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'conceptual understanding' Search Results



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This paper represents a revolutionary advancement in our knowledge of postgraduate education which is of increasing significance to national knowledge systems. South African universities produce 26 doctoral graduates for every one million citizens. This means that the low doctoral graduates’ throughput is a huge challenge in South Africa and needs to be addressed. The paper investigated the challenges experienced by postgraduate students (Honors) at an institution of higher education in Limpopo province of South Africa. The group studied consisted of postgraduate students (Honors) from the Department of Mathematics Science and Technology Education, Faculty of Education. Using a qualitative approach, open-ended questionnaire and interview data were collected from eight participants. Data were analyzed thematically and the results revealed that students find it difficult to walk the landmine-infested postgraduate education road without means to shield themselves from the subsequent explosion. The study recommends aspects that improve postgraduate programs’ performance in the Department of Mathematics Science and Technology Education.

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10.12973/ejmse.1.1.15
Pages: 15-24
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This article presents an international study that documented the conceptions of atomic models held by 1062 in-service high school science teachers from 58 countries. First, a previous study on pre-service science teachers’ conceptions of atomic models was successfully replicated as a pilot study with an international sample of in-service science teachers. Teachers’ conceptions were investigated by analysing their drawings of atomic models. Based on these results, a multiple-choice questionnaire was developed for the main study. This questionnaire collected data on teachers’ conceptions of atomic models, teachers’ knowledge about their students’ conceptions of atomic models, and teachers’ use of atomic models in the classroom. The results show that the teachers’ conceptions of atomic models are almost evenly distributed over six different atomic models. These models are the Bohr model, the Rutherford model, the probability model, the orbital model, the probability orbit model, and the wave model. The vast majority of teachers assume that their students’ conceptions are centred on two historical atomic models, namely the Bohr model and the Rutherford model. Furthermore, the majority of teachers prefer to use historical atomic models over modern atomic models in the classroom. However, the findings also highlight that the use of modern atomic models in the classroom is positively correlated with growing teaching experience, and that teachers’ conceptions of atomic models and their knowledge of students’ conceptions of atomic models significantly influence teachers’ classroom practice.

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10.12973/ejmse.1.2.67
Pages: 67-80
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Preservice mathematics teachers' beliefs about actions related to the use of the technological tools in teaching mathematics may affect how they are going to use them in their classroom activities. However, there is a limited evidence of what beliefs they hold on their intended actions of using technological tools in teaching mathematics. This study presents two preservice high school mathematics teachers' actional beliefs related to their intended actions in teaching geometric transformations (GTs) using Geometer's Sketchpad (GSP). The study comprised of a series of five task-based qualitative interviews with each of two senior undergraduate preservice teachers at a medium-sized public university in the Rocky Mountain Region of the United States. This study used a radical constructivist grounded theory (RCGT) with five assumptions—symbiosis, voice, cognition, adaptation, and praxis as a theoretical framework to guide the study process. The thematic findings of the study included four in vivo categories of their beliefs associated with actions of teaching GTs with GSP – assessment of student learning, engaging students in a group activity in exploring GTs with GSP, engaging students in individual activity in exploring GTs with GSP, and exploring GTs with GSP as 'suck it up and do it.' Pedagogical implications of these categories have been discussed.

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10.12973/ejmse.1.2.91
Pages: 91-106
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The purpose of this paper is to report a part of a calculus research project, about the performance of a group of pre-service mathematics teachers on two tasks on limit and differentiation of the trigonometric sine function in which the unit of angle measurement was in degrees. Most of the pre-service teachers were not cognizant of the unit of angle measurement in the typical differentiation formula, and a number of participants recognized the condition on the unit of angle measurement but did not translate this to the correct procedure for performing differentiation. The result also shows that most of the participants were not able to associate the derivative formula with the process of deriving it from the first principle. Consequently, they did not associate it with finding  . In the process of evaluating this limit, the pre-service teachers exhibited further misconceptions about division of a number by zero.

