COMPARING MALE AND FEMALE PRE-SERVICE TEACHERS‘ UNDERSTANDING OF THE PARTICULATE NATURE OF MATTER
Authors: Frackson Mumba, Vivien Mweene Chabalengula, Asiana Banda
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This study compared male and female pre-service science teachers’ understanding of the effect of phase changes and physical transformation of matter on the size of particles, spaces between particles, speed of particles, and number of particles. Data were collected using a questionnaire that has 36 items. Both gender groups had sound understanding of the effect of phase change on speed, spaces, and number of particles in a substance, and the effect of compression on speed, number, size and spaces between particles in solids and liquids. However, most female pre-service teachers had low understanding of the effect of phase change on the size of the particles in solids, liquids and gases as most of them incorrectly believed that heating increases the size of the particles and cooling decreases the size of particles. The results have implications for science teaching and learning and teacher education.