Taiwanese middle school students' materialistic concepts of sound

Haim Eshach, Tzu-Chiang Lin, Chin-Chung Tsai

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7 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated if and to what extent grade 8 and 9 students in Taiwan attributed materialistic properties to sound concepts, and whether they hold scientific views in parallel with materialistic views. Taiwanese middle school students are a special population since their scores in international academic comparison tests such as TIMSS and PISA are among the highest in the world. The “Sound Concept Inventory Instrument” with both materialistic and scientific statements of sound concepts was applied to explore Taiwanese students’ ideas and corresponding confidence. The results showed that although the subject of sound is taught extensively in grade 8 in Taiwan, students still hold materialistic views of sound. The participants agreed, on average, with 41% of the statements that associate sound with materialistic properties. Moreover, they were quite confident in their materialistic answers (mean=3.27 on a 5-point Likert scale). In parallel, they also agreed with 71% of the scientific statements in the questions. They were also confident of their scientific answers (mean=3.21). As for the difference between grade 8 and 9 students, it seems that in grade 9, when students do not learn about sound, there is a kind of regression to a more materialistic view of sound. The girls performed better than the boys (t=3.59,p<0.001). The paper uses Vosniadou and Brewer’s [Cogn. Sci. 18, 123 (1994).] framework theory to explain the results, and suggests some ideas for improving the teaching of sound.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)010119
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical Review Physics Education Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 4

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