Conceptual Understanding Levels of Students with Different Cognitive Styles: An Evaluation in Terms of Different Measurement Techniques

1Selcuk University, TURKEY.
2Gazi University, TURKEY.
DOI: 10.14689/ejer.2020.88.7


Purpose: This study aimed to determine the conceptual understanding (The Unit of Force) levels of seventh-grade students with different cognitive styles with different measurement techniques and to observe how the conceptual understanding levels measured by different measurement techniques are affected by their cognitive styles.

Research Method: The sample of the study, which wasa causal-comparative study, consisted of 80 seventh-grade students in a public school in Ankara. To determine the field-dependent/field– independent cognitive style differences of the students, the Group Embedded Figures Test was used. To determine students’ conceptual understanding levels two different measurement techniques were used together. The first of these was the Life Based Concept Test. The test consisted of multiple-choice questions using real-life contexts that the student was familiar with in everyday life. Force Concept Map was anothermeasurement technique used to determine students’ conceptual understanding. The data obtained were analyzed with MANOVA, one-way ANOVA and t-tests. Findings: The findings of this research show that there was a significant difference concerning conceptual understanding levels measured by Life Based Concept Test and Force Concept Map in favor of students with field-independent cognitive style. The results obtained in this context revealed that the conceptual understanding levels measured by different measurement techniques in the unit of force differ according to cognitive styles of the students.

Implications for Research and Practice: This study points out that cognitive style differences are an effective factor in student success. This difference in student achievement shows that measurement techniques may lead to a disadvantage/advantage for the student. Therefore, it is recommended to review the studies in which the conceptual understanding is measured by uniform tests in the literature. In addition, researchers are recommended to use multiple measurement techniques that consider students’ individual differences to obtain more valid results.

Keywords: Field-dependent/field-independent cognitive styles, concept map, life-based concept test, cognitive differences.