Exploring the efficacy of specially designed hands-on activites using predict, observe and explain (POE) to develop conceptual understanding of heat and temperature in grade VII students

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


The purpose of this study was to explore the efficacy of specially designed hands-on activities using Predict, Observe and Explain (POE) as teaching strategy to enhance conceptual understanding of heat and temperature. Due to the abstract nature of heat and temperature, students face difficulty grasping these concepts. As a result, misconceptions occur. This qualitative study, which recapitulates the research, conducted on six VII grade students of Ghauri Model private school (Pseudonym) in Karachi. Data were collected through pre-test, audio tape, observation, reflective diary, and post-test. Six hands-on activities were designed and implemented with the six students outside the classroom. As it was the end of academic year, therefore, revision classes were going on. These six sessions of POE were carried out during revision periods with the consent of the school principal and the science teacher. Before intervention, a pre-test consisting of 10 questions related to the concept of heat and temperature was administered. The purpose of the pre-test was to explore student’s prior understanding of the concept. The same test was administered to the students after teaching through the six hands-on activities with POE. The data revealed that all of the six participants showed comparatively better results in the post-test as compared to their result in the pre-test. The findings also revealed that students with naïve and partial ideas in the pre-test developed better and comprehensive understanding of heat and temperature in the post-test. In the light of the results, each hands-onactivity taught using POE was found relevant and useful for enhancing students’ conceptual understanding, active engagement and motivation. Moreover, the results also showed that both the content and the pedagogical knowledge of teachers play a crucial role in designing and implementing hands-on activities. For instance, it was challenging for the researcher to design and implement hands-on activities without relevant pedagogy, content knowledge and facilitation of the supervisor. Hence, this study provides implications for teachers and teacher educators to use hand-on activities for student’s conceptual understanding in science.

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