Many students predict that certain materials wrapped round a hot object will make its temperature fall more slowly but think that different materials are required to reduce the rate at which the temperature of a cold object rises

Energy and Thermal Physics


Resources to Address This

  • Slower cooling (11-14)

    Ref - SPT; En05 TA01

    Show the cooling curve from an un-insulated canister, and get small groups to predict the effect on the curve of adding successive layers of insulation. Record their predictions, perhaps as a series of sketch graphs. Then, if possible, get the pupils to carry out the experiment themselves, recording their results.

    View Resource


The following worksheets may help to identify whether students hold this particular misconception.

For more information, see the University of York BEST website.

  • 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)


    Review sheet

  • 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)


    Review sheet

  • Lee, C. K. () A Conceptual Change Model for Teaching Heat Energy, Heat Transfer and Insulation. Science Education International, 25, (4)


    Review sheet

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