Reading about energy: The effects of text structure in science learning and conceptual change
AuthorDiakidoy, Irene-Anna N.
SourceContemporary educational psychology
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The present study investigated the effects of text structure in the acquisition of the concept of energy and the overcoming of specific preconceptions associated with it. Cypriot sixth-grade students read either a simple expository text that presented factual information or a refutation text that also explicitly addressed two common preconceptions and proceeded to refute them. Both texts were used as adjuncts to the standard science instruction that is typically provided in the Cypriot elementary school. Students who read the refutation text outperformed students who read the expository text and students who received standard instruction only. In contrast, the influence of the expository text was negligible and generally comparable to that of standard instruction. The implications of these results for the instructional use of refutational text structures were discussed.