Much research has been published that describes the misconceptions students have about gases; however, not much research has been published that suggests how to change these misconceptions. The action research presented in this article examined how using laboratories to contradict students' preconceived ideas would affect their learning. High…
Dial, Katrina; Riddley, Diana; Williams, Kiesha; Sampson, Victor
The law of conservation of mass can be counterintuitive for most students because they often think the mass of a substance is related to its physical state. As a result, students may hold a number of alternative conceptions related to this concept, including, for example, the believe that gas has no mass, that solids have greater mass than fluids,…
Here I present my work identifying and addressing student difficulties with several materials science and physics topics. In the first part of this thesis, I present my work identifying student difficulties and misconceptions about the directional relationships between net force, velocity, and acceleration in one dimension. This is accomplished…
Kerr, Sara C.; Walz, Kenneth A.
There is a misconception among undergraduate students that global warming is caused by holes in the ozone layer. In this study, we evaluated the presence of this and other misconceptions surrounding atmospheric chemistry that are responsible for the entanglement of the greenhouse effect and the ozone hole in students' conceptual frameworks. We…
Two challenges science teachers face are identifying misconceptions students have about how the world operates and getting past those misconceptions. Students' prior conceptions often conflict with the content educators are trying to teach. The gateway to revealing and changing such misconceptions, Fouché says, is predictive questioning. As they…
Sanger, Michael J.; Greenbowe, Thomas J.
Investigates the effects of both computer animations of microscopic chemical processes occurring in a galvanic cell and conceptual-change instruction based on chemical demonstrations on students' conceptions of current flow in electrolyte solutions. Finds that conceptual change instruction was effective at dispelling student misconceptions but…
Newsom, H. E.; Sorge, C.; Hagerty, J. J.
Assessment of our educational outreach program shows that students and their parents are excited about space science, but stereotypes about science and scientists drastically effect student attitudes about science and pursuing a technical career.
Fisher, Kathleen M.; Lipson, Joseph I.
Defining a "misconception" as an error of translation (transformation, correspondence, interpolation, interpretation) between two different kinds of information which causes students to have incorrect expectations, a Taxonomy of Errors has been developed to examine student misconceptions in an introductory biology course for science majors. Two…
Pejuan, Arcadi; Bohigas, Xavier; Jaen, Xavier; Periago, Cristina
Our first objective was to detect misconceptions about the microscopic nature of sound among senior university students enrolled in different engineering programmes (from chemistry to telecommunications). We sought to determine how these misconceptions are expressed (qualitative aspect) and, only very secondarily, to gain a general idea of the…
Pejuan, Arcadi; Bohigas, Xavier; Jaén, Xavier; Periago, Cristina
Our first objective was to detect misconceptions about the microscopic nature of sound among senior university students enrolled in different engineering programmes (from chemistry to telecommunications). We sought to determine how these misconceptions are expressed (qualitative aspect) and, only very secondarily, to gain a general idea of the extent to which they are held (quantitative aspect). Our second objective was to explore other misconceptions about wave aspects of sound. We have also considered the degree of consistency in the model of sound used by each student. Forty students answered a questionnaire including open-ended questions. Based on their free, spontaneous answers, the main results were as follows: a large majority of students answered most of the questions regarding the microscopic model of sound according to the scientifically accepted model; however, only a small number answered consistently. The main model misconception found was the notion that sound is propagated through the travelling of air particles, even in solids. Misconceptions and mental-model inconsistencies tended to depend on the engineering programme in which the student was enrolled. However, students in general were inconsistent also in applying their model of sound to individual sound properties. The main conclusion is that our students have not truly internalised the scientifically accepted model that they have allegedly learnt. This implies a need to design learning activities that take these findings into account in order to be truly efficient.
Kachapova, Farida; Kachapov, Ilias
This article describes some misconceptions about random variables and related counter-examples, and makes suggestions about teaching initial topics on random variables in general form instead of doing it separately for discrete and continuous cases. The focus is on post-calculus probability courses. (Contains 2 figures.)
Schuenemann, K. C.
Just in Time Teaching (JiTT) is employed in an introductory Global Climate Change college course with the intention of addressing common misconceptions and climate myths. Students enter the course with a variety of prior knowledge and opinions on global warming, and JiTT can be used as a constructivist pedagogical approach to make use of this prior knowledge. Students are asked to watch a short video or do a reading, sometimes screen capture videos created by the professor as review of material from the previous class, a video available on the web from NASA or NOAA, for example, or a reading from an online article or their textbook. After the video or reading, students answer a question carefully designed to pry at a common misconception, or simply are asked for the 'muddiest point' that remains on the concept. This assignment is done the night before class using a web program. The program aggregates the answers in an organized way so the professor can use the answers to design the day's lesson to address common misconceptions or concerns students displayed in their answers, as well as quickly assign participation credit to students who completed the assignment. On the other hand, if students display that they have already mastered the material, the professor can confidently move on to the next concept. The JiTT pedagogical method personalizes each lecture period to the students in that particular class for maximum efficiency while catching and fixing misconceptions in a timely manner. This technique requires students to spend time with the material outside of class, acts as review of important concepts, and increases engagement in class due to the personalization of the course. Evaluation results from use of this technique will be presented. Examples of successful JiTT videos, questions, student answers, and techniques for addressing misconceptions during lecture will also be presented with the intention that instructors can easily apply this technique to their
Schmude, Richard W.
In one recent class, 77% of my students at the beginning of the semester could not answer question #1 below correctly. One reason for this is the student's misconception of the distances between the planets and the sun. In one textbook, 14 figures did not have the correct distance scale. In all cases each figure focuses on an astronomical concept that is not related to distance; nevertheless when my students examine these figures, their misconception that the planets are very close to each other and to the sun is reinforced. Furthermore, many of my students will go on to become teachers and will continue to convey the misconception of scale to their students. There are several things that can be done to solve the problem of student misconception of distances. One solution is to draw the Sun's light as arrows instead of drawing the Sun's disc. In this way, the distance is not shown in the drawing. In cases where one must draw the incorrect scale, the student should be warned of this. Finally, at least one laboratory exercise in the introductory astronomy class should emphasize the concept of correct scale. 1. The reason why summer is hotter here in Georgia than winter is because: a. The sun is farther away in the summer b. The sun is closer to us in the summer c. Sunlight hits us more directly in the summer d. The moon is closer in the summer e. The sun has a higher surface temperature in the summer
Michael, J A; Richardson, D; Rovick, A; Modell, H; Bruce, D; Horwitz, B; Hudson, M; Silverthorn, D; Whitescarver, S; Williams, S
Approximately 700 undergraduates studying physiology at community colleges, a liberal arts college, and universities were surveyed to determine the prevalence of our misconceptions about respiratory phenomena. A misconception about the changes in breathing frequency and tidal volume (physiological variables whose changes can be directly sensed) that result in increased minute ventilation was found to be present in this population with comparable prevalence (approximately 60%) to that seen in a previous study. Three other misconceptions involving phenomena that cannot be experienced directly and therefore were most likely learned in some educational setting were found to be of varying prevalence. Nearly 90% of the students exhibited a misconception about the relationship between arterial oxygen partial pressure and hemoglobin saturation. Sixty-six percent of the students believed that increasing alveolar oxygen partial pressure leads to a decrease in alveolar carbon dioxide partial pressure. Nearly 33% of the population misunderstood the relationship between metabolism and ventilation. The possible origins of these respiratory misconceptions are discussed and suggestions for how to prevent and/or remediate them are proposed. PMID:10644238
This study sought to determine what elementary teachers know about student science misconceptions and how teachers address student misconceptions in instruction. The sample included 30 teachers from California with at least 1-year of experience teaching grades 3, 4, and 5. A semistructured interview was used. The interview transcripts were…
Misconceptions about sinking and floating phenomena are some of the most challenging to overcome (Yin 2005), possibly because explaining sinking and floating requires students to understand challenging topics such as density, force, and motion. Two scientific principles are typically used in U.S. science curricula to explain sinking and floating:…
Badenhorst, Elmi; Mamede, Sílvia; Hartman, Nadia; Schmidt, Henk G
Research has indicated that misconceptions hamper the process of knowledge construction. Misconceptions are defined as persistent ideas not supported by current scientific views. Few studies have explored how misconceptions develop when first year health students conceptually move between anatomy and physiology to construct coherent knowledge about the human body. This explorative study analysed lecturers' perceptions of first-year health science students' misconceptions in anatomy and physiology to gain a deeper understanding of how and why misconceptions could potentially arise, by attempting to link sources of misconceptions with four schools of thought, namely theories on concept formation, complexity, constructivism and conceptual change. This was a qualitative study where ten lecturers involved in teaching anatomy and physiology in the health science curricula at the University of Cape Town were interviewed to explore perceptions of students' misconceptions. Analytical induction was used to uncover categories within the interview data by using a coding system. A deeper analysis was done to identify emerging themes that begins to explore a theoretical understanding of why and how misconceptions arise. Nine sources of misconceptions were identified, including misconceptions related to language, perception, three dimensional thinking, causal reasoning, curricula design, learning styles and moving between macro and micro levels. The sources of misconceptions were then grouped together to assist educators with finding educational interventions to overcome potential misconceptions. This explorative study is an attempt in theory building to understand what is at the core of biomedical misconceptions. Misconceptions identified in this study hold implications for educators as not all students have the required building blocks and cognitive skills to successfully navigate their way through biomedical courses. Theoretical insight into the sources of misconceptions can
Sanger, Michael J.; Greenbowe, Thomas J.
Investigates student (N=16) misconceptions concerning electrochemistry related to galvanic, electrolytic, and concentration cells. Findings indicate that most students demonstrating misconceptions were still able to calculate cell potentials correctly. Discusses common misconceptions and possible sources of these. Contains 33 references.…
Vitharana, P. R. K. A.
Students bring with them their own misconceptions to the science classes and it becomes a barrier in developing new concepts. Therefore, identifying misconceptions is an essential component in teaching science. The objective of this study was to identify 10th grade students' misconceptions on plant transport with the use of two-tier diagnostic…
Lim, Kien H.
This article presents a lesson that uses prediction items, clickers and visuals via PowerPoint slides to help prospective middle-school teachers address two common misconceptions: multiplication makes bigger and division makes smaller (MMB-DMS). Classroom research was conducted to explore the viability of such a lesson. Results show that the lesson was effective in creating awareness that multiplication does not always make bigger and division does not always makes smaller, uncovering students' misconceptions, and providing opportunities for students to learn from mistakes. Students liked the activity for various reasons, such as getting to learn certain mathematical ideas, to think about the problems, to work in groups and to have fun. The lesson was implemented slightly differently in two classes. The class with an additional phase involving prediction and voting via clickers in the PowerPoint lesson showed a gain of 36 points (an effect size of 1.3 standard deviations, SDs) from the pre-test to the exit-test whereas, the comparison class showed a gain of 25 points (an effect size of 0.87 SDs). In terms of students' written responses with regards to addressing the MMB-DMS misconceptions, there was however not much difference between the two classes.
Peterson, Raymond F.; Treagust, David F.
Describes a multiple choice, pencil and paper, diagnostic instrument used to measure student understanding of covalent bonding and structure concepts. Reports evidence of seven commonly held misconceptions. (MVL)
Al-Balushi, Sulaiman M.; Ambusaidi, Abdullah K.; Al-Shuaili, Ali H.; Taylor, Neil
The current study, undertaken in the Sultanate of Oman, explored twelfth grade students' common misconceptions in seven chemistry conceptual areas. The sample included 786 twelfth grade students in Oman while the instrument was a two-tier test called Chemistry Misconceptions Diagnostic Test (CMDT), consisting of 25 items with 12 items…
Monteiro, Antonio; Nobrega, Clevio; Abrantes, Isabel; Gomes, Celeste
Educational researchers and teachers are well aware that misconceptions--erroneous ideas that differ from the scientifically accepted ones--are very common amongst students. Daily experiences, creative and perceptive thinking and science textbooks give rise to students' misconceptions which lead them to draw erroneous conclusions that become…
Küçüközer, Hüseyin; Kocakülah, Sabri
The aim of this study is to reveal secondary school students' misconceptions about simple electric circuits and to define whether specific misconceptions peculiar to Turkish students exist within those identified. Data were obtained with a conceptual understanding test for simple electric circuits and semi-structured interviews. Conceptual…
Smith, Deborah C.
Several categories of misconceptions which appear to be emerging across studies are discussed. They include: mis-perceptions; stunted conceptions; mis-translations; confused conceptions; lost conceptions; and true misconceptions. True misconceptions are metaphors and analogies which represent truly complete systems of explanation but are…
To fully understand the roles proteins play in cellular processes, students need to grasp complex ideas about protein structure, folding, and stability. Our current understanding of these topics is based on mathematical models and experimental data. However, protein structure, folding, and stability are often introduced as descriptive, qualitative phenomena in undergraduate classes. In the process of learning about these topics, students often form incorrect ideas. For example, by learning about protein folding in the context of protein synthesis, students may come to an incorrect conclusion that once synthesized on the ribosome, a protein spends its entire cellular life time in its fully folded native confirmation. This is clearly not true; proteins are dynamic structures that undergo both local fluctuations and global unfolding events. To prevent and address such misconceptions, basic concepts of protein science can be introduced in the context of simple mathematical models and hands-on explorations of publicly available data sets. Ten common misconceptions about proteins are presented, along with suggestions for using equations, models, sequence, structure, and thermodynamic data to help students gain a deeper understanding of basic concepts relating to protein structure, folding, and stability. PMID:20810950
Morton, James P.; Doran, Dominic A.; MacLaren, Don P. M.
The present study represents a preliminary investigation designed to identify common misconceptions in students' understanding of physiological and biochemical topics within the academic domain of sport and exercise sciences. A specifically designed misconception inventory (consisting of 10 multiple-choice questions) was administered to a cohort…
Naah, Basil Mugaga
Preservice teachers enrolled in a modified introductory chemistry course used an instructional rubric to improve and evaluate their understanding of students' misconceptions in learning various chemistry concepts. A sample of 79 preservice teachers first explored the state science standards to identify chemistry misconceptions associated with the…
Arntzen, Erik; Lokke, Jon; Lokke, Gunn; Eilertsen, Dag-Erik
Students frequently show misconceptions regarding scientific psychology in general and basic concepts in behavior analysis in particular. We wanted to replicate the study by Lamal (1995) and to expand the study by including some additional statements. In the current study, the focus was on misconceptions about behavior analysis held by…
Taylor, Annette Kujawski; Kowalski, Patricia
Misconceptions about psychology are prevalent among introductory students. Just how prevalent and what can be done to change these misconceptions depends on valid methods of assessment. The most common method of assessment, the true/false questionnaire, is problematic. The present study compared true/false with forced choice formats to determine…
Pathare, S. R.; Pradhan, H. C.
