Special Issue "Learning and Teaching Optics"

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102). This special issue belongs to the section "STEM Education".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2023 | Viewed by 4882

Special Issue Editor

Department of Educational Sciences and Early Childhood Education, University of Patras, 26504 Patras, Greece
Interests: early childhood science education; physics education; preschool education; ICT education
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the last 50 years, in the context of science education, a distinct stream of research has been related to the learning and teaching of concepts and phenomena that fall within the general area of optics. In this stream, questions have been posed in a well-structured or fragmented way addressing how students and teachers of all levels represent their thinking and/or modify this after teaching interventions. These questions relate to concepts such as light and its propagation or phenomena, such as shadow formation, refraction, etc.

This Special Issue of Education Sciences aims to reflect contemporary research trends in the field of “Learning and Teaching Optics”. Potential topics include the following: mental representations of students or teachers of all ages and educational levels; specialized teaching interventions and activities in traditional classrooms, in formal or informal contexts, and through digital environments; teacher training; analysis of textbooks, school programs, and curricula; teaching and history of physics; problem solving. Any other topic within the scope of this Special Issue is also welcome and will be fully considered.

Some references related to the topic are as follows:

Galili, I. (1996). Students’ conceptual change in geometrical optics. International Journal of Science Education, 18(7), 847-868.

Kaltakci-Gurel, D., Eryilmaz, A., & McDermott, L.C. (2017). Development and application of a four-tier test to assess pre-service physics teachers’ misconceptions about geometrical optics. Research in Science & Technological Education, 35(2)2, 238-260.

Métioui, A., & Trudel, L. (2012). The model of the rectilinear propagation of light and the study of the variation of the size of a shadow. US-China Education Review, 2(9), 173-186.

Pantidos, P., Herakleioti, E., & Chachlioutaki, M.-E. (2017). Reanalysing children’s responses on shadow formation: a comparative approach to bodily expressions and verbal discourse. International Journal of Science Education, 39(18), 2508-2527.

Ravanis, K. Christidou, V., & Hatzinikita, V. (2013). Enhancing conceptual change in preschool children’s representations of light: a socio-cognitive approach. Research in Science Education, 43(6), 2257-2276.

Dr. Konstantinos Ravanis
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • mental representations of students or teachers of all ages and educational levels
  • specialized teaching interventions and activities in traditional classrooms, in formal or informal contexts, and through digital environments
  • teacher training
  • analysis of textbooks, school programs, and curricula
  • teaching and history of physics
  • problem solving

