May  2022, 2(2): 86-95. doi: 10.3934/steme.2022007

Exploring preschoolers′ conceptions about the viscosity of honey

Universität Hamburg, Faculty of Education, Physics Education, Von-Melle-Park 8, 20146 Hamburg, Germany

* Correspondence: Email: markus.sebastian.feser@uni-hamburg.de

Academic Editor: Tuba Nur Gide

Received  March 2022 Accepted  April 2022 Published  June 2022

Fluids′ viscous behavior is apparent in many everyday life situations, for example, in squeezing shampoo from a bottle or spooning honey from a jar. As a result, it is quite reasonable to assume that students develop (pre)conceptions to explain such phenomena even before they enter kindergarten or elementary school. As yet, however, empirical studies on children′s conceptions regarding the viscous behavior of fluids are remarkably scarce. The present study aims to address this research gap on an exploratory level. More precisely, we conducted a qualitative interview study in which we explored the conceptions about the viscous behavior of honey among N = 6 preschool children attending their final year in a kindergarten in Hamburg (Germany). For stimulating the conversation during the interviews, an easily noticeable phenomenon in which the viscous behavior of honey can be observed (dropping two identical spoons into a honey-filled and a water-filled glass) was demonstrated to the participating children. In summary, the analysis of the transcribed interviews revealed three distinguishable conceptions of the children about the viscous behavior of honey: (1) The viscous behavior of honey results from its stickiness, (2) from its additional physical characteristics, and (3) from its use in everyday life. In this Express Letter, we present the design and results of our study in detail. Recommendations for future research in science education are outlined at the end of this paper.

Citation: Markus Sebastian Feser, Susanan Mangal. Exploring preschoolers′ conceptions about the viscosity of honey. STEM Education, 2022, 2 (2) : 86-95. doi: 10.3934/steme.2022007
References:
[1]

Adamina, M., Kübler, M., Kalcsics, K., Bietenhard, S. and Engeli E., Wie ich mir das denke und vorstelle... ": Vorstellungen von Schülerinnen und Schülern zu Lerngegenständen des Sachunterrichts und des Fachbereichs Natur, Mensch, Gesellschaft. 2018, 211-229.

[2]

Barab, S. and Squire, K., Design-Based Research: Putting a Stake in the Ground. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 2004, 13(1): 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327809jls1301_1. doi: 10.1207/s15327809jls1301_1.

[3]

Black, P.J. and Lucas, A.M., Children's Informal Ideas in Science, 1993, London, United Kingdom: Routledge.

[4] J.D. BransfordA.L. Brown and R.R. Cocking, How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School: Expanded Edition, National Academies Press, Washington, DC, USA, 2000. 
[5]

Camacho, F.F., Ideas Previas. 2014. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, Mexico. Retrieved from: http://www.ideasprevias.ccadet.unam.mx:8080/ideasprevias/index.html.

[6]

Carroll, L., Viscosity. The Physics Teacher, 1982, 20: 47–48. https://doi.org/10.1119/1.2340934. doi: 10.1119/1.2340934.

[7]

Driver, R. and Easley, J., Pupils and Paradigms: A Review of Literature Related to Concept Development in Adolescent Science Students. Studies in Science Education, 1978, 5(1): 61–84. https://doi.org/10.1080/03057267808559857. doi: 10.1080/03057267808559857.

[8] R. DriverE. Guesne and A. Tiberghien, Children's Ideas in Science, Open University Press, Buckingham, United Kingdom, 1985. 
[9]

Duit, R., Bibliography – STCSE. Students' and Teachers' Conceptions and Science Education. 2009. Leibniz-Institut für die Pädagogik der Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik, Kiel, Germany. Retrieved from: https://archiv.ipn.uni-kiel.de/stcse/.

[10]

Duit, R., Gropengießer, H., Kattmann, U., Komorek, M. and Parchmann, I., The Model of Educational Reconstruction – a Framework for Improving Teaching and Learning Science, in Science Education Research and Practice in Europe, D. Jorde and J. Dillon, Editors. 2012, pp. 13–37. Sense Publishers.

[11]

Eastwell, P., Bernoulli? Perhaps, but What About Viscosity?. The Science Education Review, 2007, 6(1): 1–13.

[12]

Eaton, J.F., Anderson, C.W. and Smith, E.L., Students' Misconceptions Interfere with Science Learning: Case Studies of Fifth-Grade Students. The Elementary School Journal, 1984, 84(4): 365–379. https://doi.org/10.1086/461370. doi: 10.1086/461370.

[13]

Eyring, H., Douglas, H., Jones Stover, B. and Eyring, E.M., Statistical Mechanics and Dynamics, 1964, New York, USA: Wiley.

[14]

Faltin, L. and Feser, M.S., Secondary school students' conceptions about the viscous behaviour of liquids. Physics Education, 2021, 56: Article 035018. https://www.doi.org/10.1088/1361-6552/abe690.

[15]

Floyd-Smith, T.M., Kwon, K.C., Burmester, J.A., Dale, F.F., Vahdat, N. and Jones, P., Demonstration and Assessment of a Simple Viscosity Experiment for High School Science Classes. Chemical Engineering Education, 2006, 40(3): 211–214.

[16]

Fuß, S. and Karbach U., Grundlagen der Transkription. Eine praktische Einführung, 2019, Opladen, Germany: Verlag Barbara Budrich.

[17]

Haagen-Schützenhöfer, C. and Hopf, M., Design-based research as a model for systematic curriculum development: The example of a curriculum for introductory optics. Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2020, 16: Article 020152. https://www.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.16.020152.

[18]

Irgens, F., Rheology and Non-Newtonian Fluids, 2014, Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

[19]

Jung W., Zum Problem der 'Schülervorstellungen'. physica didactica, 1978, 5: 125–126.

[20] U. Kuckartz, Qualitative text analysis: a guide to methods, practice and using software, Sage Publications, London, United Kingdom, 2014. 
[21]

Kvale, S., The social construction of validity. Qualitative Inquiry, 1995, 1(1): 19–40. https://doi.org/10.1177/107780049500100103. doi: 10.1177/107780049500100103.

[22]

Limniou, M., Papadopoulos, N., Giannakoudakis, A., Roberts, D. and Otto, O., The integration of a viscosity simulator in a chemistry laboratory. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 2007 8(2): 220–231. https://doi.org/10.1039/B6RP90032A. doi: 10.1039/B6RP90032A.

[23]

Mason, L., Introduction: Bridging the Cognitive and Sociocultural Approaches in Research on Conceptual Change: Is it Feasible? Educational Psychologist, 2007, 42: 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1080/00461520709336914. doi: 10.1080/00461520709336914.

[24]

Niedderer, H. and Schecker, H., Towards an explicit description of cognitive systems for research in physics learning, in Research in Physics LearningTheoretical Issues and Empirical Studies, R. Duit, H. Goldberg and H. Niedderer, Editors. 1992, pp. 74–98. Leibniz-Institut für die Pädagogik der Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik.

[25]

Pérez-Sánchez, M., Galstyan-Sargsyan, R., Pérez-Sánchez, M. I. and López-Jiménez, P. A., Experimental Equipment to Develop Teaching of the Concept Viscosity. Education Sciences, 2018, 8(4): Article 179. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8040179. doi: 10.3390/educsci8040179.

[26]

Plotz, T., Krumphals, I. and Haagen-Schützenhöfer, C., Delphi study on the term 'students' conceptions'. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 2021, 1929: Article 012006. https://doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/1929/1/012006. doi: 10.1088/1742-6596/1929/1/012006.

[27]

Rivollet, I., Chatain, D. and Eustathopoulos, N., Simultaneous measurement of contact angles and work of adhesion in metal-ceramic systems by the immersion-emersion technique. Journal of Materials Science, 1990, 25: 3179–3185. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00587671. doi: 10.1007/BF00587671.

[28]

Schecker, H., Wilhelm, T., Hopf, M. and Duit, R., Schülervorstellungen und Physikunterricht: ein Lehrbuch für Studium, Referendariat und Unterrichtspraxis, 2018, Berlin, Germany: Springer Spektrum.

[29] M. Schreier, Qualitative Content Analysis in Practice, Sage Publications, London, United Kingdom, 2012. 
[30]

Sprung, B., Froschl, M. and Campbell, P.B., What will happen if. . ., 1985, New York, United States, Educational Equity Concepts, Inc.

[31]

Stark, R., Conceptual Change: kognitiv oder situiert? Zeitschrift für Pädagogische Psychologie, 2003, 17(2): 133–144.

[32] R. Stavy and D. Tirosh, How students (mis-)understand science and mathematics: intuitive rules, Teachers College Press, New York, United States, 2000. 
[33]

Susilawati, S., Satriawan, M., Rizal, R. and Sutarno, S., Fluid experiment design using video tracker and ultrasonic sensor devices to improve understanding of viscosity concept. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 2020, 1521: Article 022039. https://doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/1521/2/022039 doi: 10.1088/1742-6596/1521/2/022039.

