Teaching thermal physics to Year 9 students: the thinking frames approach

Felicity Mclure, Mihye Won, David F. Treagust

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Students hold many alternative conceptions of thermal physics which are very resistant to change. A conceptual change strategy, the thinking frames approach, based on evidence from educational research was used to address commonly held naïve conceptions about heat in a series of thermal physics lessons. Students' gains in conceptual understanding were measured in two Year 9 classes using pre/post-tests. These results were compared to conceptual gains of a class learning the same topics by more traditional means. Results showed that learning thermal physics with the thinking frames approach led to a much greater increase in understanding (Effect size = 2.04) compared to learning with traditional methods (Effect size = 0.20).

Original languageEnglish
Article number035007
Number of pages7
JournalPhysics Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

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