WHAT STUDENTS’ UNDERSTAND FROM ENTROPY?: A REVIEW OF SELECTED LITERATURE
|Title||WHAT STUDENTS’ UNDERSTAND FROM ENTROPY?: A REVIEW OF SELECTED LITERATURE|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2003|
|Journal||Journal of Baltic Science Education|
|Start Page||21 - 27|
|Type of Article||Original article|
|Keywords||entropy, misunderstandings, tertiary education|
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.