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Some preconceptions brought to the study of sound by students in grade eight Aspden, William E.

Abstract

This study is a natural history of ideas brought to the study of sound by a sample of Grade Eight students. The topic of sound was chosen partly because of the technical background of the researcher and partly because of the lack of previous research combining sound and Junior-Secondary students. The research technique used was a Piaget-style interview lasting approximately fifteen minutes in which the students were encouraged to physically explore various apparatus and to explain why that apparatus made sounds. The interviews we rerecorded on audiotape and the tapes were then transcribed. The typescripts were then analysed to create a set of conceptual profiles. The analyses were then considered in terms of de Bono's Levels of Understanding. Furthermore, certain difficulties, particularly with concepts related to waves and difficulties related to language, were discussed. Suggestions were made for further research.

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