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10.12973/ejmse.2.1.1
Pages: 1-12
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This study aimed to develop a two-tiers diagnostic test to assess the high school, junior high school, and elementary pre-service teachers about the heat and the temperature concepts in a general physics course. There are two tiers in this test: The first tier composed of six items consisting of multiple-choice questions related to the heat and the temperature, including the correct answer. The second tier of each item contains reasons for students choosing their answer to the first tier. The second tier included four or five responses, one of which is a correct conceptual understanding. The wrong answers, also called distractors, were based on students’ misconceptions. To this end, 128 pre-service teachers from Quebec in Canada completed a pencil-paper questionnaire of sixty minutes duration composing of six questions (four open-ended questions and two multiple choice questions with justifications). As illustrations, the following  conceptual understandings have been identified in our qualitative analysis of the data collected: 1. The change of state of the matter does not require a constant temperature; 2.  The temperature is a measure in degrees to indicate the level of heat of an object or person; 3. The mercury contained in a thermometer expands when it is heated so that the particles which constitute it expand; and 4. The sensation of cold (or warm) is related to the difference in temperature.

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10.12973/ejmse.2.1.23
Pages: 23-34
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The ability to think critically is a basic competency that must be possessed by students. This study aims to determine the level of critical thinking skills of junior high school students in Bima Regency, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. Various studies have been carried out that explain how important students' critical thinking skills are, but there have not been too many studies on efforts to develop and empower students' critical thinking skills in a practical way. In this thesis, we introduce the technique of empowering students' critical thinking skills by developing a virtual laboratory media based on problem based learning on the material of the human excretory system. In this development, use software construct2 to develop a device which is then integrated with a problem based learning model. It is proven that a virtual laboratory based on problem based learning can improve the critical thinking skills of junior high school students in Belo Kaputen Bima District. We hope that the development of PBL-based virtual laboratory media can improve dramatically, such as the use of 3-dimensional and 4-dimensional software to improve students' understanding of critical and constructive thinking without losing quality.

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10.12973/ejmse.3.1.35
Pages: 35-47
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The focus of this action research was to adapt Bruner’s 3-tier theory to enhance conceptual knowledge of teacher trainees on integer operations. It looks into how learners' conceptual knowledge of integer operations changes over time, as well as their attitudes toward using the 3-tier model. Eighty-two (82) teacher trainees, who were in their first year semester one of the 2020/2021 academic year were purposely selected for the study. Data was collected using test and semi-structured interviews. The study found that using Bruner’s 3-tier theory contributed to substantial gains in conceptual knowledge on integers operations among learners.  It was also found that learners proffered positive compliments about the Concrete-Iconic-Symbolic (C-I-S) construct of lesson presentation and how it built their understanding to apply knowledge on integers operations. Learners also largely proffered positive image about C-I-S construct as it aroused interest and activated unmotivated learners. On these bases, the study concludes that lessons presentations should mirror C-I-S construct in order to alleviate learning difficulties encountered on integer operations. To do this, the study suggests that workshops on lesson presentation using C-I-S construct be organized for both subject tutors, mentors and lead mentors to re-equip their knowledge and to buy-in the idea among others.

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10.12973/ejmse.3.2.61
Pages: 61-77
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This paper reports an exploratory study on the pre-service teachers’ content knowledge on school calculus. A calculus instrument assessing the pre-service teachers’ iconic thinking, algorithmic thinking and formal thinking related to various concepts in school calculus was administered to a group of pre-service mathematics teachers. Their performance on five of the items is reported in this paper. Other than their good performance in the iconic recognition of stationary points, their recognition on points of inflexion, differentiability and notion of minimum points was relatively poor. In addition, they appeared to lack the algorithmic flexibility in testing the nature of stationary points and the formal thinking about definition of an extremum point. The implications of the findings are discussed.  

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10.12973/ejmse.3.2.91
Pages: 91-103
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The ability of students to build problem-solving models using procedural knowledge can be viewed from several aspects, including Mastery of Mathematical Problem Solving (MPS), understanding concepts and application of concepts, the relationship between learning outcomes of mathematics and interest in learning, and examine the contribution of the ability to understand concept problems, the application of concepts to the ability of MPS, as well as student difficulties and some of the advantages of students in solving problems. This experimental study aims to explain the effect of the MPS model using procedural knowledge on solving mathematical problems for Junior High School Students (JHSS). The findings showed that 1) The MPS method using procedural knowledge significantly improved learning outcomes, but the mastery of MPS for JHSS was still unsatisfactory. 2) MPS teaching could still not improve meaningful learning outcomes. However, when JHSS applied the concepts, calculations, and problem-solving aspects, MPS teaching improved meaningful learning outcomes. 3) Students' interest in learning mathematics in the two sample classes was classified as positive. Shortly, MPS teaching accustoms students to think systematically and creatively and not just give up on the problems they face.