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
Teaching and Learning Optics in High School: From Fermat to Feynman
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(5), 503; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13050503 - 16 May 2023
Viewed by 776
Abstract
In this article, we analyze the basis of a proposal that allows teaching the notions of reflection, refraction, interference and diffraction from a unified perspective, using Fermat’s variational principle, recovered by Richard Feynman in his formulation of the paths sum for quantum mechanics. [...] Read more.
In this article, we analyze the basis of a proposal that allows teaching the notions of reflection, refraction, interference and diffraction from a unified perspective, using Fermat’s variational principle, recovered by Richard Feynman in his formulation of the paths sum for quantum mechanics. This allows reconsidering the notions of geometrical and physical optics, using the probabilistic and unified model of quantum mechanics by means of mathematical notions that are accessible to high school students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Learning and Teaching Optics)
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Article
Mental Representations and Cognitive Schemata of Ninth Grade Students for the Refraction of Light
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(5), 467; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13050467 - 01 May 2023
Viewed by 792
Abstract
The current research study deals with students’ mental representations and cognitive schemata of light refraction. In the study, 213 ninth grade students participated who had taken basic Geometric Optics courses on refraction and Snell’s law. The students were given three tasks in which [...] Read more.
The current research study deals with students’ mental representations and cognitive schemata of light refraction. In the study, 213 ninth grade students participated who had taken basic Geometric Optics courses on refraction and Snell’s law. The students were given three tasks in which they were asked to predict and explain the phenomenon of refraction. The results showed that the vast majority of them articulated their responses based on representations that were not compatible with the Geometric Optics model. Quite interestingly, the Multiple Correspondence Analysis led to five distinct cognitive schemata resulting from a fixed combination of representations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Learning and Teaching Optics)
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Article
Primary School Preservice Teachers’ Alternative Conceptions about Light Interaction with Matter (Reflection, Refraction, and Absorption) and Shadow Size Changes on Earth and Sun
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(5), 462; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13050462 - 29 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 745
Abstract
The present qualitative study investigates the conceptual representations of 132 preservice Quebec elementary teachers regarding matter–light interaction (reflection, refraction, and absorption) and the size of the shadow of an object on the Earth’s surface illuminated by sunlight. A paper-and-pencil questionnaire composed of six [...] Read more.
The present qualitative study investigates the conceptual representations of 132 preservice Quebec elementary teachers regarding matter–light interaction (reflection, refraction, and absorption) and the size of the shadow of an object on the Earth’s surface illuminated by sunlight. A paper-and-pencil questionnaire composed of six questions was constructed and managed. The data analyses demonstrate that most encounter several conceptual difficulties in explaining phenomena related to light, which are omnipresent in their immediate environment and with which they interact daily. The conceptual difficulties identified in analyzing the students’ explanations were as follows: (1) a black-colored body absorbs all light rays; (2) light travels rectilinearly and stops when it hits a white paper; (3) a mirror reflects light; it does not absorb it; (4) the glass surface of a mirror reflects light; (5) specular reflection and diffuse reflection are confused; and (6) the shadow varies during the day because the Sun moves around the Earth. These findings have implications for creating teaching strategies that confront preservice elementary teachers’ alternative conceptions and their corresponding scientifically accepted counterparts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Learning and Teaching Optics)
Article
Exploring Pre-Service Teachers’ Conceptual Understanding and Confidence in Geometrical Optics: A Focus on Gender and Prior Course Achievement
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(5), 452; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13050452 - 27 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 707
Abstract
This study investigated pre-service science teachers’ conceptual understanding and confidence in geometrical optics with respect to gender and their previous achievement in geometrical optics course. A total of 189 (60% female and 40% male) pre-service science teachers who had completed geometrical optics course [...] Read more.
This study investigated pre-service science teachers’ conceptual understanding and confidence in geometrical optics with respect to gender and their previous achievement in geometrical optics course. A total of 189 (60% female and 40% male) pre-service science teachers who had completed geometrical optics course in state universities in Turkey participated in this study. The conceptual test instrument consisted of 20 items taken from the first tier of the Four-Tier Geometrical Optics Test (FTGOT) developed by the researcher, followed by a self-reported measure of teachers’ confidence in the accuracy of their responses. The interest and experience scores were obtained through scales previously developed by the researcher, and these two variables were used as covariates in the analysis. The two-way between-groups ANCOVA tests were conducted to answer the research questions. The results showed that male pre-service teachers tend to have slightly higher conceptual understanding and confidence scores in geometrical optics than females with medium effect sizes while controlling for geometrical optics experience and interest scores. The findings were discussed, and implications for research in geometrical optics were provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Learning and Teaching Optics)
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Article
Exploring the Phenomenon of the Additive Colour Process While Using a Computer Programme by 7–8-Year-Old Students
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(11), 740; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12110740 - 25 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 920
Abstract
The research described in this article concerns the understanding of the additive colour process by children aged seven to eight years (N = 24) and the effectiveness of learning about this phenomenon while using a computer-based multimedia educational programme (MEP). First the children’s [...] Read more.
The research described in this article concerns the understanding of the additive colour process by children aged seven to eight years (N = 24) and the effectiveness of learning about this phenomenon while using a computer-based multimedia educational programme (MEP). First the children’s knowledge of the phenomenon was tested, then an intervention was organised for the experimental group during which they used the MEP, after which the children’s knowledge was tested again. Based on an analysis of the children’s conversations and their drawings, the way of understanding the phenomenon of additive colour was established. Three children’s conceptions of the understanding of the effect of the additive colour phenomenon are described (e.g., confusion with pigment mixing (RGB = CMY) and the claim that the effect of combining two additive colour creates a third colour (R + G = B)). Children’s behaviour during the use of the educational computer programme was also described and evaluated in terms of how close they were to the teaching strategy developed by the programme’s authors. The partial effectiveness of the MPE for the use of conclusions in a paper-and-pencil test was also investigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Learning and Teaching Optics)
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