Heat and thermodynamics is a conceptually rich area of undergraduate physics. In the Indian context in particular there has been little work done in this area from the point of view of misconceptions. This prompted us to undertake a study in this area. We present a study of students' misconceptions about heat transfer mechanisms, i.e. conduction,…
There remains a lack of agreement in the field of science education as to whether student "misconceptions" ought to be considered obstacles or resources, and this has implications for the ways in which prospective teachers think about the value of their students' ideas. This empirical study examines how 14 preservice secondary science teachers in…
Monteiro, António; Nóbrega, Clévio; Abrantes, Isabel; Gomes, Celeste
Educational researchers and teachers are well aware that misconceptions-erroneous ideas that differ from the scientifically accepted ones-are very common amongst students. Daily experiences, creative and perceptive thinking and science textbooks give rise to students' misconceptions which lead them to draw erroneous conclusions that become strongly attached to their views and somehow affect subsequent learning. The main scope of this study was to understand what students consider a mineral to be and why. Therefore, the goals were (1) to identify eleventh-grade students' misconceptions about the mineral concept; (2) to understand which variables (gender, parents' education level and attitude towards science) influenced students' conceptions; and (3) to create teaching tools for the prevention of misconceptions. In order to achieve these goals, a diagnostic instrument (DI), constituted of a two-tier diagnostic test and a Science Attitude Questionnaire, was developed to be used with a sample of 89 twelfth-grade students from five schools located in central Portugal. As far as we know, this is the first DI developed for the analysis of misconceptions about the mineral concept. Data analysis allows us to conclude that students had serious difficulties in understanding the mineral concept, having easily formed misconceptions. The variables gender and parents' education level influence certain students' conceptions. This study provides a valuable basis for reflection on teaching and learning strategies, especially on this particular theme.
Sanger, Michael J.; Greenbowe, Thomas J.
Examines students' misconceptions and proposed mechanisms related to current flow in electrolyte solutions and the salt bridge. Confirms reported misconceptions and identifies several new ones. Discusses probable sources of misconceptions and some methods for preventing them. Contains 27 references. (JRH)
Welder, Rachael M.
Through historical and contemporary research, educators have identified widespread misconceptions and difficulties faced by students in learning algebra. Many of these universal issues stem from content addressed long before students take their first algebra course. Yet elementary and middle school teachers may not understand how the subtleties of…
Herman, G. L.; Loui, M. C.; Zilles, C.
To improve instruction in computer engineering and computer science, instructors must better understand how their students learn. Unfortunately, little is known about how students learn the fundamental concepts in computing. To investigate student conceptions and misconceptions about digital logic concepts, the authors conducted a qualitative…
Gold, A. U.; Ledley, T. S.; Kirk, K. B.; Grogan, M.; McCaffrey, M. S.; Buhr, S. M.; Manduca, C. A.; Fox, S.; Niepold, F.; Howell, C.; Lynds, S. E.
Despite a prevalence of peer-reviewed scientific research and high-level reports by intergovernmental agencies (e.g., IPCC) that document changes in our climate and consequences for human societies, the public discourse regards these topics as controversial and sensitive. The chasm between scientific-based understanding of climate systems and public understanding can most easily be addressed via high quality, science-based education on these topics. Well-trained and confident educators are required to provide this education. However, climate science and energy awareness are complex topics that are rapidly evolving and have a great potential for controversy. Furthermore, the interdisciplinary nature of climate science further increases the difficulty for teachers to stay abreast of the science and the policy. Research has shown that students and educators alike hold misconceptions about the climate system in general and the causes and effects of climate change in particular. The NSF-funded CLEAN Pathway (http://cleanet.org) as part of the National Science Digital Library (http://www.nsdl.org) strives to address these needs and help educators address misconceptions by providing high quality learning resources and professional development opportunities to support educators of grade levels 6 through 16. The materials focus on teaching climate science and energy use. The scope and framework of the CLEAN Pathway is defined by the Essential Principles of Climate Science (CCSP, 2009) and the Energy Literacy Principles recently developed by the Department of Energy. Following this literacy-based approach, CLEAN helps with developing mental models to address misconceptions around climate science and energy awareness through a number of different avenues. These are: 1) Professional development opportunities for educators - interactive webinars for secondary teachers and virtual workshops for college faculty, 2) A collection of scientifically and pedagogically reviewed, high
Danielson, Kathryn I; Tanner, Kimberly D
Scientific research exploring ocean acidification has grown significantly in past decades. However, little science education research has investigated the extent to which undergraduate science students understand this topic. Of all undergraduate students, one might predict science students to be best able to understand ocean acidification. What conceptions and misconceptions of ocean acidification do these students hold? How does their awareness and knowledge compare across disciplines? Undergraduate biology, chemistry/biochemistry, and environmental studies students, and science faculty for comparison, were assessed on their awareness and understanding. Results revealed low awareness and understanding of ocean acidification among students compared with faculty. Compared with biology or chemistry/biochemistry students, more environmental studies students demonstrated awareness of ocean acidification and identified the key role of carbon dioxide. Novel misconceptions were also identified. These findings raise the question of whether undergraduate science students are prepared to navigate socioenvironmental issues such as ocean acidification. PMID:26163563
Odom, Arthur Louis
Tests on diffusion and osmosis given to (n=116) secondary biology students, (n=123) nonbiology majors, and (n=117) biology majors found that, even after instruction, students continue to have misconceptions about these ideas. Appendix includes diffusion and osmosis test. (MKR)
Eaton, Janet F.; And Others
This study examines the relationship between student misconceptions and learning by focusing on six fifth-grade students as they attempt to make sense of classroom instruction on light and seeing. Pretests, posttests, and classroom observation narratives served as student data. Pretests indicate that students held the misconception that sight is…
Lim, Kien H.
This article presents a lesson that uses prediction items, clickers and visuals via PowerPoint slides to help prospective middle-school teachers address two common misconceptions: multiplication makes bigger and division makes smaller (MMB-DMS). Classroom research was conducted to explore the viability of such a lesson. Results show that the…
Trotskovsky, E.; Sabag, N.
Background: Learning processes are usually characterized by students' misunderstandings and misconceptions. Engineering educators intend to help their students overcome their misconceptions and achieve correct understanding of the concept. This paper describes a misconception in digital systems held by many students who believe that combinational…
Madhyastha, Tara; Tanimoto, Steven
A number of educational researchers have developed pedagogical approaches that involve the teacher in discovering and helping to correct misconceptions that students bring to their study of their subject matter. During the last decade, several computer systems have been developed to support teaching and learning using this kind of approach. A…
Sotos, Ana Elisa Castro; Vanhoof, Stijn; Van den Noortgate, Wim; Onghena, Patrick
Both researchers and teachers of statistics have made considerable efforts during the last decades to re-conceptualize statistics courses in accordance with the general reform movement in mathematics education. However, students still hold misconceptions about statistical inference even after following a reformed course. The study presented in…
Griffiths, Alan K.; Preston, Kirk R.
Identifies misconceptions related to the fundamental characteristics of atoms and molecules held by twelfth-grade students. Data were obtained by administration of semistructured interviews to a stratified, random sample of 30 students. Fifty-two misconceptions were observed and reported. Some of the misconceptions identified parallel the…
Ada, Tuba; Kurtuluş, Aytaç
This study analyses the students' performances in two-dimensional transformation geometry and explores the mistakes made by the students taking the analytic geometry course given by researchers. An examination was given to students of Education Faculties who have taken the analytic geometry course at Eskisehir Osmangazi University in Turkey. The subject of this study included 126 third-year students in the Department of Mathematics Education. Data were collected from a seven questions exam. This exam consisted of three procedural questions, two conceptual questions and two procedural-conceptual questions. In data analysis, a descriptor code key was used. When the students' overall performances were considered for all seven questions, the results showed that they did not understand how to apply rotation transformation. The mostly observed mistakes showed that the students seemed to know the algebraic meaning of translation and also rotation but they did not seem to understand the geometric meaning of them.
Michael, Joel A.
Explores faulty models that students have for physiological processes. Undergraduate students (N=393) in three different research universities predicted the changes in heart rate, strength of cardiac contraction, breathing frequency, and depth of breathing under conditions that result in increased cardiac output. Contains 23 references. (DDR)
Rowntree, Rebecca V.
The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics [NCTM] requires students in grades nine through 12 to be able to explain inequalities using mathematical relational symbols and be able to understand the meaning of inequalities and their solutions (NCTM, 2000). Studies have shown that not only middle and high school students have difficulties with…
Chang, Chew-Hung; Pascua, Liberty
Climate change is an important theme in the investigation of human-environment interactions in geographic education. This study explored the nature of students' understanding of concepts and processes related to climate change. Through semi-structured interviews, data was collected from 27 Secondary 3 (Grade 9) students from Singapore. The data…
Badenhorst, Elmi; Mamede, Sílvia; Hartman, Nadia; Schmidt, Henk G.
Research has indicated that misconceptions hamper the process of knowledge construction. Misconceptions are defined as persistent ideas not supported by current scientific views. Few studies have explored how misconceptions develop when first year health students conceptually move between anatomy and physiology to construct coherent knowledge…
Aron, Robert H.
Presents student survey results (n=708) of misconceptions held regarding the atmosphere. Results indicated a basic lack of understanding concerning atmospheric processes and phenomena. Although misconceptions generally decreased with increasing education, some seemed to be firmly rooted. (PR)
Calculators used widely by students, teachers, scientists, engineers and many others provide an interesting case study of a compelling technology that has helped change the way many professionals work. They not only help in enhancing problem solving skills of most individuals, but also help visualise solutions to problems in a better way. Research…
Meir, Eli; Perry, Judy; Herron, Jon C.; Kingsolver, Joel
Evolution is at the center of the biological sciences and is therefore a required topic for virtually every college biology student. Over the past year, the authors have been building a new simulation software package called EvoBeaker to teach college-level evolutionary biology through simulated experiments. They have built both micro and…
Froehle, Peter; Miller, Charles H.
An interesting, quick, and inexpensive lab that we do with our students is to tape one end of a string just less than halfway around the back side of a uniform solid cylinder m[subscript 1] and attach the other end of the string to a mass m[subscript 2] that is below a pulley (Fig. 1). Data can be collected using either an Ultra Pulley (Fig. 2) or…
Ferretti, Ralph P; MacArthur, Charles A; Okolo, Cynthia M
Fifth-grade students with learning disabilities (LD) and their typically achieving (TA) peers participated in an 8-week investigation about 19th-century U.S. westward migration. During their investigations, the students analyzed primary and secondary sources to understand the experiences of these emigrants and Native peoples. The analysis of source material was preceded by teacher-led discussions about the possibility of bias in evidence that affects the trustworthiness of historical documentation. Quantitative analyses showed that these investigations were associated with gains in students' knowledge about the period of westward expansion and a better understanding of historical content and historical inquiry; however, these gains were not always comparable for students with LD and their TA peers. Furthermore, misconceptions about this historical period and the processes of historical investigation were evident in students' responses before and after instruction. We discuss how design features of the instruction and its implementation may have contributed to the development and persistence of these misconceptions. PMID:17380989
The study investigated the common misconceptions of lower secondary school students regarding the concepts of photosynthesis and plant respiration. These are abstract concepts which are difficult to comprehend for adults let alone for lower secondary school students. Research of the students misconceptions are conducted worldwide. The researches…
Cooper, Linda L.; Shore, Felice S.
This paper identifies and discusses misconceptions that students have in making judgments of center and variability when data are presented graphically. An assessment addressing interpreting center and variability in histograms and stem-and-leaf plots was administered to, and follow-up interviews were conducted with, undergraduates enrolled in…
Khazanov, Leonid; Prado, Lucio
College students' misconceptions about probability are common and widespread. These misconceptions impede students' ability to make sound judgments in situations of uncertainty and master fundamental concepts of inferential statistics. In this paper the authors report the results of a study undertaken with the objective of correcting three common…
Kaewkhong, Kreetha; Mazzolini, Alex; Emarat, Narumon; Arayathanitkul, Kwan
This article investigates the optics misconceptions of 220 year 11 Thai high-school students. These misconceptions became apparent when the students attempted to explain how an object submerged in a water tank is "seen" by an observer looking into the tank from above and at an angle. The two diagnostic questions used in the study probe the…
Klymkowsky, Michael W.; Taylor, Linda B.; Spindler, Shana R.; Garvin-Doxas, R. Kathy
The misconceptions that students bring with them, or that arise during instruction, are a critical barrier to learning. Implicit-confidence tests, a simple modification of the multiple-choice test, can be used as a strategy for recognizing student misconceptions. An important issue, however, is whether such tests are gender-neutral. We analyzed…
Capa, Yesim; Yildirim, Ali; Ozden, M. Yasar
The aims of this study were to diagnose students' misconceptions concerning photosynthesis and respiration in plants, and to investigate reasons behind these misconceptions. The subjects were 45 ninth grade high school students and 11 high school teachers. Data were collected by interview technique. All of the interviews were audiotaped and…
Nakiboglu, Canan; Tekin, Berna Bulbul
This study represents the first attempt to elucidate and detail the types of misconceptions high school students hold relating to basic concepts and topics of nuclear chemistry. A diagnostic multiple-choice test was administered to 157 tenth-grade students (15-16 years old) and the data were analyzed. The results show that high school students…
Bal, Mehmet Suat
The goal of this study is to analyze the 10th grade high school students' misconceptions related to the sense of ruling in the Ottoman State during the absolutist and constitutional periods and to investigate the causes of these misconceptions. The data were collected through eight open-ended questions related to the concepts of absolutism and…
Griffiths, Alan K.; Grant, Bette A. C.
