Journal of Science Education in Japan
Online ISSN : 2188-5338
Print ISSN : 0386-4553
ISSN-L : 0386-4553
Research Article
Analysis of the Energy Concepts of Elementary School Students by Using Concept Maps
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2019 Volume 43 Issue 3 Pages 233-243


This study examined the kinds of words children think the term “energy” is linked to with the help of questionnaire surveys (using concept maps) administered to third- to sixth-grade elementary school students. The results revealed the following insights:

1) The children listed many words relating to food, the body, and electricity as words associated with “energy.” In particular, the thought processes that link food and energy tended to be maintained or increased at higher grade levels as well as middle grade levels. 2) There were almost no descriptions of the workings of wind and rubber, and pendulum and leverage, as used in elementary school science. 3) Many children were aware of electricity as a form of energy since third grade in elementary school. 4) The idea of “energy conversion” was limited to the relationship between “energy and electricity” and “energy and foods”, and the children had no awareness of it in other fields. 5) There were no correct responses when it came to “energy conservation.”

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© 2019 Japan Society for Science Education
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