Variation in the Representations of Pre service Physics Teachers in Image Formation and Observation Process

Kaltakçı Gürel, Derya
Eryılmaz, Ali
Recent studies in science and physics education research have shown that students have difficulties in image formation and observation process in geometric optics. Several studies have been conducted on understanding image formation and observation in several grade levels (Bertamini and Parks, 2002; Galili, Goldberg and Bendall, 1991; Galili, 1996; Goldberg and McDermott, 1986; Jones et al., 1994), but the number of in-depth studies on pre-service teachers is limited. Teachers are considered as one of the most crucial source of student conception, for this reason studying teachers’ representations that they use to describe their conception is important to understand student conceptions. With this aim in this study pre-service physics teachers’ representations in geometric optics is discussed. More specifically, the research question to be investigated here is “what are the representations used by pre-service physics teachers in explaining their conception about image formation and observation in a plane mirror?” The current study was carried out with phenomenographic approach. Phenomenographic studies mainly deals with the variation in the ways certain phenomena are experienced or handled by people of interest (Marton, 1989; Marton and Booth, 1997). The sample of the study comprises 53 pre-service physics teachers who took geometric optics and geometric optics laboratory courses in their program from three state universities in Turkey. The data were collected through an open-ended test developed by the researcher in the topic of geometric optics. Two of the items in the plane mirror context were selected for the detailed analysis for the current study. As a result of thorough analysis of available data, several qualitatively different representation categories were identified for the image formation and observation process in the plane mirror context some of which ends up with a scientifically correct results for the questions of interest; whereas some others resulted with non-scientific results. The primary significance of the results of this study lies in its identification and description of this variety in the representations to the interested researchers in the topic; as well as providing teachers and teacher education faculties with useful information to take into account in their instructions in the topic.
Citation Formats
D. Kaltakçı Gürel and A. Eryılmaz, “Variation in the Representations of Pre service Physics Teachers in Image Formation and Observation Process,” Bahçeşehir Üniversitesi, istanbul, Türkiye, 2012, p. 254, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: