Introducing Iranian primary children to atoms and molecules

Article


Baji, Fatima and Haeusler, Carole. 2022. "Introducing Iranian primary children to atoms and molecules." Research in Science Education. 52 (4), pp. 1387-1418. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11165-021-10008-8
Article Title

Introducing Iranian primary children to atoms and molecules

ERA Journal ID20613
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsBaji, Fatima (Author) and Haeusler, Carole (Author)
Journal TitleResearch in Science Education
Journal Citation52 (4), pp. 1387-1418
Number of Pages32
Year2022
Place of PublicationNetherlands
ISSN0157-244X
1573-1898
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/s11165-021-10008-8
Web Address (URL)https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11165-021-10008-8
Abstract

In common with many other countries, the Iranian science curriculum does not introduce primary children to atoms and molecules but instead leaves the teaching of these concepts until high school. This paper challenges this practice and describes the changes in elementary Iranian children’s understanding of atoms and molecules following a 10-h teaching intervention about basic atomic-molecular theory, derived from recently published Australian research. The participants involved in this study are a group of 25 Iranian children aged 9 to 12 years old, who participated in a vacation summer school where they were taught about the structure of atoms and molecules. Thematic and content analysis of children’s written responses and drawings before and after the intervention
reveal significant changes in their conceptual thinking. The results also show the extent to which the children can generate microscopic representations of the states of matter from their understanding of atoms and molecules.

KeywordsIran; primary children; conceptual understanding; atoms and molecules; states of matter
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390304. Primary education
390113. Science, technology and engineering curriculum and pedagogy
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Byline AffiliationsAhvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Iran
School of Education
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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