International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

“Secondary School Pupils’ Conceptions about the Behavior of Air Enclosed in an Inflatable Container under two Temperature Conditions”
Amadalo M. M., Amunga J. K

Abstract
The study investigated secondary school pupils’ views on the action of heat on air enclosed in an inflatable ball placed first in a hot, and then a cold environment. The study involved 86 form one and 64 form four students studying physics in four Nairobi province schools during term two in 2010. Both groups comprised boys and girls. A diagnostic test of reliability index 0.87 enabled the respondents to provide explanations for the gas behaviour. The scientific conceptions of the pupils who were just joining secondary school were compared with those of the pupils who were about to leave secondary school. The study detailed the quality of conceptions held by both the form one and form four students. Two broad categories of conceptions were detected: True Conceptions (TC) and Misconceptions (MC). Both descriptive (means, frequencies, graphs) and inferential statistics (chi-square, t-test) were used in interpreting the results. The results showed that there was no clear significant difference in the quality of alternative conceptions held by the form one and the form fours. Gender considerations showed a marked differential in favour of the boys at the two levels. The gender difference was also detectable at each of the form one and four levels. These results indicate that there is generally a low value addition to students’ conceptual development by the end of secondary schooling concerning behaviour of gases under the temperature conditions indicated. In addition boys were found to outperform the girls in this content area. Specific recommendations concerning the confrontation of the many unscientific ideas held by the students were suggested.

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