Developed and validated a learning hierarchy for the concept "food web" (the hierarchy consisting of nine skill areas). Also investigated the misconceptions of 200 students related to these nine areas. Suggestions for applying the hierarchy model to remediation and resolution of the misconceptions are provided. (DH)
Hughes, Sean; Lyddy, Fiona; Kaplan, Robin; Nichols, Austin Lee; Miller, Haylie; Saad, Carmel Gabriel; Dukes, Kristin; Lynch, Amy-Jo
Although past research has documented the prevalence of misconceptions in introductory psychology classes, few studies have assessed how readily upper-level undergraduate and graduate students endorse erroneous beliefs about the discipline. In Study 1, we administered a 30-item misconception test to an international sample of 670 undergraduate,…
Cox, M.; Steegen, A.; De Cock, M.
Where previous studies have shown the existence of misconceptions in astronomy, this research focuses on the level of awareness that teachers have of these misconceptions and the possible strategies they use to change the students' mental models. Through focus group interviews with secondary school teachers and semi-structured interviews with…
Carbo, Antonio Domenech; Adelantado, Jose Vicente Gimeno; Reig, Francisco Bosch
Misconceptions of chemistry and chemical engineering university students concerning instrumental analysis have been established from coordinated tests, tutorial interviews and laboratory lessons. Misconceptions can be divided into: (1) formal, involving specific concepts and formulations within the general frame of chemistry; (2)…
Sotos, Ana Elisa Castro; Vanhoof, Stijn; Van den Noortgate, Wim; Onghena, Patrick
A solid understanding of "inferential statistics" is of major importance for designing and interpreting empirical results in any scientific discipline. However, students are prone to many misconceptions regarding this topic. This article structurally summarizes and describes these misconceptions by presenting a systematic review of publications…
Griffiths, Alan Keith; Preston, Kirk R.
An understanding of the concepts of atoms and molecules is fundamental to the learning of chemistry. Any misconceptions and alternative conceptions related to these concepts which students harbor will impede much further learning. This paper identifies misconceptions related to the fundamental characteristics of atoms and molecules which Grade 12…
Seppala, Otto; Malmi, Lauri; Korhonen, Ari
Data structures and algorithms are core issues in computer programming. However, learning them is challenging for most students and many of them have various types of misconceptions on how algorithms work. In this study, we discuss the problem of identifying misconceptions on the principles of how algorithms work. Our context is algorithm…
An, Shuhua; Wu, Zhonghe
This study focuses on teacher learning of student thinking through grading homework, assessing and analyzing misconceptions. The data were collected from 10 teachers at fifth-eighth grade levels in the USA. The results show that assessing and analyzing misconceptions from grading homework is an important approach to acquiring knowledge of…
Furnham, Adrian; Hughes, David J.
This study examined the prevalence of psychological myths and misconceptions among psychology students and within the general population. In total, 829 participants completed a 249-item questionnaire designed to measure a broad range of psychological myths. Results revealed that psychological myths and misconceptions are numerous and widely held.…
The aims of this study were considered under three headings. The first was to elicit misconception that science and physics student teachers (pre-service teachers) had about the terms, "inertial mass", "gravitational mass", "gravity", "gravitational force" and "weight". The second was to understand how prior learning affected their misconceptions,…
Nurbaety, Desty; Rustaman, Nuryani Y.; Sanjaya, Yayan
A descriptive study of diagnosing students' misconception about plant structure in relation to photosynthesis among middle school students using drawing method was conducted to identify and analyze the causes of students' misconception concerning this important concept. A number of eighth grade students (n=32) were participated in this research. Purposive sampling was applied as the sampling technique of this study. Data was gathered from thirty two students' drawings, interview, and questionnaire. These drawings were analyzed and categorized based on five levels of drawings criteria by Köse. The result showed that the students intensify on Level 4 in which students' drawings mostly demonstrate partial understanding and various misconceptions found in the concept of plant structure in relation to photosynthesis. From the drawings, it has been detected that there were 25% students identified with misconception on plant structure and it was followed by 40,63% drawings with misconception for photosynthesis concept. These findings were supported by interview result which shows that the students mostly held misconception on determining time when photosynthesis occur, location of photosynthesis occurred, as well as structure and function of plant that related with photosynthesis concept. Besides other interesting facts showed that the students cannot grasp the idea of the root system, shoot system, and photosynthesis as interrelated concept in science. The main causes of students' misconception come from students themselves and their interaction with environment. Drawing method and interview has been applied to explore students' misconception in this topic well and it provides valuable information that can be used as a mirror of students' representational world.
Fredette, Norman H.; Clement, John J.
Discusses a common misconception in the area of electric circuits at the level of introductory college physics. The data, collected from clinical interviews, shed light on the cognitive sources of misconception. Also discusses some implications for laboratory approaches used in science courses. (Author/SK)
Kolvitz, Marcia, Ed.
These two conference papers from the Biennial Conference on Postsecondary Education for Persons who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing focus on campus life issues for individuals with deafness or hard of hearing. The first paper, "A Customized Residence Hall Experience for Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing" (Nancy Kasinski and others), describes…
Wyrembeck, Edward P.
Each year during the unit on collisions I ask my physics students this conceptual question: If you want to close a door but you have too much inertia at the moment to get up and do it yourself, should you throw a ball that rebounds well, like a basketball, or a ball that rebounds poorly, like a ball of modeling dough, at the door? I also impose the condition that the two balls must have the same momenta when they strike the door. I give my students some time to discuss the problem in small groups and then make a prediction. I find that most students predict incorrectly that the dough ball will be more effective at closing the door because it is solid throughout and denser than the hollow, air-filled basketball. The students do not focus on the better-rebounding basketball and the greater change in velocity that it experiences than the modeling dough ball when they strike a solid object like a door. To correct this misconception I use a Vernier2 force plate to measure the impulse of a size 3 basketball and a ball of modeling dough of equal mass (0.3213 ± 0.0002 kg) dropped from the same height of 0.200 ± 0.002 m, to ensure equal velocities, onto the force plate. While I realize that a collision between a ball and a force plate is not exactly the same as a collision between a ball and a door, a more complex system, I believe it offers some very useful insights into the problem. I also include in this paper an extension on validating the impulse-momentum theorem.
Yang, E.-M.; Greenbowe, T. J.; Andre, T.
The misconceptions of students regarding electricity and electrochemistry in the context of operation of a common flashlight are discussed. An Interactive Software Program (ISP) is used for better conceptual understanding of the operation of commercial batteries in a circuit.
Yates, Tony Brett
In order to eliminate student misconceptions concerning biological evolution, it is important to identify their sources. The purposes of this study were to: (a) identify biological evolution-related misconceptions held by Oklahoma public high school Biology I teachers; (b) identify biological evolution-related misconceptions held by Oklahoma…
Al-Rubayea, Abdullah A. M.
This study was conducted to explore Saudi high students' misconceptions in selected physics concepts. It also detected the effects of gender, grade level and location of school on Saudi high school students' misconceptions. In addition, a further analysis of students' misconceptions in each question was investigated and a correlation between students' responses, confidence in answers and sensibleness was conducted. There was an investigation of sources of students' answers in this study. Finally, this study included an analysis of students' selection of reasons only in the instrument. The instrument used to detect the students' misconceptions was a modified form of the Misconception Identification in Science Questionnaire (MISQ). This instrument was developed by Franklin (1992) to detected students' misconceptions in selected physics concepts. This test is a two-tier multiple choice test that examines four areas of physics: Force and motion, heat and temperature, light and color and electricity and magnetism. This study included a sample of 1080 Saudi high school students who were randomly selected from six Saudi educational districts. This study also included both genders, the three grade levels of Saudi high schools, six different educational districts, and a city and a town in each educational district. The sample was equally divided between genders, grade levels, and educational districts. The result of this study revealed that Saudi Arabian high school students hold numerous misconceptions about selected physics concepts. It also showed that tenth grade students were significantly different than the other grades. The result also showed that different misconceptions are held by the students for each concept in the MISQ. A positive correlation between students' responses, confidence in answers and sensibleness in many questions was shown. In addition, it showed that guessing was the most dominant source of misconceptions. The result revealed that gender and
Munson, Bruce H.
Presents a summary of the research literature on students' ecological conceptions and the implications of misconceptions. Topics include food webs, ecological adaptation, carrying capacity, ecosystem, and niche. (Contains 35 references.) (MKR)
Naah, Basil M.; Sanger, Michael J.
The goal of this study was to identify student misconceptions and difficulties in writing symbolic-level balanced equations for dissolving ionic compounds in water. A sample of 105 college students were asked to provide balanced equations for dissolving four ionic compounds in water. Another 37 college students participated in semi-structured…
Misischia, Cynthia M.
A large number of undergraduate students have naive understandings about the processes of Diffusion and Osmosis. Some students overcome these misconceptions, but others do not. The study involved nineteen undergraduate movement science students at a Midwest University. Participants' were asked to complete a short answer (fill-in the blank) test,…
Philosophical debates about chemistry have clarified that the issue of emergence plays a critical role in the epistemology and ontology of chemistry. In this article, it is argued that the issue of emergence has also significant implications for understanding learning difficulties and finding ways of addressing them in chemistry. Particularly, it is argued that many misconceptions in chemistry may derive from students' failure to consider emergence in a systemic manner by taking into account all relevant factors in conjunction. Based on this argument, undergraduate students' conceptions of acids, and acid strength (an emergent chemical property) were investigated and it was examined whether or not they conceptualized acid strength as an emergent chemical property. The participants were 41 third- and fourth-year undergraduate students. A concept test and semi-structured interviews were used to probe students' conceptualizations and reasoning about acid strength. Findings of the study revealed that the majority of the undergraduate students did not conceptualize acid strength as an emergent property that arises from interactions among multiple factors. They generally focused on a single factor to predict and explain acid strength, and their faulty responses stemmed from their failure to recognize and consider all factors that affect acid strength. Based on these findings and insights from philosophy of chemistry, promoting system thinking and epistemologically sound argumentative discourses among students is suggested for meaningful chemical education.
Haslam, Filocha; Treagust, David F.
Describes a multiple-choice instrument that reliably and validly diagnoses secondary students' understanding of photosynthesis and respiration in plants. Highlights the consistency of students' misconceptions across secondary levels and indicates a high percentage of students have misconceptions regarding plant physiology. (CW)
Yücel, Elif Özata; Özkan, Mulis
In this study, we determined cognitive structures and misconceptions about basic ecological concepts by using "word association" tests on secondary school students, age between 12-14 years. Eighty-nine students participated in this study. Before WAT was generated, basic ecological concepts that take place in the secondary science…
Topal, Giray; Oral, Behcet; Ozden. Mustafa
Aromaticity concept is given incorrect or incomplete to the student in secondary education and knowledge based on this basic concept has been caused to another misconception in future. How are the achievement levels relating to the comprehension of various characteristics of aromatic compounds for the first and third grade students attending…
Andre, Thomas; Ding, Pin
The effects of students' misconceptions, declarative knowledge, and stimulus conditions on students' solutions to a problem in basic electricity were studied for 80 undergraduates at Iowa State University (Ames). The implications of the findings of influence by knowledge and stimulus conditions are discussed. (SLD)
Lin, Yung-Chi; Yang, Der-Ching; Li, Mao-Neng
A web-based two-tier test (WTTT-NS) which combined the advantages of traditional written tests and interviews in assessing number sense was developed and applied to assess students' answers and reasons for the questions. In addition, students' major misconceptions can be detected. A total of 1,248 sixth graders in Taiwan were selected to…
Biber, Çagri; Tuna, Abdulkadir; Korkmaz, Samet
The purpose of this study was to determine the learning levels, mistakes, and misconceptions of the 8th grade students on the subject of "angles in geometry" as well as the possible reasons for these situations. Research sample consisted of 30 students attending the 8th grade of a middle school located in the central district of a…
Gurel, Derya Kaltakci; Eryilmaz, Ali; McDermott, Lillian Christie
Different diagnostic tools have been developed and used by researchers to identify students' conceptions. The present study aimed to provide an overview of the common diagnostic instruments in science to assess students' misconceptions. Also the study provides a brief comparison of these common diagnostic instruments with their strengths and…
Hux, Karen; Bush, Erin; Evans, Kelli; Simanek, Gina
The researchers performed a survey study to determine the effectiveness of collegiate programmes in dispelling common misconceptions about traumatic brain injury (TBI) while preparing undergraduate and graduate students for special education (SpEd) careers. Respondents included 136 undergraduate and 147 graduate SpEd students in their final…
In this paper, it is aimed to investigate the persistence of misconceptions in the topic of the human blood circulatory system among students in different grade levels. For this reason, after discussions with biology educators, two tests consisting of open-ended questions were developed by the researcher and administered to students in four…
Trotskovsky, E.; Sabag, N.
Background:Learning processes are usually characterized by students' misunderstandings and misconceptions. Engineering educators intend to help their students overcome their misconceptions and achieve correct understanding of the concept. This paper describes a misconception in digital systems held by many students who believe that combinational logic circuits should have only one output. Purpose:The current study aims to investigate the roots of the misconception about one-output function and the pedagogical methods that can help students overcome the misconception. Sample:Three hundred and eighty-one students in the Departments of Electrical and Electronics and Mechanical Engineering at an academic engineering college, who learned the same topics of a digital combinational system, participated in the research. Design and method:In the initial research stage, students were taught according to traditional method - first to design a one-output combinational logic system, and then to implement a system with a number of output functions. In the main stage, an experimental group was taught using a new method whereby they were shown how to implement a system with several output functions, prior to learning about one-output systems. A control group was taught using the traditional method. In the replication stage (the third stage), an experimental group was taught using the new method. A mixed research methodology was used to examine the results of the new learning method. Results:Quantitative research showed that the new teaching approach resulted in a statistically significant decrease in student errors, and qualitative research revealed students' erroneous thinking patterns. Conclusions:It can be assumed that the traditional teaching method generates an incorrect mental model of the one-output function among students. The new pedagogical approach prevented the creation of an erroneous mental model and helped students develop the correct conceptual understanding.
Clements, Peggy; Buffington, Pamela; Tobey, Cheryl
Rational number concepts underpin many topics in advanced mathematics and understanding these concepts is a prerequisite for students' success in high-school level courses. Students with rational number misconceptions that are not diagnosed and remediated in the middle grades are likely to encounter difficulty in high-school mathematics courses.…
Marques, Luis; Thompson, David
This study investigates student misconceptions in the areas of continent, ocean, permanence of ocean basins, continental drift, Earth's magnetic field, and plates and plate motions. A teaching-learning model was designed based on a constructivist approach. Results show that students held a substantial number of misconceptions. (Author/DKM)
Mulungye, Mary M.; O'Connor, Miheso; Ndethiu, S.
This paper is based on a study which sought to examine the various errors and misconceptions committed by students in algebra with the view to exposing the nature and origin of the errors and misconceptions in secondary schools in Machakos district. Teachers' knowledge on students' errors was investigated together with strategies for remedial…
Previous research has revealed that students may hold several misconceptions regarding fundamental topics of chemistry. With the idea that teachers play a critical role in diagnosis and remediation of students' misconceptions, a "course" for preservice chemistry teachers was designed. The purpose of this study was to describe the views and…
Butler, J.; Mooney Simmie, G.; O'Grady, A.
Students' and teachers' misconceptions are an international concern among researchers in science education; they influence how students learn and teachers' teach knowledge and are a hindrance in the acquisition of accurate knowledge. This paper reports on a literature synthesis of existing research about ecological misconceptions. One means of…
Sencar, Selen; Eryilmaz, Ali
This study was designed to identify and analyze possible factors that mediate the effect of gender on ninth-grade Turkish students' misconceptions concerning electric circuits. A Simple Electric Circuit Concept Test (SECCT), including items with both practical and theoretical contexts, and an Interest-Experience Questionnaire about Electricity…
Analyzes narrative essays--stories of rock formation--written by pre-service elementary school teachers. Reports startling misconceptions among preservice teachers on pebbles that grow, human involvement in rock formation, and sedimentary rocks forming as puddles as dry up, even though these students had completed a college level course on Earth…
Ozgur, Sami; Pelitoglu, Fatma Cildir
In this study, the misconceptions emerged as a result of instruction were examined from the viewpoint of the Didactic Transposition Theory. To this end, two randomly selected sample groups (n = 33 and n = 31) from the students of two nearby schools in downtown Balikesir were included in the study. It was observed that different knowledge…
Many researchers believe that prior knowledge is the single most important variable influencing learning. Learning in the classroom is determined or affected positively or negatively, to some degree, by the knowledge people bring to the classroom. This study was designed to: (1) assess fifth- and eighth-grade Korean students' misconceptions of…
Poitras, Eric G.; Naismith, Laura M.; Doleck, Tenzin; Lajoie, Susanne P.
This study aimed to identify misconceptions in medical student knowledge by mining user interactions in the MedU online learning environment. Data from 13000 attempts at a single virtual patient case were extracted from the MedU MySQL database. A subgroup discovery method was applied to identify patterns in learner-generated annotations and…
Muzangwa, Jonatan; Chifamba, Peter
This paper is going to analyse errors and misconceptions in an undergraduate course in Calculus. The study will be based on a group of 10 BEd. Mathematics students at Great Zimbabwe University. Data is gathered through use of two exercises on Calculus 1&2.The analysis of the results from the tests showed that a majority of the errors were due…
In this study, the effect of group work and traditional method on 9th grade students' misconceptions about Newton Laws was investigated. The study was conducted in three classes in an Anatolian Vocational High School in Ankara/Turkey in the second term of the 2014-2015 academic year. Two of these classes were chosen as the experimental group and…
Luxford, Cynthia J.; Bretz, Stacey Lowery
Teachers use multiple representations to communicate the concepts of bonding, including Lewis structures, formulas, space-filling models, and 3D manipulatives. As students learn to interpret these multiple representations, they may develop misconceptions that can create problems in further learning of chemistry. Interviews were conducted with 28…
Pre-service science teachers' conceptual understanding of astronomical concepts and their misconceptions in these concepts is crucial to study since they will teach these subjects in middle schools after becoming teachers. This study aimed to explore both seventh-grade students' and the science teachers' understanding of astronomical concepts and…
Treagust, David F.
Describes 10 steps for developing a diagnostic test of students' misconceptions and the use of two tests in chemistry (covalent bonding and structure) and in biology (photosynthesis and respiration in plants). Discusses the results and some implications for teaching science. (YP)
Cepni, Salih; Tas, Erol; Kose, Sacit
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a Computer-Assisted Instruction Material (CAIM) related to "photosynthesis" topic on student cognitive development, misconceptions and attitudes. The study conducted in 2002-2003 academic year and was carried out in two different classes taught by the same teacher, in which there were…
Leinonen, Risto; Asikainen, Mervi A.; Hirvonen, Pekka E.
As has been shown by previous research, students may possess various misconceptions in the area of thermal physics. In order to help them overcome misconceptions observed prior to instruction, we implemented a one-hour lecture-based intervention in their introductory thermal physics course. The intervention was held after the conventional lectures…
Investigates the effects of conceptual assignments and conceptual change discussions on high school students' achievement and misconceptions about force and motion. Analyzes pretest and posttest data from the Force Misconception and Force Achievement Tests (FMFAT). Discusses the effects on the conceptual change discussion on reducing…
Brown, C. R.
Discussed are problems revealed in student responses to a practical task which formed part of an advanced level examination. The frequencies with which some misconceptions about cell reproduction and genetics occurred are presented. The nature of these misconceptions is analyzed and their implications discussed. (CW)
LoPresto, Michael C.; Murrell, Steven R.
Misconceptions that students bring with them to the introductory science classroom plague every area of science and are especially prevalent in astronomy. One way to identify and possibly dispel some of these misconceptions is through the use of a misconceptions survey. The following is a report on the development, implementation, and some early…
Enderle, Patrick J.; Smith, Mike U.; Southerland, Sherry
The existence, preponderance, and stability of misconceptions related to evolution continue as foci of research in science education. In their 2006 study, Geraedts and Boersma question the existence of stable Lamarckian misconceptions in students, challenging the utility of Conceptual Change theory in addressing any such misconceptions. To support…
Wei, Yajun; Zhai, Zhaohui; Gunnarsson, Klas; Svedlindh, Peter
Basic concepts concerning magnetic hysteresis are of vital importance in understanding magnetic materials. However, these concepts are often misinterpreted by many students and even textbooks. We summarize the most common misconceptions and present a new approach to help clarify these misconceptions and enhance students’ understanding of the hysteresis loop. In this approach, students are required to perform an experiment and plot the measured magnetization values and thereby calculated demagnetizing field, internal field, and magnetic induction as functions of the applied field point by point on the same graph. The concepts of the various coercivity, remanence, saturation magnetization, and saturation induction will not be introduced until this stage. By plotting this graph, students are able to interlink all the preceding concepts and intuitively visualize the underlying physical relations between them.
Mills Shaw, Kenna R.; Van Horne, Katie; Zhang, Hubert; Boughman, Joann
National educational organizations have called upon scientists to become involved in K–12 education reform. From sporadic interaction with students to more sustained partnerships with teachers, the engagement of scientists takes many forms. In this case, scientists from the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG), the Genetics Society of America (GSA), and the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) have partnered to organize an essay contest for high school students as part of the activities surrounding National DNA Day. We describe a systematic analysis of 500 of 2443 total essays submitted in response to this contest over 2 years. Our analysis reveals the nature of student misconceptions in genetics, the possible sources of these misconceptions, and potential ways to galvanize genetics education. PMID:18245328
Mills Shaw, Kenna R; Van Horne, Katie; Zhang, Hubert; Boughman, Joann
National educational organizations have called upon scientists to become involved in K-12 education reform. From sporadic interaction with students to more sustained partnerships with teachers, the engagement of scientists takes many forms. In this case, scientists from the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG), the Genetics Society of America (GSA), and the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) have partnered to organize an essay contest for high school students as part of the activities surrounding National DNA Day. We describe a systematic analysis of 500 of 2443 total essays submitted in response to this contest over 2 years. Our analysis reveals the nature of student misconceptions in genetics, the possible sources of these misconceptions, and potential ways to galvanize genetics education. PMID:18245328
Leinonen, Risto; Asikainen, Mervi A.; Hirvonen, Pekka E.
As has been shown by previous research, students may possess various misconceptions in the area of thermal physics. In order to help them overcome misconceptions observed prior to instruction, we implemented a one-hour lecture-based intervention in their introductory thermal physics course. The intervention was held after the conventional lectures and homework sessions, and it consisted of three phases: individual working, hinting, and peer discussion. To probe students’ conceptual understanding before, during, and after the intervention, use was made of a diagnostic test related to the multiphased process of an ideal gas [D. E. Meltzer, Am. J. Phys. 72, 1432 (2004)AJPIAS0002-950510.1119/1.1789161]. The students’ conceptions were monitored by analyzing the explanations they provided and by recording the peer discussions of five voluntary pairs. The intervention helped students to realize the flaws in their explanations and increased the proportion of their scientific explanations, the increase being statistically significant in five tasks out of seven. When the same themes were addressed in a post-test, it was shown that the level of accurate explanations remained almost constant after the intervention, and hence it could be deduced that the impact had not been short-lived. In comparison with earlier studies conducted with the same material, our intervention produced a better learning outcome, the difference being 15-20 percentage points. In addition, the number of misconceptions on the part of the students was smaller in our study, although with individual exceptions. Hence, we conclude that the intervention was successful and that similar interventions could also be designed and implemented in other areas of physics.
Danielson, Kathryn I.; Tanner, Kimberly D.
Scientific research exploring ocean acidification has grown significantly in past decades. However, little science education research has investigated the extent to which undergraduate science students understand this topic. Of all undergraduate students, one might predict science students to be best able to understand ocean acidification. What…
Sarrazine, Angela Renee
The purpose of this study was to incorporate multiple intelligences techniques in both a classroom and planetarium setting to create a significant increase in student learning about the moon and lunar phases. Utilizing a free-response questionnaire and a 25 item multiple choice pre-test/post-test design, this study identified middle school students' misconceptions and measured increases in student learning about the moon and lunar phases. The study spanned two semesters and contained six treatment groups which consisted of both single and multiple interventions. One group only attended the planetarium program. Two groups attended one of two classes a week prior to the planetarium program, and two groups attended one of two classes a week after the planetarium program. The most rigorous treatment group attended a class both a week before and after the planetarium program. Utilizing Rasch analysis techniques and parametric statistical tests, all six groups exhibited statistically significant gains in knowledge at the 0.05 level. There were no significant differences between students who attended only a planetarium program versus a single classroom program. Also, subjects who attended either a pre-planetarium class or a post- planetarium class did not show a statistically significant gain over the planetarium only situation. Equivalent effects on student learning were exhibited by the pre-planetarium class groups and post-planetarium class groups. Therefore, it was determined that the placement of the second intervention does not have a significant impact on student learning. However, a decrease in learning was observed with the addition of a third intervention. Further instruction and testing appeared to hinder student learning. This is perhaps an effect of subject fatigue.
My Ph.D. research is about examining the persistence of 215 common misconceptions in astronomy. Each misconception is based on an often commonly-held incorrect belief by college students taking introductory astronomy. At the University of Maine, the course is taught in alternating semesters by Prof. Neil F. Comins and Prof. David J. Batuski. In this dissertation, I examine the persistence of common astronomy misconceptions by the administration of a retrospective survey. The survey is a new instrument in that it permits the student to indicate either endorsement or rejection of each misconception at various stages in the student's life. I analyze data from a total of 639 students over six semesters. I compare the survey data to the results of exams taken by the students and additional instruments that assess students' misconceptions prior to instruction. I show that the consistency of the students' recollection of their own misconceptions is on par with the consistency of responses between prelims and the final exam. I also find that students who report higher increased childhood interest in astronomy are more likely to have accurate recalls of their own past recollections. I then discuss the use of principal components analysis as a technique for describing the extent to which misconceptions are correlated with each other. The analysis yields logical groupings of subtopics from which to teach. I then present a brief overview of item response theory, the methodology of which calculates relative difficulties of the items. My analysis reveals orders to teach the associated topics in ways that are most effective at dispelling misconceptions during instruction. I also find that the best order to teach the associated concepts is often different for high school and college level courses.
Gross, Nicholas A.; Lopez, Ramon E.
Anecdotal evidence has suggested that advanced undergraduate students confuse the spiral structure of the interplanetary magnetic field with the flow of the solar wind. Though it is a small study, this paper documents this misconception and begins to investigate the underlying issues behind it. We present evidence that the traditional presentation…
Groves, Fred H.; Pugh, Ava F.
Students are currently exposed to world environmental problems--including global warming and the greenhouse effect--in science classes at various points during their K-12 and college experience. However, the amount and depth of explosure to these issues can be quite variable. Students are also exposed to sources of misinformation leading to…
Almog, Nava; Ilany, Bat-Sheva
Inequalities are one of the foundational subjects in high school math curricula, but there is a lack of academic research into how students learn certain types of inequalities. This article fills part of the research gap by presenting the findings of a study that examined high school students' methods of approaching absolute value inequalities,…
Ferretti, Ralph P.; MacArthur, Charles A.; Okolo, Cynthia M.
Fifth-grade students with learning disabilities (LD) and their typically achieving (TA) peers participated in an 8-week investigation about 19th-century U.S. westward migration. During their investigations, the students analyzed primary and secondary sources to understand the experiences of these emigrants and Native peoples. The analysis of…
Libarkin, Julie C.; Asghar, Anila; Crockett, C.; Sadler, Philip
The importance of nonvisible wavelengths for the study of astronomy suggests that student understanding of nonvisible light is an important consideration in astronomy classrooms. Questionnaires, interviews, and panel discussions were used to investigate 6-12 student and teacher conceptions of ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR). Alternative…
Koudelkova, Vera; Dvorak, Leos
The Czech Conceptual test from the area of Electricity and Magnetism was prepared at Department of Physics Education, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University in Prague. The first part of the paper presents three problematic topics which were identified using this test -- charge distribution on an insulators, Coulomb's law and electromagnetic induction. However, to identify misconceptions is not enough. Therefore, the main part of the paper presents some experiments which can help students to overcome their misconceptions and to better understand not only the topics mentioned above. Most of these experiments can be done with very simple tools and materials.
