Water in Context: Many Meanings for the Same Word

M.A. Pedrosa, M.H. Dias

Information on students' views about tap water, physical states of water, pure water and water molecule was gathered through a questionnaire administered to groups of 10th year students, 12th year students and 3rd year students at a teacher training college, prospective primary teachers. Students' characterizations of tap water and interpretations of the familiar events and observations described in some of the questions, as well as of what they thought a water molecule was conveyed alternative conceptions, some of which have been reported as being held by younger students. Information was also gathered through the same questionnaire administered to three groups of 10th year students, on various occasions, after implementing a novel chemistry teaching strategy, within the compulsory curriculum. The alternative conceptions identified are discussed and implications for teaching, in general, and for teacher training programmes, in particular, are suggested.

Chemical Education: Research and Practice in Europe 1(1), 97-107 (2000)

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