Many students predict that materials wrapped round a hot object will make its temperature fall more slowly, but often think that different materials will 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.

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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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