Effect of Naïve Impetus Application Theory on Misconceptions of Newtonian Motion among Nigerian Secondary School Students

March 6, 2019


Researches had shown that every learner especially at introductory physics class begins the learning of physics with a well-established system of common senses belief about how the physical world works. This system of belief is known as naïve impetus theory is gathered from the environment of the learner over the years. It is also entrenched into the system of thought process to the extent that it is very difficult to unseat. Simple common sense belief about motion is incompatible with Newtonian concept of motion. Therefore, any classroom teacher does not take this concept into consideration would be totally ineffective because students interpret new experiences through these erroneous understandings thereby interfering with their ability to grasp new information. Population of 200 students comprising 82 male and 118 female SSII physics students in Njaba LGA Imo State was used to conduct a descriptive survey design research. Impetus theory application test (ITAT) was used for the collection of data which was analyzed using frequency counts simple percentage and pie chart to show the degree of distribution of impetus theory among learners. Result shows that out of 82 male students, 58 (70.7) showed poor conception and 24(29.3) exhibited good conception. Similarly, out of 118 females 95 (80.5) exhibited poor conception and 23 (19.5) of the entire female sampled population exhibited good conception Chi squares to test showed no significance difference in the pattern of males and females ꭓ2 (1, 200) = 2.57, p = 0.109. Every student in this population exhibited the application of naïve impetus.


Impetus Theory,, Misconceptions,, Newtonian Motion


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Author Details

Chukwunenye, Joy Nkiruka

Adegoke, Benson Adesina

Ihekwaba, Chinyere Ngozi

  • Department of Educational Psychology Faculty of Education Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education Owerri Nigeria
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