Learning progressions describe how students can explain a concept at successive levels of increasing sophistication based on coherent ideas, instruction, and prior experiences. Most of the research on learning progressions begins with the development of the construct map, and this study will explore the processes for its development. The study presents how different levels of sophistication of students’ explanations for the propagation of sound in the air can be described. 126 students from 7th to 12th grade participated in this study, which focused on describing students’ explanations for the propagation of sound in the air at different levels of sophistication. An open-ended question test and a semi-structured interview seeking to capture evidence of the different levels of explanation for the propagation of sound in the air were conducted. The consistency between the preliminary construct map with evidence from tests and interviews was checked. The data displayed consonance between the construct map and the explanations provided by the students. Through the concrete evidence of how students explain this phenomenon, it has been possible to describe the levels of the construct map. This has enabled the presentation of a tool to support teachers in developing strategies and practices in learning progressions approach. For future studies in learning progressions, seek to find evidence of the paths taken by students to attain more sophisticated explanations.
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