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3.5.7. PSTS Replication Interview
This activity was a further probe for participants’ understandings of energy. It used an
actual IAI schedule developed in the PSTS project. This was the pretraining schedule used
to test primary teachers’ understandings of energy before professional development. This
research led to the publication of primary teachers’ understandings of energy, Kruger
(1990). The same schedule was also used by Trumper (1997) with student primary
teachers.

Appendix 11 shows the interview schedule. In totality, it comprised seven situations
initially inviting participants to talk freely about the energy in the given situation,
followed by a set of statements. Participants would be invited to respond to the statements
ticking ‘true’, ‘false’, ‘not sure’ or ‘don’t understand’. If appropriate, a participant would
be encouraged to elaborate on their answer thus adding extra depth to the interview. This
would be especially illuminating if, for example, a participant appeared to pause or
struggle. The statements would be hidden from view during the initial spontaneous talk, to
prevent them leading participants.

Appendix 12 presents an analysis of how the situations and statements addressed
participants’ conceptual understanding of energy . This analysis was carried out before the
interviewing and thus represents the prior foci of investigation. Analysis was carried out
under the following themes:
◊ The Energy Debate: to transfer or transform, which model(s) do
teachers use?
◊ The Superordinate Concepts of Energy to include: the Law of
Energy Conservation, Energy Dissipation and Energy Efficiency;
◊ The Nature of Energy (real versus conceptual existence);
◊ Manifestations / Forms of Energy to include: Gravitational
Potential Energy, Kinetic Energy, Elastic Potential Energy, Energy
Associations and ‘Heat’;
◊ Chemical Aspects of Energy.

This interview took between 30 minutes and one hour depending on the depth of
subsequent lines of conversation and the presence of additional lines of enquiry.
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