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ERIC Number: EJ1203404
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Dec
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1449-6313
Teaching "Energy Transformation" through Open Inquiry: The Case of the Rolling Cylinders
Rizik, Nadya; Taylor, Subhashni; Taylor, Neil; Sharma, Manjula
Teaching Science, v64 n4 p18-21 Dec 2018
Energy is one of the most complex yet central concepts taught in schools and is featured in the Australian Science Curriculum, as one of the six key organising ideas (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), 2015). The literature portrays a multitude of complications associated with teaching energy (see Millar, 2005 for a discussion of major issues). From the authors' perspective, a key factor that contributes to the complexity of teaching and learning about energy is the early introduction of this concept, at the primary level. This creates a situation where primary teachers need to devise approaches to teaching energy that are essentially qualitative, thus matching the developmental needs of their students, but without oversimplifying the essential quantitative nature of the concept (Heron, Michelini, & Stefanel, 2009). In junior secondary, energy is developed further extending into energy transfers and gradually into the quantitative. In the reported activity, the 'Rolling Cylinders', they present one solution for this challenge. They devised this activity to be essentially qualitative, thus mainly reliant on students' observational skills; an inherent part of the Science Inquiry Skills. Nonetheless, the activity also offers opportunities for students to manipulate variables to quantify the effects of these manipulations, without relying on advanced numerical or mathematical skills. Importantly, this hands-on activity is designed for middle school students to explore the topic of energy transformation using open scientific inquiry.
Australian Science Teachers Association. P.O. Box 334, Deakin West, ACT 2600, Australia. Tel: +61-02-6282-9377; Fax: +61-02-6282-9477; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education; Middle Schools; Junior High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia