npsm 새물리 New Physics : Sae Mulli

pISSN 0374-4914 eISSN 2289-0041


Research Paper

New Phys.: Sae Mulli 2020; 70: 603-612

Published online July 31, 2020

Copyright © New Physics: Sae Mulli.

A Consideration of Introducing the Units of Weight and Mass in Elementary School

Joonhyeong PARK1, Youngseok JHUN2*

1Seoul Jamsil Elementary School, Seoul 05507, Korea

2Seoul National University of Education, Seoul 06639, Korea


Received: March 24, 2020; Revised: May 25, 2020; Accepted: June 15, 2020


The 2015 revised science curriculum for elementary school science introduced the concept of weight as more common usage representing the amount of material instead of mass, the reason being that the mass concept is difficult to understand for elementary school students. The purpose of this study is to examine the problem caused by the use of such a nonscientific expression in official government document and to search for an alternative way of introducing the concept of weight. For this, we surveyed the opinions of science educators about this problem and analyzed the transitions of Korean science curricula. In addition, we investigated science curricula and standards of other countries related to this problem. As a result, the most common perception of science educators was to introduce both units of weight and mass scientifically in elementary school science. In the transitions of Korean science curricula, the meaning of weight has been changed from ‘the magnitude of force’ to ‘the amount of material.’ In other countries, although every country introduces concept of force in elementary school science, no country introduces the concept of mass. Only one country introduced the concept of weight. Based on these results, we discussed and suggested introducing the concept of weight within the context of a balanced force in elementary school science.

Keywords: Mass, Weight, Elementary school, Science curriculum

Stats or Metrics

Share this article on :

Related articles in NPSM