Developing Instructional Materials on the Speed of Sound in Solids, Liquids and Gases for Primary School Students: A Constructivist Approach with Computer Simulations

By Michael Skoumios and Eirini Gkolia.

Published by Ubiquitous Learning

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This study investigates the impact of instructional materials based on a constructivist approach to science learning with interactive computer simulations in the development of primary school students’ conceptions for the speed of sound in solids, liquids and gases. Additionally, a comparison between the learning outcomes of this teaching intervention and a teaching intervention based on traditional teacher-centered approach has been attempted. Instructional materials on the speed of sound in solids, liquids and gases, which were based on a constructivist approach to science learning with computer simulations, were developed. These instructional materials were applied to twenty two students aged 11 years old. Another twenty two students aged 11 years old, were taught the same issues using instructional materials based on traditional teacher-centered approach. The assessment of learning outcomes was carried out through questionnaires completed by the students before and after the teaching interventions as well as three months after the teaching interventions. The analysis of the data showed that the instructive treatment of students' conceptions for the speed of sound in solids, liquids and gases through the teaching intervention based on a constructivist approach is possible. Moreover, it became evident that there was no significant differentiation of learning outcomes before and after the teaching intervention based on traditional teacher-centered approach.

Keywords: Science Learning, Interactive Computer Simulations, Constructivist Approach

Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, Volume 9, Issue 3, September 2016, pp.1-17. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 831.487KB).

Dr. Michael Skoumios

Assistant Professor, Department of Primary Education, University of the Aegean, Rhodes, Dodecanisa, Greece

Eirini Gkolia

Primary Education Teacher, Primary Education, Primary School Agion Anargiron, Athens, Greece