Many students believe that insulation materials vary depending on whether they are used to slow down temperature increases or decreases
The following worksheets may help to identify whether students hold this particular misconception.
For more information, see the University of York BEST website.
Resources to Address This
Slower cooling (11-14)
Show the cooling curve from an un-insulated canister and get small groups to predict the effect on the curve by adding successive layers of insulation. Record their predictions, perhaps as a series of sketch graphs, and get the pupils to carry out the experiment themselves.View Resource
- Baser, M. and Geban, O. () Effectiveness of conceptual change instruction on understanding of heat and temperature concepts. Research in Science and Technological Education, 25, (1) 115-133.
Turkish university researchers studied the effects of two teaching methods (including one instructional, conceptual change-oriented), on students' (ages 11-12) understanding of heat and temperature concepts and attitudes towards science, in addition to gender differences.
- Chu, H, Treagust, D. F., Yeo, S. and Zadnik, M. () Evaluation of Students' Understanding of Thermal Concepts in Everyday Contexts. International Journal of Science Education, 34, (10) 1509-1534.
This research finds a wide range of misconceptions about temperature and energy held by secondary school students, revealing that the students can have a very confused understanding of thermal physics and how energy is transferred by thermal processes such as conduction and radiation. To tackle these ideas students need to be taught clear links between energy transfer and heating, based on the initial idea of transfer of energy from ‘hot’ to ‘cold’ materials, and moving towards the idea of thermal equilibrium.
- Lee, C. K. () A Conceptual Change Model for Teaching Heat Energy, Heat Transfer and Insulation. Science Education International, 25, (4) 417-437.
This study examined 20 pre-service elementary teachers' (PSET) understanding of energy, heat transfer and insulation pre- and post-intervention. The research was carried out by a university-based researcher in the USA, using qualitative analysis of interviews and quiz data.