Physics Teachers’ Views on Teaching the Concept of Energy

Sevim BEZEN* Celal BAYRAK** Isil AYKUTLU***
*Res. Assist., Hacettepe University, Turkey.
** Prof. Dr., Hacettepe University, Turkey.
*** Assist. Prof. Dr., Hacettepe University, Turkey.
DOI: 10.14689/ejer.2016.64.6


Problem Statement: With the advancement of technology, energy as a concept has become part of the every aspects of life, and it becomes more and more important day by day. Since 2013, the concept of energy has become part of the updated physics education program in Turkey. Teaching the concept of energy is a significant undertaking; most students do not properly comprehend it because it is an abstract concept. In this respect, physics teachers play an important role in teaching this topic, and their views would contribute greatly to the field.

Purpose of the Study: The aim of the research is to determine teachers’ views on teaching the concept of energy; on the new physics program, which also includes the teaching of energy; on constructivist learning theory; and on the appropriateness of energy for this theory.

Method: This research is designed as a case study, which is among the qualitative research methods, and there are three physics teachers in the study group. In the research, semi-constructed interview questions were used as a data gathering tool, and a researcher log for observing the participants was kept in order to support the obtained data. Data were analyzed using a descriptive analysis method, and the data were summarized under themes within the frame of the answers given to research questions.

Findings: As a result of the research, we determined that the teaching of energy could not be done in accordance with the constructivist approach due to the teachers’ lack of knowledge; however, we also determined that the teachers think that energy as a topic is applicable to the constructivist approach.

Conclusion and Recommendations: We determined that when energy is taught, students can become more conscious of the concept of energy and can relate it to daily life. Moreover, our study revealed that if energy is taught by giving examples from daily life, by showing videos and simulations, and if it is supported with experiments in labs and with field trips, students can have a more effective learning experience. Furthermore, if the university entrance exam is made compatible with the curriculum, students can be more successful in learning the concept of energy.

Keywords: Energy, physics education, physics education program, teachers opinions.