To fully understand the roles proteins play in cellular processes, students need to grasp complex ideas about protein structure, folding, and stability. Our current understanding of these topics is based on mathematical models and experimental data. However, protein structure, folding, and stability are often introduced as descriptive, qualitative…
Hawkins, Amy J.; Stark, Louisa A.
Climate change is at the forefront of our cultural conversation about science, influencing everything from presidential debates to Leonardo DiCaprio's 2016 Oscar acceptance speech. The topic is becoming increasingly socially and scientifically relevant but is no closer to being resolved. Most high school students take a life science course but…
Pinder-Grover, Tershia; Green, Katie R.; Millunchick, Joanna Mirecki
In large lecture courses, it can be challenging for instructors to address student misconceptions, supplement background knowledge, and identify ways to motivate the various interests of all students during the allotted class time. Instructors can harness instructional technology such as screencasts, recordings that capture audio narration along…
Elzubier, A G; Ansari, E H; el Nour, M H; Bella, H
This study reports the responses of high secondary school students and teachers to a questionnaire on their knowledge and misconceptions about malaria. Knowledge about symptoms and cause of malaria seems to be adequate. However, there were deficiencies regarding knowledge of the seriousness of malaria in primigravidas and children. There was an exaggerated belief that chloroquine may cause abortion. There were also important misconceptions regarding the causation of malaria by the plant Unkoleeb (sorghum saccharatum), the belief that the local beverage Aradaib (Tramindus indica) cures malaria, as well as beliefs that chloroquine injections are more effective than tablets, that intravenous fluids are essential for treatment of every attack, and that multi-vitamins may prevent the disease. The study throws light on areas where health education should be focused. PMID:9519676
Yin, Yue; Tomita, Miki K.; Shavelson, Richard J.
When students enter the classroom, they often hold prior knowledge or conceptions about the natural world. These conceptions will influence how they come to understand what they are taught in school. Some of their existing knowledge provides good foundation for formal schooling, but other prior conceptions, however, are incompatible with currently…
Goodman, Kathleen M.; Mueller, John A.
People who follow trends in higher education are aware of a renewed emphasis on religious plurality and spirituality on college campuses. But all the articles, conferences, and campus activities surrounding religion and spirituality rarely, if at all, acknowledge one group: students who are atheists. If colleges are to be truly inclusive, they…
The main goal of this study was to investigate the effects of a web-based physics software program on students' achievement and misconceptions in force and motion concepts. During the fall of 1999, a total 125 students (54.4% female and 45.6% male) from two public high schools in Brevard County, Florida, were selected by a sample of convenience to participate in this quasi-experimental study. The MANCOVA analysis yielded a significant interaction for pretest (covariate = priory physics knowledge) and gender for each dependent variable (Y 1 = Achievement, and Y2 = Misconception). Thus, the test for homogeneity of regression failed rendering an invalid MANCOVA model. As a result, separate ATI's were performed for each dependent variable. ATI interaction between pretest and gender relative to achievement and misconception was significant. Of the six initial hypotheses, only hypothesis 2, which examined differences in-group misconception scores, was rejected. Specifically, group membership contributed 12.6% additional knowledge of posttest misconception score variability, which was statistically significant (F1,9 = 20.03, p < .05). Based on this result, it can be concluded that incorporating the web-based physics program with traditional lecturing did have a significant effect on dispelling students' physics misconceptions about force and motion concepts. Thus, only the test for this hypothesis and the two interactions, which were not initially considered as research hypotheses, were significant. All other tests of hypotheses were not statistically significant and hence were not rejected.
Lebofsky, L. A.; Cañizo, T. L.; Lebofsky, N. R.; McCarthy, D. W.; Higgins, M. L.; Salthouse, K.
Many children and adults have misconceptions about space-related size and distance: Earth-Moon size and distance, distance between the planets, distances to the nearest stars (other than the Sun), the size of the Milky Way Galaxy, and the size of the Universe. An illustration or visualization may reinforce someone's understanding of, for example, the phases of the Moon. However, what other misconceptions, especially related to scale, are being reinforced?
Misischia, Cynthia M.
A large number of undergraduate students have naive understandings about the processes of Diffusion and Osmosis. Some students overcome these misconceptions, but others do not. The study involved nineteen undergraduate movement science students at a Midwest University. Participants' were asked to complete a short answer (fill-in the blank) test, and if possible participate in a follow-up interview. The researcher constructed short answer test that consisted of a three-tier structure that required students to generate answers, diminishing the influence found in two-tiered instruments such as 'recognition' of correct answers and test taking skills More importantly, each level built upon knowledge demonstrated in the previous tier; this allowed the researcher to determine where the breakdown occurred. Part one of the test consisted of 9 questions that prompted students to provide short answer definitions. Part two of the exam consisted of 7 questions that contained two parts. The first question required a true or false answer and the second required a brief explanation. The final part of the test consisted of 12 questions related to three scenarios. After each question students were also asked to record how confident they were with their answers on a three point scale. This helped to determine whether students had 'confidence' in their answers, or if they were just guessing. A total of three students agreed to participate in audio-recorded interviews. Descriptive and correlational data was used in the analysis of this study. This data included: (1) test; (2) interview; (3); Point biserial correlation coefficients; (4) Cronbach's alpha correlation coefficients; (5) Kendall's Tau-b correlation coefficients; (5) and error pattern analysis Evidence from this study demonstrates that students do have misconceptions, about the processes of diffusion and osmosis.
Browning, Mark E.; Lehman, James D.
A genetics problem practice program and tutor on microcomputer was used by 135 undergraduate education majors enrolled in an introductory biology course at Purdue University. The program presented four genetics problems, two monohybrid and two dihybrid, and required the users to predict the number and type of each class of offspring. Student responses were recorded on diskette and analyzed for evidence of misconceptions and difficulties in the genetics problem-solving process. Three main areas of difficulty were identified: difficulties with computational skills, difficulties in the determination of gametes, and inappropriate application of previous learning to new problem situations.
The complex and interdisciplinary nature of climate change science poses special challenges for educators in helping students understand the climate system, and how it is evolving under natural and anthropogenic forcing. Students and citizens alike have existing mental models that may limit their perception and processing of the multiple relationships between processes (e.g., feedback) that arise in global change science, and prevent adoption of complex scientific concepts. Their prior knowledge base serves as the scaffold for all future learning and grasping its range and limitations serves as an important basis upon which to anchor instruction. Different instructional strategies can be adopted to help students understand the inherently interdisciplinary topic of global climate change, its interwoven human and natural causes, and the connections it has with society through a complex range of political, social, technological and economic factors. One assessment method for students' understanding of global climate change with its many uncertainties, whether associated with the workings of the climate system or with respect to social, cultural and economic processes that mediate human responses to changes within the system, is through the use of conceptual maps. When well designed, they offer a representation of students' mental model prior and post instruction. We will present two conceptual mapping activities used in the classroom to assess students' knowledge and understanding about global climate change and uncover misconceptions. For the first one, concept maps will be used to demonstrate evidence of learning and conceptual change, while for the second we will show how conceptual maps can provide information about gaps in knowledge and misconceptions students have about the topic.
Perkins, David; Johnston, Tim; Lytle, Rick
Student debt is a national concern. The authors address debt in the classroom to enhance students' understanding of the consequences of debt and the need for caution when financing their education. However, student feedback indicates this understanding has a delayed effect on borrowing behavior and underscores the importance of making difficult…
Treagust, David F.; Haslam, Filocha
Based on the premise that multiple choice tests can be used as diagnostic tools for teachers in identifying and remedying student misconceptions, this study focused on the development of an instrument for diagnosing secondary students' understanding of photosynthesis and respiration. Information is presented on: (1) procedures of development of…
Lee, Roh Pin
Misconceptions and biases in energy perception could influence people's support for developments integral to the success of restructuring a nation's energy system. Science education, in equipping young adults with the cognitive skills and knowledge necessary to navigate in the confusing energy environment, could play a key role in paving the way for informed decision-making. This study examined German students' knowledge of the contribution of diverse energy sources to their nation's energy mix as well as their affective energy responses so as to identify implications for science education. Specifically, the study investigated whether and to what extent students hold mistaken beliefs about the role of multiple energy sources in their nation's energy mix, and assessed how misconceptions could act as self-generated reference points to underpin support/resistance of proposed developments. An in-depth analysis of spontaneous affective associations with five key energy sources also enabled the identification of underlying concerns driving people's energy responses and facilitated an examination of how affective perception, in acting as a heuristic, could lead to biases in energy judgment and decision-making. Finally, subgroup analysis differentiated by education and gender supported insights into a 'two culture' effect on energy perception and the challenge it poses to science education.
Le Ber, Jeanne M; Lombardo, Nancy T; Wimmer, Erin
A 16-question technology use survey was conducted to assess incoming health sciences students' knowledge of and interest in current technologies, and to identify student device and tool preferences. Survey questions were developed by colleagues at a peer institution and then edited to match this library's student population. Two years of student responses have been compiled, compared, and reviewed as a means for informing library decisions related to technology and resource purchases. Instruction and event programming have been revised to meet student preferences. Based on the number of students using Apple products, librarians are addressing the need to become more proficient with this platform. PMID:25611437
Liu, Tzu-Chien; Lin, Yi-Chun; Tsai, Chin-Chung
Correlation is an essential concept in statistics; however, students may hold misconceptions about correlation, even after receiving instruction. This study aimed to elucidate (1) the misconceptions held by senior high school students about correlation, using the tool of concept mapping along with interviewing, (2) the possible causes of these…
Abrahams, Ian; Homer, Matt; Sharpe, Rachael; Zhou, Mengyuan
Background: Despite the large body of literature regarding student misconceptions, there has been relatively little cross-cultural research to directly compare the prevalence of common scientific misconceptions amongst students from different cultural backgrounds. Whilst previous research does suggest the international nature of many…
Miller, Ronald L.; Streveler, Ruth A.; Yang, Dazhi; Roman, Aidsa I. Santiago
This paper summarizes progress on two related lines of chemical engineering education research: 1) identifying persistent student misconceptions in thermal and transport science (fluid mechanics, heat transfer, and thermodynamics); and, 2) developing a method to help students repair these misconceptions. Progress on developing the Thermal and…
Schwenz, Richard W.; Miller, Sheldon
The advanced placement course audit was implemented to standardize the college-level curricular and resource requirements for AP courses. While the process has had this effect, it has brought with it misconceptions about how much the College Board intends to control what happens within the classroom, what information is required to be included in…
Ross, Katharyn E. K.; Shuell, Thomas J.
Some pre-instructional misconceptions held by children can persist through scientific instruction and resist changes. Identifying these misconceptions would be beneficial for science instruction. In this preliminary study, scores on a 60-item true-false test of knowledge and misconceptions about earthquakes were compared with previous interview…
Miller, Brian W.; Brewer, William F.
Previous empirical studies using multiple-choice procedures have suggested that there are misconceptions about the scale of astronomical distances. The present study provides a quantitative estimate of the nature of this misconception among US university students by asking them, in an open-ended response format, to make estimates of the distances…
Romine, William L.; Barrow, Lloyd H.; Folk, William R.
Understanding infectious diseases such as influenza is an important element of health literacy. We present a fully validated knowledge instrument called the Assessment of Knowledge of Influenza (AKI) and use it to evaluate knowledge of influenza, with a focus on misconceptions, in Midwestern United States high-school students. A two-phase validation process was used. In phase 1, an initial factor structure was calculated based on 205 students of grades 9-12 at a rural school. In phase 2, one- and two-dimensional factor structures were analyzed from the perspectives of classical test theory and the Rasch model using structural equation modeling and principal components analysis (PCA) on Rasch residuals, respectively. Rasch knowledge measures were calculated for 410 students from 6 school districts in the Midwest, and misconceptions were verified through the χ 2 test. Eight items measured knowledge of flu transmission, and seven measured knowledge of flu management. While alpha reliability measures for the subscales were acceptable, Rasch person reliability measures and PCA on residuals advocated for a single-factor scale. Four misconceptions were found, which have not been previously documented in high-school students. The AKI is the first validated influenza knowledge assessment, and can be used by schools and health agencies to provide a quantitative measure of impact of interventions aimed at increasing understanding of influenza. This study also adds significantly to the literature on misconceptions about influenza in high-school students, a necessary step toward strategic development of educational interventions for these students.
Abrahams, Ian; Homer, Matt; Sharpe, Rachael; Zhou, Mengyuan
Background:Despite the large body of literature regarding student misconceptions, there has been relatively little cross-cultural research to directly compare the prevalence of common scientific misconceptions amongst students from different cultural backgrounds. Whilst previous research does suggest the international nature of many misconceptions, there is little evidence as to whether the prevalence of such common misconceptions varies from culture to culture. Purpose:To undertake a preliminary examination of the prevalence and reasons for some previously studied scientific misconceptions amongst English and Chinese undergraduate students so as to ascertain whether there is any evidence of cultural difference. Such a finding could help to identify teaching approaches in either country that are more effective in reducing the prevalence of common student misconceptions. Sample:The study involved a convenience sample of 40 undergraduate students - 20 English and 20 Chinese drawn equally from two universities in the North of England - whose formal science education ended at ages 16 and 15 respectively. Design and methods:The study employed semi-structured interview schedule containing eight questions. Results:Whilst similar misconceptions existed amongst both English and Chinese undergraduates, their prevalence was significantly higher amongst the English students (Overall mean score for scientifically correct answers amongst Chinese students was 27.7% higher, p < .01, r = .64). Often when English and Chinese undergraduates had similar misconceptions, they tended to explain these by drawing upon very similar erroneous analogies and these appear to be only nominally culturally independent in that they are based on globally shared everyday experiences. Conclusion:Differences in the prevalence of misconceptions amongst English and Chinese undergraduates appear to arise from differences in the way in which specific areas of physics are taught in both countries. It might
Lebofsky, Larry A.; Lebofsky, N. R.; McCarthy, D. W.; Higgins, M. L.; Salthouse, K.; Canizo, T. L.
