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‘thermal’ energy for Q. This was a compromise given that many texts were using the term
‘thermal’.

T6 and T7 were the only two teachers in this study who consciously avoided speaking
about heat as a noun (as suggested by Shaw, 1973). For contemporary energy thinker T7,
this was a result of familiarity and being a party to over twenty years of science education
literature. For physicist T6, this was a result of working with his previous Head of
Science. He echoed the traditional A-level physics strict technical meaning for heat as Q
(e.g. defined in Duncan, 1995, p412):
(T6) Well heat actually means energy when it’s going from hot to cold. My
only objection to the use of the word is that it actually has a very definite
meaning in physics, and it’s not the energy that a hot thing has it’s the
energy a hot thing might give to a cold thing when it’s giving it to it.

On the fuels concept map, I consciously forced participants to use the term ‘heating’
(active verb) rather than ‘heat’ (could be construed as a verb or noun). The following
extracts exemplify that a number of participants found this difficult. Sometimes ‘heating’
was used in the context of everyday heating, e.g.:
(T12) FUELS can be BURNT to give ENERGY can be used for HEATING
gives us hot WATER … fuels provide us with HEATING.

At other times, the word ‘heating’ was forced back into the noun ‘heat’, e.g.:
(T10) BURNING releases heat energy HEATING.
ENERGY is released from fuels as heat (and light) HEATING.
6.7.2. Conduction, Convection and Radiation
To most teachers in this study, heat was a slightly different form of energy to other forms
like kinetic and potential. Although it could be transformed, it was also freely spoken of as
transferred or moved – due to conduction, convection and radiation. So much that all
participants (19/19) agreed with Q26:
Q26. Energy is being transferred from the air of the staff room to the cold
drink on the fridge.

T19 could not explain how though:
(Pause) well if it’s a cold drink it’s colder presumably than the air that’s
around it so, it’s gonna warm up, because; (pause) right; mmm; (long
pause) I’m not sure about that one… the energy has to come from the air
into the water. I don’t know how though, exactly… Collision theory?

191
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