Unveiling Students' Mental Images of Science Course: A Cross-Grade Study


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Kiryak Z., Candas B., Calik M., Zeybek O.

PAMUKKALE UNIVERSITESI EGITIM FAKULTESI DERGISI-PAMUKKALE UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF EDUCATION, no.50, pp.468-490, 2020 (ESCI) identifier

Abstract

Unveiling students' mental images of science course will give an opportunity for teachers to effectively communicate with them and conduct proper problem-solving strategies. Taking their views, perceptions, attitudes, expectations and prejudices of science course into consideration will contribute students' conceptual understanding and academic achievement levels. The drawing method, which is an open-ended questioning approach, is often preferred for determining students' mental images due to its efficiency in crowded classes, time-efficient and easily probing complex concepts. After the drawings, verbal or written explanations will make a contribution to discover what they meant. In this context, the study aimed to unveil the fifth, sixth and seventh grade students' mental images of the science course through drawings and writings. Through a cross-age study, a total of 79 students (45 for grade 5, 19 for grade 6 and 25 for grade 7) participated in the current study. The students were asked to draw their thoughts of the science course and explain their drawings. The findings indicated that the students tended to associate the science course with such aspects as subject areas, scientists, teachers, learning environment, and emotions and course thoughts. The current study recommends that future studies will guide teachers to elicit and work out students' concerns, expectations, career plans or needs.