Many children and adults have misconceptions about space-related concepts such as size and distance: Earth-Moon size and distance, distances between the planets, distances to the stars (including the Sun), etc. Unfortunately, when images are used to illustrate common phenomena, such as Moon phases and seasons, they may do a good job of explaining the phenomenon, but may reinforce other misconceptions. For topics such as phases and seasons, scale (size and distance) can easily lead to confusion and reinforce misconceptions. For example, when showing Moon phases, the Moon is usually represented as large relative to the Earth and the true relative distance cannot be easily shown. Similarly, when showing the tilt of the Earth’s axis as the reason for the seasons, the Earth is usually almost as large as the Sun and the distance between them is usually only a few times Earth’s diameter.What lessons have we learned? It is critical with any model to engage the participants: if at all possible, everyone should participate. A critical part of any modeling needs to be a discussion, involving the participants, of the limitations of the model: what is modeled accurately and what is not? This helps to identify and rectify misconceptions and helps to avoid creating new ones. The activities highlighted on our poster represent programs and collaborations that date back more than two decades: The University of Arizona, Tucson Unified School District, Science Center of Inquiry, Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona, and the Planetary Science Institute. Examples of activities that we will present on our poster include: •Earth/Moon size and distance •Macramé model of the Solar System •Human orrery and tabletop orrery •3-D nature of the constellations •Comparing our Solar System to other planetary systems •Origin of the Universe: scale of time and distance
Smith, K. Christopher; Villarreal, Savannah
This article reports on the types of views and misconceptions uncovered after assessing 155 freshman general chemistry students on the concept of particle position during the reversible physical change of melting, using the Melting Cycle Instrument, which illustrates particulate-level representations of a melting-freezing cycle. Animations…
Kustos, Paul Nicholas
Student difficulty in the study of probability arises in intuitively-based misconceptions derived from heuristics. One such heuristic, the one of note for this research study, is that of representativeness, in which an individual informally assesses the probability of an event based on the degree to which the event is similar to the sample from…
Kara, Yilmaz; Yesilyurt, Selami
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of tutorial and edutainment software programs related to "genetic concepts" topic on student achievements, misconceptions and attitudes. An experimental research design including the genetic concepts achievement test (GAT), the genetic concept test (GCT) and biology attitude scale (BAS) was…
Kara, Yilmaz; Yesilyurt, Selami
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of tutorial and edutainment design of instructional software programs related to the "cell division" topic on student achievements, misconceptions and attitudes. An experimental research design including the cell division achievement test (CAT), the cell division concept test (CCT) and…
The aim of this study was to incorporate a web-assisted program to normal traditional classroom instruction and study about students' misconceptions in force and motion concepts in physics. The Web-based physics program was incorporated with the traditional lecture. Specifically, 30% of class time was allocated for using this tutorial program, and…
Lazarowitz, Reuven; Lieb, Carl
A formative assessment pretest was administered to undergraduate students at the beginning of a science course in order to find out their prior knowledge, misconceptions and learning difficulties on the topic of the human respiratory system and energy issues. Those findings could provide their instructors with the valuable information required in…
Kurniawan, Yudi; Suhandi, Andi; Hasanah, Lilik
This paper aims to know the influence of implementation of ILD conceptual change oriented (ILD-CC) toward the decreasing of the quantity of students that misconception on the Newton's First Law. The Newton's First Law misconceptions separated into five sub-misconceptions. This research is a quantitative research with one group pretest-posttest design. The samples of this research were 32 students on 9th grade of junior high school in Pandeglang, Banten, Indonesia. The diagnostic test is a multiple-choice form with three-tier test format. The result of this study found that there was decreasing of the quantity of students that misconception on the Newton's First Law. The largest percentage in the decreasing of the number of the students that misconception was on the Misconception 4 about 80, 77%. The Misconception 4 is "The cause of tendency of the body passenger that sat upright on the accelerated bus from motionless bus suddenly to backward be a backward force". For the future studies, it suggested to combine other methods to optimize the decreasing the number of students that misconception.
Adair, Aaron Michael
In order for Physics Education Research (PER) to achieve its goals of significant learning gains with efficient methods, it is necessary to figure out what are the sorts of preexisting issues that students have prior to instruction and then to create teaching methods that are best able to overcome those problems. This makes it necessary to figure out what is the nature of student physics misconceptions---prior beliefs that are both at variance to Newtonian mechanics and also prevent a student from properly cognizing Newtonian concepts. To understand the prior beliefs of students, it is necessary to uncover their origins, which may allow instructors to take into account the sources for ideas of physics that are contrary to Newtonian mechanics understanding. That form of instruction must also induce the sorts of metacognitive processes that allow students to transition from their previous conceptions to Newtonian ones, let alone towards those of modern physics. In this paper, the notions of basic dynamics that are common among first-year college students are studied and compared with previous literature. In particular, an analysis of historical documents from antiquity up to the early modern period shows that these conceptions were rather widespread and consistent over thousands of years and in numerous cultural contexts. This is one of the only analyses in PER that considers the original languages of some of these texts, along with appropriate historical scholarship. Based on the consistent appearance of these misconceptions, a test and interview module was devised to help elucidate the feelings students have that may relate to fictitious forces. The test looked at one-dimensional motion and forces. The first part of the interview asked each student about their answers to the test questions, while the second part asked how students felt when undergoing three cases of constant acceleration in a car. We determined that students confabulated relative motion with the
Adongo, Philip Baba; Tabong, Philip Teg-Nefaah; Asampong, Emmanuel; Ansong, Joana; Robalo, Magda; Adanu, Richard M.
Background Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is not new to the world. However, the West African EVD epidemic which started in 2014 evolved into the largest, most severe and most complex outbreak in the history of the disease. The three most-affected countries faced enormous challenges in stopping the transmission and providing care for all patients. Although Ghana had not recorded any confirmed Ebola case, social factors have been reported to hinder efforts to control the outbreak in the three most affected countries. This qualitative study was designed to explore community knowledge and attitudes about Ebola and its transmission. Methods This study was carried out in five of the ten regions in Ghana. Twenty-five focus group discussions (N = 235) and 40 in-depth interviews were conducted across the five regions with community members, stakeholders and opinion leaders. The interviews were recorded digitally and transcribed verbatim. Framework analysis was adopted in the analysis of the data using Nvivo 10. Results The results showed a high level of awareness and knowledge about Ebola. The study further showed that knowledge on how to identify suspected cases of Ebola was also high among respondents. However, there was a firm belief that Ebola was a spiritual condition and could also be transmitted through air, mosquito bites and houseflies. These misconceptions resulted in perceptions of stigma and discrimination towards people who may get Ebola or work with Ebola patients. Conclusion We conclude that although knowledge and awareness about Ebola is high among Ghanaians who participated in the study, there are still misconceptions about the disease. The study recommends that health education on Ebola disease should move beyond creating awareness to targeting the identified misconceptions to improve future containment efforts. PMID:26889683
Identifying Students' Misconceptions in Writing Balanced Equations for Dissolving Ionic Compounds in Water and Using Multiple-Choice Questions at the Symbolic and Particulate Levels to Confront These Misconceptions
Naah, Basil M.
Students who harbor misconceptions often find chemistry difficult to understand. To improve teaching about the dissolving process, first semester introductory chemistry students were asked to complete a free-response questionnaire on writing balanced equations for dissolving ionic compounds in water. To corroborate errors and misconceptions…
Kara, Yılmaz; Yeşilyurt, Selami
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of tutorial and edutainment design of instructional software programs related to the "cell division" topic on student achievements, misconceptions and attitudes. An experimental research design including the cell division achievement test (CAT), the cell division concept test (CCT) and biology attitude scale (BAS) was applied at the beginning and at the end of the research. After the treatment, general achievement in CAT increased in favor of experimental groups. Instructional software programs also had the positive effect to the awareness of students' understandings to the general functions of mitosis and meiosis. However, the current study revealed that there were still some misconceptions in the experimental groups even after the treatment. It was also noticed that only using edutainment software program significantly changed students' attitudes towards biology.
Hughes, Sean; Lyddy, Fiona; Kaplan, Robin
The present study examined the possibility that the language and response format used in self-report questionnaires influences how readily people endorse misconceptions. Four versions of a 40-item misconception test were administered to European ("n" = 281) and North American ("n" = 123) psychology and nonpsychology…
Demonstrations to help students change their misconceptions about chemical bond breaking are presented. Students' misconceptions about chemical bonds in both biological and chemical systems are discussed. A calculation for the release of energy from respiration is presented. (KR)
McCuin, J. L.; Hayhoe, K.; Hayhoe, D.
Public understanding of climate change is fraught with misconceptions. In some cases, these may arise due to the complexity of the topic: the difference between personal experience of short-term weather events, for example, as compared to long-term analysis of a climate trend. In others, myths may be deliberately introduced: that climate has ceased to change, or that changes have been proven to be due to natural causes. Whatever their origin, these misconceptions hold powerful implications for education on climate change and related science topics. Conceptual change theory demonstrates how pre-existing misconceptions persist under regular instruction and interfere with student acquisition of correct concepts. Here, we assess the extent to which incorporating corrective instruction on misconceptions related to the greenhouse effect and on the role of human activities in climate change affects student acquisition and retention of key scientific concepts. We investigate the efficacy of this approach using two reading passages: one that simply discusses the science, and another that provides both science and misconceptions-related information. Study subjects were drawn from a first year Atmospheric Sciences course at a large public university, yielding 197 students who successfully completed the pretest, instructional treatment, immediate posttest, delayed posttest, and a background survey. While both treatments produced significant gains in the posttest and delayed posttest overall, only the treatment that directly targeted misconceptions produced long-term gains on misconception-related questions. Our results support the conceptual change model's basic claim that misconceptions may persist through concept-based instruction, but may be uprooted by even a relatively brief reading passage that addresses them directly. However, our results also contain a striking anomaly: for questions involving the phrase "global warming," misconceptions-based instruction did not
Background: In the last few decades, researchers have turned their attention to students' understanding of scientific concepts at different school levels. The results indicate that the learners have different ideas, and most of them are inaccurate in terms of those generally accepted by the scientific community. Purpose: This study was undertaken to describe the development, validation and use of a three-tier multiple-choice diagnostic test (PEMT) to reveal Turkish high school students' common misconceptions in terms of the photoelectric effect. Sample: In this study, 243 students (male=86, female=137) from six high schools made up the sample which comprised approximately 76% of the 11th grade population. Design and Methods: Based on findings from the literature, open-ended questions and interviews, the PEMT was developed and administered to 243 students. The data was analysed descriptively. Results: The Cronbach's alpha reliability coefficient of the scores was estimated as .83. Construct, content and face validities were established by senior experts and through the use of statistical techniques. The findings denoted that the test is a valid and reliable measure of students' qualitative understanding of the photoelectric concept. The results revealed that the majority of the students demonstrated a limited understanding of the photoelectric effect and have five prevalent misconceptions. These are: (1) an increase in intensity would provide the photon with enough energy to release electrons; (2) the photoelectric effect results from the ionization of atoms through the interaction with light; (3) a light beam whose photons have smaller energies than the work function would release electrons with the help of a voltage source; (4) the number of photoelectrons depends on the energy of the photon and (5) the photon has kinetic energy and it depends on the colour of light. The last two misconceptions were discovered in the current study. Conclusion: The findings
The effect of student-centered and teacher-centered instruction with and without conceptual advocacy on biology students' misconceptions, achievement, attitudes toward science, and cognitive retention
Gallop, Roger Graham
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of student-centered and teacher-centered instructional strategies with and without conceptual advocacy (CA) on ninth-grade biology students' misconceptions (MIS), biology achievement (ACH), attitudes toward science (ATT), and cognitive retention of scientific method and measurement, spontaneous generation, and characteristics of living things. Students were purposively selected using intact classes and assigned to one of four treatment groups (i.e., student-centered instruction without CA, student-centered instruction with CA, teacher-centered instruction with CA, and teacher-centered instruction without CA). A modified quasi-experimental design was used in which students were not matched in the conventional sense but instead, groups were shown to be equivalent on the dependent measure via a pretest. A 5-day treatment implementation period addressed science conceptions under investigation. The treatment period was based on the number of class periods teachers at the target school actually spend teaching the biological concepts under investigation using traditional instruction. At the end of the treatment period, students were posttested using the Concepts in Biology instrument and Science Questionnaire. Eight weeks after the posttest, these instruments were administered again as a delayed posttest to determine cognitive retention of the correct biological conceptions and attitudes toward science. MANCOVA and follow-up univariate ANCOVA results indicated that student-centered instruction without CA (i.e., Group 1) did not have a significant effect on students' MIS, ACH, and ATT (F = .029, p = .8658; F = .002, p =.9688, F = .292, p = .5897, respectively). On the other hand, student-centered instruction with CA (i.e., Group 2) had a significant effect on students' MIS and ACH (F =10.33, p = .0016 and F = 10.17, p = .0017, respectively), but did not on ATT (F = .433, p = .5117). Teacher-centered instruction with
Nelson, Katherine G.
The semiconductor field of Photovoltaics (PV) has experienced tremendous growth, requiring curricula to consider ways to promote student success. One major barrier to success students may face when learning PV is the development of misconceptions. The purpose of this work was to determine the presence and prevalence of misconceptions students may have for three PV semiconductor phenomena; Diffusion, Drift and Excitation. These phenomena are emergent, a class of phenomena that have certain characteristics. In emergent phenomena, the individual entities in the phenomena interact and aggregate to form a self-organizing pattern that can be observed at a higher level. Learners develop a different type of misconception for these phenomena, an emergent misconception. Participants (N=41) completed a written protocol. The pilot study utilized half of these protocols (n = 20) to determine the presence of both general and emergent misconceptions for the three phenomena. Once the presence of both general and emergent misconceptions was confirmed, all protocols (N=41) were analyzed to determine the presence and prevalence of general and emergent misconceptions, and to note any relationships among these misconceptions (full study). Through written protocol analysis of participants' responses, numerous codes emerged from the data for both general and emergent misconceptions. General and emergent misconceptions were found in 80% and 55% of participants' responses, respectively. General misconceptions indicated limited understandings of chemical bonding, electricity and magnetism, energy, and the nature of science. Participants also described the phenomena using teleological, predictable, and causal traits, indicating participants had misconceptions regarding the emergent aspects of the phenomena. For both general and emergent misconceptions, relationships were observed between similar misconceptions within and across the three phenomena, and differences in misconceptions were
Stepans, Joseph I.; And Others
Discusses a study of students' conceptualizations and misconceptions of how objects sink and float. Results showed little difference in the levels of understanding of the "sink and float" concepts by groups ranging from primary age to college. As age increased, terminology used by students varied, and misuse of terms increased. (TW)
Rosenfeld, Robert P.
