Ability, or Both. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED468815)Google Scholar
  28. Shepard, R. (1988). The imagination of the scientist. In K. Egan, & D. Nadaner (Eds.), Imagination and education. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  29. Stephens, L. & Clement, J. (2006). Using expert heuristics for the design of imagery-rich mental simulations for the science class. Proceedings of the NARST 2006 Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA.Google Scholar
  30. Taylor, N., & Coll, R. K. (2002). Pre-service primary teachers’ models of kinetic theory: An examination of three different cultural groups. Chemistry Education: Research and Practice in Europe, 3(3), 293–315.Google Scholar
  31. Valanides, N., & Angeli, C. (2006). Preparing preservice elementary teachers to teach science through computer models. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 6(1), 87–98.Google Scholar
  32. Van Driel, J. H., & De Jong, O. (2002). The development of preservice chemistry teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge. Science Education, 86, 572–590.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Vos, W., & Verdonk, A. H. (1996). The particulate nature of matter in science education and in science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 33(6), 657–664.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. White, R. T. (1988). Learning science. New York, NY: Basil Blackwell Inc.Google Scholar
  35. Wu, H., Krajcik, J. S. & Soloway, E. (2000). Promoting Conceptual Understanding of Chemical Representations: Students’ Use of a Visualization Tool in the Classroom. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 443678)Google Scholar
  36. Yang, E., Andre, T., Greenbowe, T. J., & Tibell, L. (2003). Spatial ability and the impact of visualization/animation on learning electrochemistry. International Journal of Science Education, 25(3), 329–349.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© National Science Council, Taiwan 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Curriculum and Instruction Department, College of EducationSultan Qaboos UniversityMuscatOman

Personalised recommendations