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Revista mexicana de física E

Print version ISSN 1870-3542

Rev. mex. fís. E vol.59 n.2 México Jul./Dec. 2013




Ninth grade students' mental representations of the refraction of light: didactic implications


G. Fyttas, V Komis and K. Ravanis


Department of Educational Sciences and Early Childhood Education, University of Patras, Patras, Greece.


Received 18 June 2013
Accepted 8 November 2013



The study of students' mental representations of physics concepts and phenomena constitutes a central part of physics education research, as they play a decisive role in teaching. In the study presented here, we investigate 213 ninth grade students' mental representations of the phenomenon of refraction, after they were taught about it in school. The empirical data was gathered through an interview using 3 tasks which involved the evaluation of hypothetical situations. The research data included mental representations that cause difficulty in the comprehension of refraction.

Keywords: Refraction; light; students' mental representations.



El estudio de representaciones mentales de estudiantes sobre conceptos de Física y fenómenos, constituye una parte central de la investigación en educación física, dado que desemperían un papel decisivo en la enseñanza. En el estudio aquí presentado, se investigan 213 representaciones mentales de estudiantes de noveno grado sobre el fenómeno de la refraccion, tras haberles sido enseñado en la escuela. Los datos empíricos fueron recolectados a través de una entrevista utilizando 3 tareas que involucraron la evaluación de situaciones hipotéticas. Los datos de la investigación incluyeron representaciones mentales que causan dificultades en la comprensión de la refracción.

Descriptores: Refracción; luz; representaciones mentales de estudiantes.

PACS: 01.40.-d;





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