8Hands-on Investigation in Internet Environments: Teaching Thermal Equilibrium

Douglas ClarkArizona State University

Helping students sec the thinking behind complex topics like thermodynamics challenges designers of inquiry instruction. In this chapter I analyze the iterative design and refinement of a 5-day hands-on inquiry project focusing on thermal equilibrium to explore the fourth project genre called an investigation project.

Students come to science class with a rich repertoire of ideas about thermodynamics from their personal experiences (Clough & Driver, 1985; Erickson, 1979; Erickson & Tiberghien, 1985; Lewis, 1996; Linn & Hsi, 2000; Wiser, 1988, 1995; Wiser & Carey, 1983). Students often develop multiple, conflicting ideas about thermal ...

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