[34]

Watteler, O. and Ebel, T., Datenschutz im Forschungsdatenmanagement, in Forschungsdatenmanagement sozialwissenschaftlicher Umfragedaten: Grundlagen und praktische Lösungen für den Umgang mit quantitativen Forschungsdaten, Jensen, U., Netscher, S. and Weller, K., Editors. 2019, pp. 57–79, Verlag Barbara Budrich.

[35]

Wirtz, M. and Caspar, F., Beurteilerübereinstimmung und Beurteilerreliabilität. Methoden zur Bestimmung und Verbesserung der Zuverlässigkeit von Einschätzungen mittels Kategoriensystemen und Ratingskalen, 2002, Göttingen, Germany: Hogrefe.

show all references

References:
[1]

Adamina, M., Kübler, M., Kalcsics, K., Bietenhard, S. and Engeli E., Wie ich mir das denke und vorstelle... ": Vorstellungen von Schülerinnen und Schülern zu Lerngegenständen des Sachunterrichts und des Fachbereichs Natur, Mensch, Gesellschaft. 2018, 211-229.

[2]

Barab, S. and Squire, K., Design-Based Research: Putting a Stake in the Ground. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 2004, 13(1): 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327809jls1301_1. doi: 10.1207/s15327809jls1301_1.

[3]

Black, P.J. and Lucas, A.M., Children's Informal Ideas in Science, 1993, London, United Kingdom: Routledge.

[4] J.D. BransfordA.L. Brown and R.R. Cocking, How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School: Expanded Edition, National Academies Press, Washington, DC, USA, 2000. 
[5]

Camacho, F.F., Ideas Previas. 2014. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, Mexico. Retrieved from: http://www.ideasprevias.ccadet.unam.mx:8080/ideasprevias/index.html.

[6]

Carroll, L., Viscosity. The Physics Teacher, 1982, 20: 47–48. https://doi.org/10.1119/1.2340934. doi: 10.1119/1.2340934.

[7]

Driver, R. and Easley, J., Pupils and Paradigms: A Review of Literature Related to Concept Development in Adolescent Science Students. Studies in Science Education, 1978, 5(1): 61–84. https://doi.org/10.1080/03057267808559857. doi: 10.1080/03057267808559857.

[8] R. DriverE. Guesne and A. Tiberghien, Children's Ideas in Science, Open University Press, Buckingham, United Kingdom, 1985. 
[9]

Duit, R., Bibliography – STCSE. Students' and Teachers' Conceptions and Science Education. 2009. Leibniz-Institut für die Pädagogik der Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik, Kiel, Germany. Retrieved from: https://archiv.ipn.uni-kiel.de/stcse/.

[10]

Duit, R., Gropengießer, H., Kattmann, U., Komorek, M. and Parchmann, I., The Model of Educational Reconstruction – a Framework for Improving Teaching and Learning Science, in Science Education Research and Practice in Europe, D. Jorde and J. Dillon, Editors. 2012, pp. 13–37. Sense Publishers.

[11]

Eastwell, P., Bernoulli? Perhaps, but What About Viscosity?. The Science Education Review, 2007, 6(1): 1–13.

[12]

Eaton, J.F., Anderson, C.W. and Smith, E.L., Students' Misconceptions Interfere with Science Learning: Case Studies of Fifth-Grade Students. The Elementary School Journal, 1984, 84(4): 365–379. https://doi.org/10.1086/461370. doi: 10.1086/461370.

[13]

Eyring, H., Douglas, H., Jones Stover, B. and Eyring, E.M., Statistical Mechanics and Dynamics, 1964, New York, USA: Wiley.

[14]

Faltin, L. and Feser, M.S., Secondary school students' conceptions about the viscous behaviour of liquids. Physics Education, 2021, 56: Article 035018. https://www.doi.org/10.1088/1361-6552/abe690.

[15]

Floyd-Smith, T.M., Kwon, K.C., Burmester, J.A., Dale, F.F., Vahdat, N. and Jones, P., Demonstration and Assessment of a Simple Viscosity Experiment for High School Science Classes. Chemical Engineering Education, 2006, 40(3): 211–214.

[16]

Fuß, S. and Karbach U., Grundlagen der Transkription. Eine praktische Einführung, 2019, Opladen, Germany: Verlag Barbara Budrich.

[17]

Haagen-Schützenhöfer, C. and Hopf, M., Design-based research as a model for systematic curriculum development: The example of a curriculum for introductory optics. Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2020, 16: Article 020152. https://www.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.16.020152.

[18]

Irgens, F., Rheology and Non-Newtonian Fluids, 2014, Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

[19]

Jung W., Zum Problem der 'Schülervorstellungen'. physica didactica, 1978, 5: 125–126.

