What Do Science Teacher Candidates Know About Measuring Instruments and Units?

Yasemin HACIOGLU** Ummu Gulsum DURUKAN* Cigdem SAHIN**
**Res. Assist. Yasemin HACIOGLU, Giresun University.
***Res. Assist. Ummu Gulsum DURUKAN, Giresun University.
****Assist. Prof. Dr. Cigdem SAHIN, Giresun University.
DOI: 10.14689/ejer.2016.64.16


Problem Statement: It is unknown how Science Teacher Candidates (STCs) recognize measuring instruments and indicate units that STCs will teach to their students, which they will constantly come across when they become teachers. Determining this case is important because it is believed that the results of this study will support the implementations that provide them with the ability to improve their measuring skills during their undergraduate programs.

Purpose of the Study: The aim of this study is to determine how knowledge of STCs, in regard to measuring instruments and the units of qualities measured by these instruments, change according to their grades.

Method: The sample of this study, which was carried out according to cross-sectional research methodology, was comprised of 259 STCs (freshmen [N = 58], sophomores [N = 68], juniors [N = 67], and seniors [N = 66]) at the department of elementary science teacher education in the faculty of education of a state university. The Measuring Instruments and Units Questionnaire (MIUQ), which is comprised of 17 measuring instruments that take place in science education programs and textbooks for primary schools and their units, was used as a data collection tool in the study. The data gathered from the study was analyzed through content analysis.

Findings: Ninety-five percent of senior STCs answered correctly Celsius (oC) and Kelvin as units of temperature. Sixty-one percent of sophomore STCs answered heat as the quality measured by the calorimeter. Eightyfour percent of junior STCs did not provide an answer for the unit of heat. However, 64% of freshmen STCs stated weight as the quality measured by the bascule; 60% of them stated kg as the unit of weight. Ninety-one percent of junior, 82% of senior, 69% of freshmen, and 60% of sophomore STCs did not answer the quality measured by the manometer. Seventynine percent of freshmen and 72% of junior STCs did not answer the unit of quality measured by the graduated cylinder. Five percent of senior and 3% of sophomore STCs stated that the “V” symbol is the unit of speed.

Conclusions and Recommendations: In the study, it was determined that STCs are misinformed about the qualities measured by measuring instruments, and they lack knowledge regarding the units of measured qualities. It is concluded that their knowledge of measuring instruments and units does not increase parallel to their grades.

Key words: Science education, measuring instrument, measuring quality, unit, science teacher candidate, cross-sectional research.