Learning conversions in science: the case of vocational students in the UK
Within this paper we discuss some of the results of a research project in which we analysed the ways in which vocational science students approached problems involving converting between units of measurement, in the context of science. The project also involved the development and evaluation of computer-based activities written to support pupils in learning about conversions. We started from the premise that learning to convert between units of measurement is critical to a learners' development in the realm of science and that having access to a general method would support students' efficiency in converting. Our focus on the role of a general rule for converting arose out of a detailed observational study of students working through their science courses (Molyneux and Sutherland, 1996). As a backdrop to our research, we will first discuss the vocational education context in the UK.