This article is essentially a rebuttal to Norman Macbeth's arguments against Darwinism. The author argues that one must identify the real weaknesses of evolutionary theory and not use the misconceptions put forth by Macbeth to make valid judgments. (MA)
Slater, T. F.; Slater, S. J.
For over 40 years, the science education community has given its attention to cataloging the substantial body of "misconceptions" in individual's thinking about science, and to addressing the consequences of those misconceptions in the science classroom. Despite the tremendous amount of effort given to researching and disseminating information related to misconceptions, and the development of a theory of conceptual change to mitigate misconceptions, progress continues to be less than satisfying. An analysis of the literature and our own research has persuaded the CAPER Center for Astronomy and Physics Education Research to put forth model that will allow us to operate on students' learning difficulties in a more fruitful manner. Previously, much of the field's work binned erroneous student thinking into a single construct, and from that basis, curriculum developers and instructors addressed student misconceptions with a single instructional strategy. In contrast this model suggests that "misconceptions" are a mixture of at least four learning barriers: incorrect factual information, inappropriately applied mental algorithms (phenomenological primitives), insufficient cognitive structures (e.g. spatial reasoning), and affective/emotional difficulties. Each of these types of barriers should be addressed with an appropriately designed instructional strategy. Initial applications of this model to learning problems in the Earth & Space Sciences have been fruitful, suggesting that an effort towards categorizing persistent learning difficulties in the geosciences beyond the level of "misconceptions" may allow our community to craft tailored and more effective learning experiences for our students and the general public.
Morsanyi, Kinga; Primi, Caterina; Chiesi, Francesca; Handley, Simon
In three studies we looked at two typical misconceptions of probability: the representativeness heuristic, and the equiprobability bias. The literature on statistics education predicts that some typical errors and biases (e.g., the equiprobability bias) increase with education, whereas others decrease. This is in contrast with reasoning theorists'…
Koklu, Oguz; Topcu, Abdullah
Pre-existing misconceptions are serious impediments to learning in mathematics. Means for detecting and correcting them have received much attention in the literature of educational research. Dynamic geometry software has been tried at different grade levels. This quasi-experimental study investigates the effect of Cabri-assisted instruction on…
Steinberg, Melvin S.; And Others
Recent research has shown that serious misconceptions frequently survive high school and university instruction in mechanics. It is interesting to inquire whether Newton himself encountered conceptual difficulties before he wrote the "Principia." This paper compares Newton's pre-"Principia" beliefs, based upon his writings, with those of…
Lee, Roh Pin
Misconceptions and biases in energy perception could influence people's support for developments integral to the success of restructuring a nation's energy system. Science education, in equipping young adults with the cognitive skills and knowledge necessary to navigate in the confusing energy environment, could play a key role in paving the way…
Griffiths, Alan K.; And Others
Investigates the remediation of misconceptions through application of Gagne's hierarchical learning theory. Uses stoichiometry, food levels, and conservation of mechanical energy as the target concepts. Reports that there was no treatment effect in analysis of covariance using pretest scores as a covariant. (YP)
Ross, Ann; Vanderspool, Staria
Students can use seed characteristics to discriminate between the different kinds of legumes using taxonomic classification processes of sorting and ranking, followed by construction of taxonomic keys. The application of the Learning Cycle process to taxonomic principles, hierarchical classification, and construction of keys presents the…
Philips, William C.
Presented is a list of over 50 commonly held misconceptions based on a literature review found in students and adults. The list covers earth science topics such as space, the lithosphere, the biosphere, the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, and the cryosphere. (KR)
Over the past few decades, numerous studies have demonstrated that pre-service and in-service teachers fall victim to the same misconceptions as the students they are or will be teaching. At the same time, research has shown that addressing the misconceptions head-on and leading students to a deep, personal understanding of why their previous conceptions were erroneous aids in replacement of misconceptions with an accurate understanding of the natural world. This paper demonstrates how this was accomplished in a required university-level Earth/space/physical science course for pre-service elementary school teachers, with an emphasis on examples from the Sun-Earth-Moon system.
Pascua, Liberty; Chang, Chew-Hung
The evaluation of classroom-based educational interventions is fraught with tensions, the most critical of which is choosing between focusing the inquiry on measuring the effects of treatment or in proximately utilizing the data to improve practice. This paper attempted to achieve both goals through the use of intervention-oriented evaluation of a professional development program intended to diagnose and correct students' misconceptions of climate change. Data was gathered, monitored and analyzed in three stages of a time-series design: the baseline, treatment and follow-up stages. The evaluation itself was the 'intervention' such that the data was allowed to 'contaminate' the treatment. This was achieved through giving the teacher unimpeded access to the collected information and to introduce midcourse corrections as she saw fit to her instruction. Results showed a significant development in students' conceptual understanding only after the teacher's decision to use direct and explicit refutation of misconceptions. Due to the accessibility of feedback, it was possible to locate specifically at which point in the process that the intervention was most effective. The efficacy of the intervention was then measured through comparing the scores across the three research stages. The inclusion of a comparison group to the design is recommended for future studies. PMID:25935362
Arnaudin, Mary W.; Mintzes, Joel J.
Reports findings of a study on children's perceptions and alternate conceptions about the human circulatory system. Summarizes the responses of fifth and eighth grade students on questions dealing with the heart and blood. Offers examples of hands-on activities and confrontation strategies that address common misconceptions on circulation. (ML)
Gardner, Rick M.; Hund, Renee M.
Study findings indicate that there is correspondence between faculty members' misconceptions related to psychology and students' mistaken beliefs about psychology. Subjects were 303 psychologists teaching in colleges and universities who completed a true-false questionnaire. (AM)
Barrier, Regina M.
Do you think that the Moon does not rotate? Do you think that the phases of the Moon are created by the Earth's shadow? Do you think that the seasons are a result of the Earth's distance from the Sun? If you answered "yes" to any of these, then you are one of many who possess misconceptions about astronomy.
Livermore, Jeffrey A.; Wiechowski, Linda S.; Scafe, Marla G.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate faculty perceptions of student credibility based on email addresses. The survey was conducted at an upper division business school in Michigan where all students have completed at least two years of college courses. The survey results show that a student's selection of an email address does influence the…
Livermore, Jeffrey A.; Scafe, Marla G.; Wiechowski, Linda S.; Maier, David J.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate students' perceptions of their peer's credibility based on email addresses. The survey was conducted at a community college in Michigan where all students were registered and actively taking at least one course. The survey results show that a student's selection of an email address does influence other…
without disabilities in the treatment and the control groups on post-intervention scores. The analysis of the data from the number of misconceptions of students without disabilities showed that the frequency of 4 of the 11 misconceptions changed significantly from pre to post elicitation stages. The analyses of the qualitative measures of the think alouds and interviews generally supported the above findings.
Shimoni, Rena; Barrington, Gail; Wilde, Russ; Henwood, Scott
Two interrelated studies were undertaken to assist Alberta post-secondary institutions with meeting challenges associated with providing services to diverse distributed students that are of similar quality to services provided to traditional classroom students. The first study identified and assessed best practices in distributed learning; the…
Harris, Robin C; Rosenberg, Lisa; Grace O'Rourke, Marilyn E
With the passage of the Affordable Care Act and as the number of aging and diverse individuals in society increases, access to health care will expand and the need for more competent and diverse nursing graduates will increase. An adequate number of nurse graduates is imperative to meet societal demands; however, this is complicated by high nursing student attrition rates. This article examines the need for more nurses (including those from diverse backgrounds), current attrition rates among schools of nursing, at-risk student characteristics, and previous attempts to increase student success. Applying the evidence to practice, findings from a multipronged approach to increase student success within an associate degree nursing program located within a historically Black college and university in the midwestern United States are discussed. The program's successes and opportunities for improvement are examined, as well as the recommendations for other nursing programs facing issues with student attrition. PMID:24328250
Burton, Stephen R.; Dobson, Christopher
They are found at picnics and family outings, apparently attracted by the food provided at these events. Large populations in fast food establishments further support their association with food. Yet little is known about the biology of "Utensilus plastica" (common name: plastic eating utensil). The authors have conducted an in-depth study of this…
Eisenhamer, Bonnie; Villard, R.; Estacion, M.; Hassan, J.; Ryer, H.
A misconception is a preconceived and inaccurate view of how the world works. There are many common science misconceptions held by students and the public alike about various topics in astronomy - including but not limited to galaxies, black holes, light and color, and the solar system. It is critical to identify and address misconceptions because they can stand in the way of new learning and impeded one’s ability to apply science principals meaningfully to everyday life. In response, the News and Education teams at the Space Telescope Science Institute worked in collaboration with a consultant to develop the “Science Myths Revealed” misconception video series. The purpose of this video series is to present common astronomy misconceptions in a brief and visually engaging manner while also presenting and reinforcing the truth of the universe and celestial phenomena within it. Viewers can the watch the videos to get more information about specific astronomy misconceptions as well as the facts to dispel them. Visual cues and demonstrations provide viewers with a more concrete representation of what are often abstract and misunderstood concepts - making the videos ideal as both engagement and instructional tools. Three videos in the series have been produced and are currently being field-tested within the education community.
Pre/post exams were used in a college freshmen oceanography course to identify student misconceptions and to investigate student learning gains. This course has a diverse population of students where most are not science majors. The pre-test, given on the first day of class, contains 100 questions over entire course content. The post test is given on the last day of class. Our results are based on pre/post test scores from 6 sections (2009-2011, n = ~150). There is no significant difference between average scores of males and females in the pre-test, and most students regardless of class level (freshmen to senior) have about the same knowledge level of the ocean/climate system coming into the course. On the pre-test, many students answered incorrectly questions on the cause for lunar phases, the Coriolis effect, mechanism of air/water mass movement, and the energy driving the hydrologic cycle; but showed significant improvement on the post-test. In contrast, 100% of students answered correctly that weather and climate are different coming into the course, and 100% left the course unconfused about this. There is consistent improvement in the class average scores between the pre and post exams by 20-30% in all sections regardless of the semester or course content covered. Potentially, the post test may be reflecting retention rather than transient learning from cramming for the final exam.
Sakow, Matthew; Karaman, Ruveyda
Many students struggle with algebra, from simplifying expressions to solving systems of equations. Students also have misconceptions about the meaning of variables. In response to the question "Can x + y + z ever equal x + p + z?" during a student interview, the student claimed, "Never . . . because p has to have a different value…
da Luz, Mauricio Roberto Motta Pinto
In the present work, I investigated the origin of the misconception that glucose is the sole metabolic fuel previously described among Brazilian high school students. The results of a multiple-choice test composed of 24 questions about a broad range of biology subjects were analyzed. The test was part of a contest and was answered by a sample…
Slater, S. J.; Slater, T. F.
Much of the last three decades of discipline-based education research in the geosciences has focused on the important work of identifying the range and domain of misconceptions students bring into undergraduate science survey courses. Pinpointing students' prior knowledge is a cornerstone for developing constructivist approaches and learning environments for effective teaching. At the same time, the development of a robust a priori formula for professors to use in mitigating students' misconceptions remains elusive. An analysis of the literature and our own research has persuaded researchers at the CAPER Center for Astronomy & Physics Education Research to put forth a model that will allow professors to operate on students' various learning difficulties in a more productive manner. Previously, much of the field's work binned erroneous student thinking into a single construct, and from that basis, curriculum developers and instructors addressed student misconceptions with a single instructional strategy. In contrast, we propose a model based on the notion that 'misconceptions' are a mixture of at least four learning barriers: incorrect factual information, inappropriately applied mental algorithms (phenomenological primitives), insufficient cognitive structures (e.g. spatial reasoning), and affective/emotional difficulties (e.g. students' spiritual commitments). In this sense, each of these different types of learning barriers would be more effectively addressed with an instructional strategy purposefully targeting these different attributes. Initial applications of this model to learning problems in geosciences have been fruitful, suggesting that an effort towards categorizing persistent learning difficulties in the geosciences beyond the single generalized category of 'misconceptions' might allow our community to more effectively design learning experiences for our students and the general public
Cheng, Karen Kow Yip; Beigi, Amir Biglar
Inclusive education can help facilitate the inclusion of students with disabilities in mainstream schools. Inclusive education has proven to be a key benefit for disabled children as an end in itself and as a means to an end of greater social acceptance of difference and disability. However there needs to be greater awareness-raising measures at…
This paper reflects on insights that emerged from the findings of a qualitative study conducted by the author in 2007 with third year management students from an Australian university on their perceptions in relation to business ethics. The findings revealed an attitude of cynicism with regard to the application of ethical principles beyond…
The USDA Delta Obesity Prevention Research Project seeks to identify and evaluate dietary and physical activity patterns in African American students to develop an educational intervention that is nutritionally adequate and culturally relevant for 18- to 24-year-old African-American university stude...
Describes the experiences of a university professor who has been teaching graduate courses in Florida via the Internet. Topics include course preparation, including an initial face-to-face session; Netiquette for working on the Internet; the importance of technical staff; assignments and exams; and student evaluations. (LRW)
Livermore, Jeffrey A.; Scafe, Marla G.; Wiechowski, Linda S.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate students' perceptions of faculty credibility based on email addresses. The survey was conducted at an upper division business school in Michigan where all students have completed at least two years of college courses. The survey results show that a faculty member's selection of an email address does…
Clift, Kathy; Rizzolo, Denise
Communicable diseases are on the rise worldwide. Some of the increase in prevalence of these nearly eradicated diseases is due to a decrease in vaccination rates. This decrease is primarily due to parental concerns over vaccine safety and the increasing rates of autism spectrum disorders. Medical providers must address the growing antivaccine movement and misconceptions about immunizations. Physician assistants are in a unique position to offer evidence-based medical advice and encourage immunizations in order to prevent disease outbreaks. PMID:25003847
Marso, Joan L.
