An investigation of primary children’s misconceptions on floating and sinking concepts: a survey in one Government primary school in Soroti municipality, eastern Uganda

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Samuel Andema

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Mussa Mohamed


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Floating and sinking concepts are part of the science curriculum in Uganda, an important topic applicable in everyday life. Globally teaching and learning of floating and sinking concepts pose a challenge to both teachers and learners in the primary schools. This has led to a number of common misconceptions resulting to persistent errors in learners’ performance. These misconceptions tend to be difficult to remediate if not handled in children’s early years of education. A sample of one hundred learners of grade 5 aged 10-15 years participated in the study. Questionnaires were used to elicit learner’s misconceptions about the floating and sinking concepts. The findings revealed that primary children who do not have prior knowledge of science have misconceptions in floating and sinking concepts. Further the findings indicated that children’s misconceptions in floating and sinking concepts to a greater extent originate from their science teachers. The study recommends that teachers should strongly apply constructivism pedagogies in order to remediate children’s misconceptions during classroom instructions.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library