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10.12973/ejmse.4.2.95
Pages: 95-109
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During the Covid-19 pandemic, this study investigated the role of metacognitive awareness as a mediator in the correlation between attitude and mathematical reasoning among undergraduates who are first year university students. These studies distribute mathematical reasoning assessments, metacognitive awareness questionnaires, and attitude surveys as research data. One hundred eighty-four undergraduate students from one public institution in Malaysia's Klang Valley area participated in the research. The impact of metacognitive awareness on attitude and mathematical reasoning was studied using Version 25 of the Statistical Packages for the Social Sciences. The findings indicated that undergraduate mathematics and science education students excelled in non-mathematics and science education students in mathematical reasoning capacity. According to the findings, undergraduate mathematics and science education students had good metacognitive understanding and used more approaches in mathematical reasoning assessment. Further study implies that more research should be conducted to assess different demographics, such as institute training teachers' metacognitive awareness and attitude towards mathematical reasoning.

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10.12973/ejmse.4.3.169
Pages: 169-180
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This study examined the impact of the Rwanda African Institute for Mathematical Science, Teacher Training Program (AIMS-TTP) on 228 secondary school students’ interest to learn Mathematics and science taught by 7058-trained teachers over 5-years across 14 districts. Students were exposed to various AIMS-TTP interventions, including industrial visits, science hours, and international day for women and girls in science, mathematics competition, robotics and mathematics challenge, and the Pan African Mathematics Olympiad (PAMO). A survey research design was employed to collect data about students’ interest to learn Mathematics and science, and data on students’ choices of combinations were obtained from the National Examination and School Inspection Authority (NESA) for the academic years 2017 to 2022. Data analysis using bivariate correlation and regression analyses revealed a positive and significant relationship (p<.05) between AIMS-TTP interventions and students’ interest to learn Mathematics and science. Besides, linear regression model indicated that hands-on activities, exposure to mathematics and science role models, science hour and smart classroom were the best predictors of students’ interest to learn mathematics and science (β=.197, p< .05; β=.217, p<.05; β=.234, p< .05; and β=.218, p<.05 respectively). They contributed 66.7 % (Adjusted, R2 = .667, p < .05) of the variance in students’ interest in learning mathematics and science. The AIMS-TTP interventions significantly improved students’ interest to learning mathematics and science. Recommendations include comprehensive training programs with direct student engagement, diverse competitions, and ongoing teacher support through professional development. Future research should focus on students’ STEM interest in Technical, Vocational Education, and Training schools.

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10.12973/ejmse.4.4.241
Pages: 241-252
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Use of Magic Tricks as Analogies in the Science Classroom

analogies magic tricks science instruction

Danny Rudnick , Sarah B. Boesdorfer


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Science, magic, and education have always been linked, from science-based magic shows to teachers presenting demonstrations as magic tricks to capture their students’ interest and provide a mnemonic reference for the topics under discussion. Magic as an art form is also often used to convey information or act as an analogy for invisible phenomena. This study examined how the use of a magic effect designed as an analogy for active and passive transport in cells affected student scores and perception of the activity when compared to a standard story analogy in a high school integrated science course. To determine this, students participated in either a magic-based analogy activity (MBAA) or a concrete story-based analogy activity (SBAA), and then data was collected and analysed using a pre-test/post-test for the content and a Likert-scale anonymous survey for the student perception of the activity. The MBAA was shown to be similar to the SBAA in helping students learn but had the added benefit of increasing students’ reported engagement with the activity. This study shows how bringing magic into the science classroom can have a positive impact on student engagement and provides teachers with another option to support student learning.

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10.12973/ejmse.5.2.105
Pages: 105-120
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