The ideas of 3rd years students of technical schools in Cyprus about light and its properties
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This paper aims to report and investigate the ideas of 18 year-old (3rd year) students of Vocational Education in Technical Schools in Cyprus, about light and its properties. In Technical High School Education physics is a compulsory subject for all 3 years of studies for 2, 45΄, periods per week. Among the wide range of topics related to the physics of light in the 3rd year curriculum, this paper focuses on reporting the student’s ideas about various basic aspects of light, such as propagation, colour, the use of rays, and the mechanism of vision. The data were derived from the pupils’ diagrammatic and written responses to a questionnaire. The questionnaire included actual or modified questions selected from the literature or questions especially designed to meet the needs of this paper. The participants include students of different specializations: designers, mechanics, electricians, plumbers. Common to all students in the vocational sector is the focus of their education on applications and practice. The findings are compared to other research results from the existing literature to find any similarities and, most importantly, to see whether or not there are differences that may be contributed to the different, less theoretical education provided by Technical Schools. Also the implications of the findings for the development of a curriculum in Optics for the Vocational Education in Technical Schools are being discussed.