Untersuchung von Schülervorstellungen über Tätigkeiten von Naturwissenschaftlern und deren Beeinflussung durch ein Schülerlabor

Aachen (2019, 2020) [Dissertation / PhD Thesis]

Page(s): 1 Online-Ressource (vii, 219 Seiten) : Illustrationen, Diagramme


The aim of this thesis was to investigate how a visit to the physics educational laboratory of RWTH Aachen University can promote realistic conceptions about natural scientists’ activities. Such realistic conceptions are not only important for responsible participation in discussions on socio-scientific issues, but also for pupils’ future career choices. Despite good prospects and conditions in math-based and scientific professions, there is an increasing shortage of skilled workers. Therefore, this thesis qualitatively and quantitatively examined the pupils’ conceptions about activities in the natural sciences. First of all, a qualitative study was conducted to find out which ideas pupils have of scientific activities. The conceptions of 189 pupils in classes 8 and 9 were collected at two secondary schools in Aachen by using a specially developed survey tool. The content analysis of the pupils’ conceptions presented in drawings and writings provided detailed insights into their ideas about the activities and other characteristics of scientists. The comparison with data from a group of pupils who had taken part in a pupils’ university at the RWTH Aachen University showed that the survey tool is also suitable for recording even more differentiated conceptions. The aim of the educational laboratory SCIphyLAB_nano, which was developed in the context of this thesis, is the representation of actual activities and processes in scientific research. As a sub-project for public relations of the Collaborative Research Center Nanoswitches SFB 917 of RWTH Aachen University and Research Center Jülich, the educational laboratory deals with selected topics of this Collaborative Research Center, as well as forms of communication and cooperation common in such research projects. This is reflected in the educational laboratory’s programme, for example in research groups with a division of labour and a pupils’ conference. In the intervention study the influence of a visit to the educational laboratory on pupils’ conceptions of the activities of natural scientists was investigated. In order to measure the pupils’ conceptions quantitatively a questionnaire was developed and evaluated using job descriptions derived from an extended RIASEC model and from results of the qualitative study. Using this questionnaire, pupils’ conceptions were collected from four secondary school classes prior to a visit, immediately afterwards and four months later. The data from a total of 73 pupils revealed changes in pupils’ conceptions in several areas of activity towards more realistic images about the scientists’ activities. A connection to the activities carried out in the educational laboratory could be established. Overall, this work contributes to research on pupils’ conceptions through the development of the survey tools and the investigations carried out with them. In addition, the concept of the educational laboratory that has been developed highlights the potential for promoting realistic conceptions among pupils about natural scientists’ activities.



Leiß, Fabian


Heinke, Heidrun
Riese, Josef


  • REPORT NUMBER: RWTH-2020-07442