Le proprietà termiche della materia. I – Nozioni di senso comune di studenti ed insegnanti
Schemes of commonsense knowledge of Italian students and teachers have been inferred by analyzing the answer to a paper and pencil test whose items are centered about real life situations involving thermal phenomena. The analysis, performed by the use of concept maps, shows that the schemes are, by and large, more rich and less detached from the scientific framework than generally supposed. There is no confusion between the concepts of heat and temperature and people know that there is more than them to explain every day phenomenology. The results, while in agreement with previous investigations, show that the word “heat” is often introduced as an intermediate step, necessary to explain the temperature increase due to mechanical actions, thus suggesting an intuition of either internal energy or entropy. It is also shown that the constancy of temperature during phase transitions is scarcely known or considered a peculiarity of the boiling of water.