Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 32451
Quebec Elementary Pre-service Teachers’ Conceptual Representations about Heat and Temperature

Authors: Abdeljalil Métioui


This article identifies the conceptual representations of 128 students enrolled in elementary pre-service teachers’ education in the Province of Quebec, Canada (ages 19-24). To construct their conceptual representations relatively to notions of heat and temperature, we use a qualitative research approach. For that, we distributed them a questionnaire including four questions. The result demonstrates that these students tend to view the temperature as a measure of the hotness of an object or person. They also related the sensation of cold (or warm) to the difference in temperature, and for their majority, the physical change of the matter does not require a constant temperature. These representations are inaccurate relatively to the scientific views, and we will see that they are relevant to the design of teaching strategies based on conceptual conflict.

Keywords: Conceptual representations, heat, temperature, pre-service teachers, elementary school.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 502


[1] G. Erickson.1980. “Children’s viewpoint of heat: A second look”. Science Education, 64, pp. 323-336.
[2] B. Andersson. 1980. Some aspects of children’s understanding of boiling point. In W.F. Archenhold, R. Driver, A. Orton, & C. Wood-Robinson (Eds.), Cognitive Development in Science and Mathematics: Proceedings of an international Seminar (pp. 17-21). Leeds: Center for Studies in Science Education, University of Leeds.
[3] V. Bar, A.S. Travis. 1991. “Children’s views concerning phase changes”. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 28(4), pp. 363-382.
[4] E.L. Lewis, M.C. Linn. 1994. “Heat energy and temperature concepts of adolescents, adults and experts: Implications for curricular improvements”. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 31(6), pp. 657-677.
[5] A. Carlton. 2000. “Teaching about heat and temperature”. Physics Education, 35(2), pp. 101-105.
[6] H.E. Chu, D.F. Treagust, S. Yeo, M. Zadnik. 2012. “Evaluation of Students’ Understanding of Thermal Concepts in Everyday Contexts”. International Journal of Science Education, 34 (10), pp. 1509-1534.
[7] R. Driver, P. Rushworth, A. Squires, V. Wood-Robinson. 1994. Making sense of secondary science: Research into children’s ideas. New York: Routledge.
[8] E. Engel Clough, R. Driver. 1985. “Secondary student’s conceptions of the conduction of heat; bringing together scientific and personal views”. Physics Education, 29, pp.176-182.
[9] M. Sözbilir 2003. “A Review of Selected Literature on Students’ Misconceptions of Heat and Temperature”. Boğaziçi University Journal of Education, 20(1), pp. 25-41.
[10] A. Tiberghien. 1985. The development of ideas with teaching, in R. Driver, E. Guesne and A. Tiberghien (dir.), Children’s Ideas in Science, Milton Keynes, England: Open University Press, pp. 67-84.
[11] Gouvernement du Québec. 2019. Progression of Learning: Mathematics, Science and Technology. Available at:
[12] R. Duit, D. Treagust. 2003. “Conceptual change: A powerful framework for improving science teaching learning”. International Journal of Science Education, 25 (6), pp. 671-688.
[13] R. Duit. 2006. Bibliography: Students’ and Teachers’ Conceptions and Science Education, Kiel, Germany: Institute for Science Education. Available at:
[14] L. Masson Ed. 2001. “Instructional practices for conceptual change in science domains”. Learning and Instruction, 11, pp. 259-429 (Special Issue).
[15] G.J. Posner, K.A. Strike, P.W. Hewson, W.A. Gertzog. 1982. “Accommodation of a Scientific Conception: Toward a Theory of Conceptual change”. Science Education, 66(2), pp. 211-227.
[16] Vosniadou. S. (Editor). 2013. International Handbook of Research on Conceptual Change. Routledge: UK (Second Edition).