WHAT STUDENTS’ UNDERSTAND FROM ENTROPY?: A REVIEW OF SELECTED LITERATURE

TitleWHAT STUDENTS’ UNDERSTAND FROM ENTROPY?: A REVIEW OF SELECTED LITERATURE
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsSozbilir, M
JournalJournal of Baltic Science Education
Volume2
Issue1
Start Page21 - 27
Date PublishedMarch/2003
Type of ArticleOriginal article
ISSN1648-3898
Keywordsentropy, misunderstandings, tertiary education
Abstract

This study is intended to review some of the selected researches carried out on students’ understandings of entropy. The review puts together the important findings of the researches, summarises the misunderstanings identified together with the possible sources of these misunderstandings and new approaches in defining entropy. Therefore, this study would be beneficial for the researchers and lecturers in science and chemistry education area.

The review shows that Entropy is found to be difficult idea to be grasped by high school students and undergraduates. In many cases students’ understanding of the basic aspects of the idea are limited, distorted or wrong. The difficulties arise from misinterpretation of mathematical equations in thermodynamics and not adequately integrating the new knowledge with students’ existing knowledge. Students’ explanations are mostly based on the macrophysical world, their thinking on the microphysical world is limited. The everyday meanings of the scientific terms dominate their interpretations. Lecturers should check that students have acquired the correct scientific meanings of the concepts and apply them in both everyday and theoretical situations.

Refereed DesignationRefereed