Analyzing the Effect of Metaconceptual Teaching Practices on Students' Understanding of Force and Motion Concepts

YÜRÜK N. , Beeth M. E. , Andersen C.

RESEARCH IN SCIENCE EDUCATION, cilt.39, sa.4, ss.449-475, 2009 (SSCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier

  • Yayın Türü: Makale / Tam Makale
  • Cilt numarası: 39 Konu: 4
  • Basım Tarihi: 2009
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1007/s11165-008-9089-6
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.449-475


This study investigated the effect of metaconceptual teaching interventions on students' understanding of force and motion concepts. A multimethod research design including quasi-experimental design and case study designs was employed to compare the effect of the metaconceptual activities and traditional instruction and investigate students' reactions to metaconceptual teaching interventions. The participants (45 high school students in the USA) were enrolled in one of the two physics classes instructed by the same science teacher. In the experimental group, students' engagement in metaconceptual knowledge and processes was facilitated through various instructional activities, including poster drawing, journal writing, group debate, concept mapping, and class and group discussions. These activities were intended to facilitate students' engagement in (a) becoming aware of their existing and past conceptions, associated beliefs, everyday experiences, and contextual differences, (b) monitoring their understanding of the new conception, the changes in ideas, and the consistency between existing and new conceptions, and (c) evaluating the relative ability of competing conceptions to explain a physical phenomenon. In the comparison group, the same content knowledge was explained by the teacher along with the use of laboratory experiments, demonstrations, and quantitative problem solving. Students' reactions to the designed instructional activities indicated that metaconceptual teaching interventions were successful in facilitating students' engagement in several types of metaconceptual functioning. The results showed that students in the experimental group had significantly better conceptual understanding than their counterparts in the comparison group and this positive impact remained after a period of 9 weeks.