Be very, very careful what you put into that head,

misconceptions -
their importance in the learning of science

addison-wesley '89 --- dr. marianne betkowski - U. Northern Florida

what are misconceptions ?

Students enter classrooms with preconceived notions of how the world works. Some of these ideas are erroneous and are called "alternative frameworks," "alternative conceptions," "misconceptions," and even "intelligent wrongness." They represent the mind's attempt to connect new information with information already stored in memory. Their study has been influenced by models originating out of cognitive psychology.

what are sources of common science misconceptions?

Misconceptions may originate from personal experience, imprecise language, lack of examples and non-examples in concept formation, media representation of phenomena, errors in logic, and textbooks.

what are sources of common science misconceptions?

Misconceptions exist in all the science areas. Some pervasive examples involve the following topics: plant nutrition; hot and cold; laws of motion; floating and sinking; sizes of body parts; shape of earth; density; the particulate nature of matter.

why should misconceptions be identified and confronted ?

Misconceptions interfere with further learning, as new information is linked to the existing misconception. They impede one's ability to see the "big picture" in the various sciences, to appreciate the links among science concepts and generalizations, and to apply science principles meaningfully to everyday life.

how may misconceptions are remediated ?

Misconceptions must be confronted by experience with the phenomena in question. This experience may be direct, as in demonstrations or hands-on activities, or vicarious, as with computer simulations. In any case, misconceptions are tenacious and a great deal of mental effort is required to let go fo of them and restructure one's ideas.

how is the teacher involved in dealing with misconceptions ?

Initially, the teacher must be willing to face his / her mown misconceptions. Then the teacher must assume the role of learning facilitator and encourage students to be active learners. pre-assessment, listening to student questions, effective planning and follow-through, closure statements, and techniques such as concept mapping are useful. Misconceptions can be highly creative and students should not be ridiculed for having them.

7 / 7f / 95

dr. leyden has more misconceptions than you do !

because he has a greater background in the sciences than you do -- dr. leyden has more "half-baked ideas" ( mixed-conceptions ) than you do.
put down you ideas about these topics. Let's see how your ideas change during the course of the course. That, of course, is called, "learning."
for what reason(s) is it cold in the winter ?

for what reason(s) can you see the moon in the daytime -- sometimes.

Be very, very careful what you put into that head,
    because you will never, ever get it out.

Cardinal Wolsey (1475 ?-1530)

for a related article -- see 5660 - Option #9 - Reading #4 or --