Taking on the Heat—a Narrative Account of How Infrared Cameras Invite Instant Inquiry
- 565 Downloads
Integration of technology, social learning and scientific models offers pedagogical opportunities for science education. A particularly interesting area is thermal science, where students often struggle with abstract concepts, such as heat. In taking on this conceptual obstacle, we explore how hand-held infrared (IR) visualization technology can strengthen students’ understanding of thermal phenomena. Grounded in the Swedish physics curriculum and part of a broader research programme on educational uses of IR cameras, we have developed laboratory exercises around a thermal storyline, in conjunction with the teaching of a heat-flow model. We report a narrative analysis of how a group of five fourth-graders, facilitated by a researcher, predicts, observes and explains (POE) how the temperatures change when they pour hot water into a ceramic coffee mug and a thin plastic cup. Four chronological episodes are described and analysed as group interaction unfolded. Results revealed that the students engaged cognitively and emotionally with the POE task and, in particular, held a sustained focus on making observations and offering explanations for the scenarios. A compelling finding was the group’s spontaneous generation of multiple “what-ifs” in relation to thermal phenomena, such as blowing on the water surface, or submerging a pencil into the hot water. This was followed by immediate interrogation with the IR camera, a learning event we label instant inquiry. The students’ expressions largely reflected adoption of the heat-flow model. In conclusion, IR cameras could serve as an access point for even very young students to develop complex thermal concepts.
KeywordsInfrared cameras Primary school Heat Temperature Predict-observe-explain Instant inquiry
We are grateful to Charles Xie for sharing ideas of how IR cameras may enable school science inquiry. We also kindly thank all involved students and the teachers who developed the overall storyline and collaborated during design and implementation of the IR camera labs.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
The ethical requirements stipulated by the Swedish authorities for conducting educational research in schools were strictly adhered to. Informed consent to participate in the study was gathered from the students’ parents, and pseudonyms of the participants are used throughout the text to guarantee anonymity.
- Amin, T. G. (2001). A cognitive linguistics approach to the layperson’s understanding of thermal phenomena. In A. Cienki, B. Luka, & M. Smith (Eds.), Conceptual and discourse factors in linguistic structure (pp. 27–44). Stanford: CSLI Publications.Google Scholar
- Brunsell, E., & Horejsi, M. (2010). Science 2.0: instant inquiry. The Science Teacher, 77(8), 10.Google Scholar
- Cabello, R., Navarro-Esbrí, J., Llopis, R., & Torrella, E. (2006). Infrared thermography as a useful tool to improve learning in heat transfer related subjects. International Journal of Engineering Education, 22(2), 373–380.Google Scholar
- Cazzaniga, L., Giliberti, M., & Ludwig, N. The use of infrared thermography to create a “bridge” connecting physics in the lab to physics of building. In A. Lindell, A.-L. Kähkönen, & J. Viiri (Eds.), GIREP-EPEC, Jyväskylä, Finland, 1-5 August, 2011 (pp. 13-18): University of JyväskyläGoogle Scholar
- Creswell, J. (1997). Creating worlds, constructing meaning: the Scottish storyline method (teacher to teacher series). Portsmouth: Heinemann.Google Scholar
- Dewey, J. (1938/1997). Experience and education. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
- Dexter, A. (2013). Seeing the unseen: an investigation of heat transfer using infrared thermography and LabVIEW. Tufts University.Google Scholar
- Erickson, G. L. (1985). Heat and temperature. Part A: an overview of pupils’ ideas. In R. Driver, E. Guesne, & A. Tiberghien (Eds.), Children’s ideas in science (pp. 55–66). Milton Keynes: Open University Press.Google Scholar
- Geertz, C. (1973). Thick description: toward an interpretative theory of culture. In C. Geertz (Ed.), The interpretation of cultures: selected essays (pp. 3–30). New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
- Haglund, J., Jeppsson, F., & Andersson, J. (2014). Primary school children’s ideas of mixing and of heat as expressed in a classroom setting. Journal of Baltic Science Education, 13(5), 726–739.Google Scholar
- Kröger, J. (2012). Entwicklung von Experimenten zur Einführung der Energieentwertung und Energieerhaltung im Physikunterricht der Mittelstufe (Development of experiments for the introduction of energy degradation and energy conservation in secondary physics teaching). Christian-Albrechts-Univerität Kiel.Google Scholar
- Lehrer, R., & Schauble, L. (2006). Cultivating model-based reasoning in science education. In R. K. Sawyer (Ed.), The Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences (pp. 371–388). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Linn, M. C., & Eylon, B.-S. (2011). Science learning and instruction: taking advantage of technology to promote knowledge integration. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Mach, E. (1896/1986). Principles of the theory of heat. Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Reidel.Google Scholar
- Naghedolfeizi, M., Arora, S., & Glover, J. E. (2011). Visualizing conductive and convective heat transfer using thermographic techniques. Paper presented at the 41st ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, October 12-15, Rapid City, SD.Google Scholar
- Olson, S., & Loucks-Horsely, S. (2000). Inquiry and the national science education standards: a guide for teaching and learning. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
- Piaget, J. (1929). The child’s conception of the world. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Piaget, J. (1930). The child’s conception of physical causality. London: Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
- Piaget, J. (1932). The moral judgement of the child. London: Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
- Piaget, J., & Garcia, R. (1977). Understanding causality. New York: The Norton Library.Google Scholar
- Rocard, M., Csermely, P., Jorde, D., Lenzen, D., Walberg-Henriksson, H., & Hemmo, V. (2007). Science education now: a renewed pedagogy for the future of Europe. Luxemburg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.Google Scholar
- Schönborn, K. J., Haglund, J., & Xie, C. (2014). Pupils’ early explorations of thermoimaging to interpret heat and temperature. Journal of Baltic Science Education, 13(1), 118–132.Google Scholar
- Short, D. B. (2010). Thermal imaging in the science classroom. School Science Review, 94(346), 75–78.Google Scholar
- Sjøberg, S., & Schreiner, C. (2005). How do learners in different cultures relate to science and technology? Results and perspectives from the project ROSE (the Relevance of Science Education). Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching, 6(2), 1–17.Google Scholar
- Skolverket. (2011). Curriculum for the compulsory school, preschool class and the recreational centre 2011. Stockholm: Swedish National Agency for Education.Google Scholar
- Tiberghien, A. (1985). Heat and temperature. Part B: the development of ideas with teaching. In R. Driver, E. Guesne, & A. Tiberghien (Eds.), Children’s ideas in science (pp. 67–84). Milton Keynes: Open University Press.Google Scholar
- Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: the development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- White, R., & Gunstone, R. (1992). Probing understanding. London: The Falmer Press.Google Scholar
- Xie, C. (2014). The Concord Consortium. Infrared tube. http://energy.concord.org/ir. Accessed 16 May 2014.