[20] U. Kuckartz, Qualitative text analysis: a guide to methods, practice and using software, Sage Publications, London, United Kingdom, 2014. 
[21]

Kvale, S., The social construction of validity. Qualitative Inquiry, 1995, 1(1): 19–40. https://doi.org/10.1177/107780049500100103. doi: 10.1177/107780049500100103.

[22]

Limniou, M., Papadopoulos, N., Giannakoudakis, A., Roberts, D. and Otto, O., The integration of a viscosity simulator in a chemistry laboratory. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 2007 8(2): 220–231. https://doi.org/10.1039/B6RP90032A. doi: 10.1039/B6RP90032A.

[23]

Mason, L., Introduction: Bridging the Cognitive and Sociocultural Approaches in Research on Conceptual Change: Is it Feasible? Educational Psychologist, 2007, 42: 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1080/00461520709336914. doi: 10.1080/00461520709336914.

[24]

Niedderer, H. and Schecker, H., Towards an explicit description of cognitive systems for research in physics learning, in Research in Physics LearningTheoretical Issues and Empirical Studies, R. Duit, H. Goldberg and H. Niedderer, Editors. 1992, pp. 74–98. Leibniz-Institut für die Pädagogik der Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik.

[25]

Pérez-Sánchez, M., Galstyan-Sargsyan, R., Pérez-Sánchez, M. I. and López-Jiménez, P. A., Experimental Equipment to Develop Teaching of the Concept Viscosity. Education Sciences, 2018, 8(4): Article 179. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8040179. doi: 10.3390/educsci8040179.

[26]

Plotz, T., Krumphals, I. and Haagen-Schützenhöfer, C., Delphi study on the term 'students' conceptions'. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 2021, 1929: Article 012006. https://doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/1929/1/012006. doi: 10.1088/1742-6596/1929/1/012006.

[27]

Rivollet, I., Chatain, D. and Eustathopoulos, N., Simultaneous measurement of contact angles and work of adhesion in metal-ceramic systems by the immersion-emersion technique. Journal of Materials Science, 1990, 25: 3179–3185. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00587671. doi: 10.1007/BF00587671.

[28]

Schecker, H., Wilhelm, T., Hopf, M. and Duit, R., Schülervorstellungen und Physikunterricht: ein Lehrbuch für Studium, Referendariat und Unterrichtspraxis, 2018, Berlin, Germany: Springer Spektrum.

[29] M. Schreier, Qualitative Content Analysis in Practice, Sage Publications, London, United Kingdom, 2012. 
[30]

Sprung, B., Froschl, M. and Campbell, P.B., What will happen if. . ., 1985, New York, United States, Educational Equity Concepts, Inc.

[31]

Stark, R., Conceptual Change: kognitiv oder situiert? Zeitschrift für Pädagogische Psychologie, 2003, 17(2): 133–144.

[32] R. Stavy and D. Tirosh, How students (mis-)understand science and mathematics: intuitive rules, Teachers College Press, New York, United States, 2000. 
[33]

Susilawati, S., Satriawan, M., Rizal, R. and Sutarno, S., Fluid experiment design using video tracker and ultrasonic sensor devices to improve understanding of viscosity concept. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 2020, 1521: Article 022039. https://doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/1521/2/022039 doi: 10.1088/1742-6596/1521/2/022039.

[34]

Watteler, O. and Ebel, T., Datenschutz im Forschungsdatenmanagement, in Forschungsdatenmanagement sozialwissenschaftlicher Umfragedaten: Grundlagen und praktische Lösungen für den Umgang mit quantitativen Forschungsdaten, Jensen, U., Netscher, S. and Weller, K., Editors. 2019, pp. 57–79, Verlag Barbara Budrich.

[35]

Wirtz, M. and Caspar, F., Beurteilerübereinstimmung und Beurteilerreliabilität. Methoden zur Bestimmung und Verbesserung der Zuverlässigkeit von Einschätzungen mittels Kategoriensystemen und Ratingskalen, 2002, Göttingen, Germany: Hogrefe.

Figure 1.  Setup of the demonstration shown to the children: dropping two identical spoons into a honey-filled glass and a water-filled glass
Table 1.  Summary of the interviewed children
Pseudonym Gender Age Interview duration
Anna 4.5 years 6.4 min
Eva 5 years 6.2 min
Frederik 5 years 6.4 min
Hila 5 years 6.8 min
Lilia 4 years 6.9 min
Max 5 years 8.0 min
Pseudonym Gender Age Interview duration
Anna 4.5 years 6.4 min
Eva 5 years 6.2 min
Frederik 5 years 6.4 min
Hila 5 years 6.8 min
Lilia 4 years 6.9 min
Max 5 years 8.0 min
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