This paper addresses the developmental stages and issues faced by lesbian and gay college students between the ages of 18 and 25. Over and above the developmental stages faced by all students, lesbian and gay students frequently struggle with their sexual identity and development and the range of problems and emotions associated with coming to…
Orgill, MaryKay; Sutherland, Aynsley
Both upper- and lower-level chemistry students struggle with understanding the concept of buffers and with solving corresponding buffer problems. While it might be reasonable to expect general chemistry students to struggle with this abstract concept, it is surprising that upper-level students in analytical chemistry and biochemistry continue to…
Kowalski, Patricia; Taylor, Annette Kujawski
Students often come into the introductory psychology course with many misconceptions and leave with most of them intact. Borrowing from other disciplines, we set out to determine whether refutational lecture and text are effective in dispelling student misconceptions. These approaches first activate a misconception and then immediately counter it…
Nazario, Gladys M.; Burrowes, Patricia A.; Rodriguez, Julio
Explains a research project conducted at the University of Puerto Rico among students taking biology to develop and test a constructivist learning environment and identify students' misconceptions in biology. Lists the questions on which students showed misconceptions during the pre- and post-tests. (Contains 27 references.) (YDS)
This article presents situations involving perimeter, area, volume and mass, and the misconceptions often encountered with these measurements. The author suggests possible interventions that teachers can use to correct these misconceptions and help students to better understand these properties.
Cline, Kelly; Parker, Mark; Zullo, Holly; Stewart, Ann
One technique for identifying and addressing common student errors is the method of classroom voting, in which the instructor presents a multiple-choice question to the class, and after a few minutes for consideration and small group discussion, each student votes on the correct answer, often using a hand-held electronic clicker. If a large number…
Katsiyannis, Antonis; Ellenburg, Jennifer S.; Acton, Olivia M.; Torrey, Gregory
This article discusses symptoms of students with Rett Syndrome, a disability in females characterized by the development of multiple specific deficits following a period of normal functioning after birth. Specific interventions for students with Rett syndrome are provided and address communication, stereotypic movements, self-injurious behaviors,…
Templeton, C. M.; McNeal, K. S.; Libarkin, J.
Misconceptions about climate change abound in every corner of society. The result manifests itself ranging from apprehension to total disregard for climate change conditions. According to several sources, however, a large percentage of the U. S. population do, indeed indicate some concern over global warming and climate change in general. These climate change misconceptions are numerous and include, to name a few; confusion between weather and climate, how greenhouse gases are affecting the earth, the effects of ozone depletion, earth's natural cycles, volcanic activity, nuclear waste and a host of other anthropogenic influences. This paper is a review of the current research literature relating to climate change misconceptions. These errant views will be addressed, cataloged, enumerated, and ranked to get a grasp on where the general population, politicians, scientists, and educators as well as students stand on informed climate change information. The categories where misconceptions arise have been identified in this literature review study and include the following: Natural cycles of the earth, ecological which include deforestation, urban development and any human intervention on the environment, educational - including teacher strategies, student understanding and textbook updates, emotional, ozone layer and its interactions, polar ice, political regulations, mandates and laws, pollution from human sources as well as from nature, religious beliefs and dogma and social beliefs. We suggest appropriate solutions for addressing these misconceptions, especially in the classroom setting, and broadly include available funding sources for work in climate change education. Some solutions include need for compilation of appropriate education resources and materials for public use, need for the development of educational materials that appropriately address the variety of publics, and need for programs that are conducting climate change education research and EPO work to
Galley, William C.
The misconceptions regarding the nature of ATP hydrolysis and bond breaking are discussed. The students' knowledge in this area is quantitatively measured by a survey of over 600 biochemistry and physiology students.
Cheng, Hwee-Ming; Durairajanayagam, Damayanthi
The annual Intermedical School Physiology Quiz (IMSPQ), initiated in 2003, is now an event that attracts a unique, large gathering of selected medical students from medical schools across the globe. The 8th IMSPQ, in 2010, hosted by the Department of Physiology, University of Malaya, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, had 200 students representing 41…
Lee, Y. J.; Diong, C. H.
This paper explains the results of a survey of students' ideas about food as a scientific concept. The survey found that high school students in Singapore (n=66) displayed an anthropocentric view of food that was not generally applied across living organisms in heterotrophs (animals) or autotrophs (plants) as a whole. It is also noted that…
Teuscher, Dawn; Reys, Robert E.
This study examined Advanced Placement Calculus students' mathematical understanding of rate of change, after studying four years of college preparatory (integrated or single-subject) mathematics. Students completed the Precalculus Concept Assessment (PCA) and two open-ended tasks with questions about rates of change. After adjusting for prior…
Hockicko, Peter; Trpišová, Beáta; Ondruš, Ján
The present paper informs about an analysis of students' conceptions about car braking distances and also presents one of the novel methods of learning: an interactive computer program Tracker that we used to analyse the process of braking of a car. The analysis of the students' conceptions about car braking distances consisted in…
Kirbulut, Zubeyde Demet; Geban, Omer
This study involves the development of a three-tier diagnostic test to measure high school students' understanding of states of matter concepts. The States of Matter Diagnostic Test (SMDT) is a 19-item three-tier diagnostic test consisting of three-tier items for assessing students' understanding of states of matter concepts. The SMDT…
Hockicko, Peter; Trpišová, Beáta; Ondruš, Ján
The present paper informs about an analysis of students' conceptions about car braking distances and also presents one of the novel methods of learning: an interactive computer program Tracker that we used to analyse the process of braking of a car. The analysis of the students' conceptions about car braking distances consisted in obtaining their estimates of these quantities before and after watching a video recording of a car braking from various initial speeds to a complete stop and subsequent application of mathematical statistics to the obtained sets of students' answers. The results revealed that the difference between the value of the car braking distance estimated before watching the video and the real value of this distance was not caused by a random error but by a systematic error which was due to the incorrect students' conceptions about the car braking process. Watching the video significantly improved the students' estimates of the car braking distance, and we show that in this case, the difference between the estimated value and the real value of the car braking distance was due only to a random error, i.e. the students' conceptions about the car braking process were corrected. Some of the students subsequently performed video analysis of the braking processes of cars of various brands and under various conditions by means of Tracker that gave them exact knowledge of the physical quantities, which characterize a motor vehicle braking. Interviewing some of these students brought very positive reactions to this novel method of learning.
Investigates the effectiveness of combining conceptual change text and concept mapping strategies on students' understanding of diffusion and osmosis. Results indicate that while the average percentage of students in the experimental group holding a scientifically correct view rose, the percentage of correct responses in the control group…
Dotson, Geraldine Ting
A new 12 item research questionnaire was developed specifically to assess collegiate mathematics students' concept image of domain and zeros of rational functions. The study was designed to validate Tall and Vinner's (1981) cognitive model. Support was found for the hypothesis that students' mathematical experience influences their growth, with…
Cangelosi, Richard; Madrid, Silvia; Cooper, Sandra; Olson, Jo; Hartter, Beverly
The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not certain errors made when simplifying exponential expressions persist as students progress through their mathematical studies. College students enrolled in college algebra, pre-calculus, and first- and second-semester calculus mathematics courses were asked to simplify exponential…
Montecinos, Alicia M.
A partially unusual behaviour was found among 14 sophomore students of civil engineering who took a pre test for a free fall laboratory session, in the context of a general mechanics course. An analysis contemplating mathematics models and physics models consistency was made. In all cases, the students presented evidence favoring a correct free…
Kelly, Resa M.; Barrera, Juliet H.; Mohamed, Saheed C.
This study examined how 21 college-level general chemistry students, who had received instruction that emphasized the symbolic level of ionic equations, explained their submicroscopic-level understanding of precipitation reactions. Students' explanations expressed through drawings and semistructured interviews revealed the nature of the…
Price, Jayne; Dornan, Jean; Quail, Lorraine
Children's palliative care has evolved in recent years and is now recognised as a distinct area of health and social care practice. Whilst children's hospices are viewed as central to quality care for these children and families, lack of knowledge regarding the exact nature of care they provide exists. Education can go part way to changing attitudes and knowledge about the key contribution of hospices, thus improving future care. Alternative and innovative strategies to stimulate meaningful learning are pivotal to children's nurse education and this paper examines one such innovation adopted with 2nd year children's nursing students. Aiming to help students explore the ethos of children's hospice an educational visit was arranged, followed by an on line discussion. Although some practical challenges were encountered, the visit heightened student awareness moving them from the readily held perception that children's hospices were exclusively for dying children and was viewed by students as more effective than a traditional classroom session. PMID:23111411
Hughes, Sean; Lyddy, Fiona; Lambe, Sinead
This article provides an overview of the available evidence on psychological misconceptions, including key findings, current directions and emerging issues for investigation. We begin by defining misconceptions and then examine their prevalence and persistence, discuss their implications for student learning and highlight potential strategies to…
Andrews, T. M.; Price, R. M.; Mead, L. S.; McElhinny, T. L.; Thanukos, A.; Perez, K. E.; Herreid, C. F.; Terry, D. R.; Lemons, P. P.
This study explores biology undergraduates' misconceptions about genetic drift. We use qualitative and quantitative methods to describe students' definitions, identify common misconceptions, and examine differences before and after instruction on genetic drift. We identify and describe five overarching categories that include 16 distinct…
Philosophical debates about chemistry have clarified that the issue of emergence plays a critical role in the epistemology and ontology of chemistry. In this article, it is argued that the issue of emergence has also significant implications for understanding learning difficulties and finding ways of addressing them in chemistry. Particularly, it…
Bensley, D. Alan; Lilienfeld, Scott O.
Studies of psychological misconceptions have often used tests with methodological shortcomings, unknown psychometric properties, and ad hoc methods for identifying misconceptions, creating problems for estimating frequencies of specific misconceptions. To address these problems, we developed a new test, the Test of Psychological Knowledge and…
Rakes, Christopher R.
In this study, the author examined the relationship of probability misconceptions to algebra, geometry, and rational number misconceptions and investigated the potential of probability instruction as an intervention to address misconceptions in all 4 content areas. Through a review of literature, 5 fundamental concepts were identified that, if…
Brownstein, Erica M.
There is a significant amount of research on misconceptions in physics. This presentation will relate these misconceptions to the new State Learning Competencies in Science. Understanding and being aware of physics misconceptions will help educators address some of the “traps” in the new 10th grade test.
Hare, Molly K.; Graber, Kim C.
Grounded within constructivist theory, the purpose of this investigation was to investigate knowledge acquisition and developing conceptions of high school-aged students during a unit of instruction in badminton. Six different qualitative methods were utilized: (a) observations, (b) formal interviews, (c) informal interviews, (d) think aloud…
Holmes, Vicki-Lynn; Miedema, Chelsea; Nieuwkoop, Lindsay; Haugen, Nicholas
In an age when reform is based on standards and instruction is based on research, this article gives practical advice for how mathematics teachers can analyze errors in student problems to create interventions that aid not only the individual's development, but the entire class's as well. By learning how to correct mathematics…
Stefani, Christina; Tsaparlis, Georgios
We investigated students' knowledge constructions of basic quantum chemistry concepts, namely atomic orbitals, the Schrodinger equation, molecular orbitals, hybridization, and chemical bonding. Ausubel's theory of meaningful learning provided the theoretical framework and phenomenography the method of analysis. The semi-structured interview with…
Ray, Andrew M.; Beardsley, Paul M.
Even though photosynthesis is an obligatory part of the science curriculum, research has shown that students often have a poor understanding of it. The authors advocate that classroom coverage of the topic of photosynthesis should include not only its biochemical properties but also the role of photosynthesis or photosynthetic organisms in matter…
Chang, Kuo-En; Liu, Sei-Hua; Chen, Sei-Wang
Outlines a test-based diagnosis system for misconceptions in DC electric circuits and its three parts: problem library, problem selector and diagnoser. Discusses misconception discrimination and diagnosis theories, and reports the system supports satisfactory diagnosis. Includes an analysis of nine student misconceptions about electrical circuits…
Leonard, Mary J.; Kalinowski, Steven T.; Andrews, Tessa C.
A recent essay in "CBE-Life Sciences Education" criticized biology education researchers' use of the term "misconceptions" and recommended that, in order to be up-to-date with education research, biology education researchers should use alternative terms for students' incorrect ideas in science. We counter that…
Keller, Cara M.
The purpose of this qualitative evaluative case study was to gain insight into how students perceived the efficacy of using games to address their science literacy concerns. Scientists in the United States are concerned with the lack of science literacy. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 requires proficiency in reading, mathematics, language arts, and science by the completion of the 2013--2014 school year. The high school participating in this study received substandard test scores on both the 2009 state graduation test and the science portion of the ACT test. The research question included understanding how students perceive the use of games in addressing their science literacy needs. The data from the student journals, field notes, and transcribed class discussions were analyzed using a 6 step method that included coding the data into main themes. The triangulated data were used to both gain insight into student perspective and inform game development. Constructivist theories formed the conceptual framework of the study. The findings of the study suggested that games may prove a valuable tool in science literacy attainment. The study indicated that games were perceived by the students to be effective tools in meeting their learning needs. Implications for positive social change included providing students, educators, and administrators with game resources that can be used to meet the science learning needs of struggling students, thereby improving science scores on high stakes tests.
Keller, Cara M.
The purpose of this qualitative evaluative case study was to gain insight into how students perceived the efficacy of using games to address their science literacy concerns. Scientists in the United States are concerned with the lack of science literacy. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 requires proficiency in reading, mathematics, language…
Burcroff, Teri L.; Radogna, Daniel M.; Wright, Erika H.
This article describes how one inclusive middle school addressed needs of students with significant disabilities for functional community-referenced skills including clothing purchases, buying groceries, eating out, crossing the street, doing laundry, and using a microwave. Program development, program organization, and involvement of peers…
Kalinowski, Steven T.; Andrews, Tessa C.
A recent essay in CBE—Life Sciences Education criticized biology education researchers’ use of the term misconceptions and recommended that, in order to be up-to-date with education research, biology education researchers should use alternative terms for students’ incorrect ideas in science. We counter that criticism by reviewing the continued use and the meaning of misconceptions in education research today, and describe two key debates that account for the controversy surrounding the term. We then identify and describe two areas of research that have real implications for tomorrow's biology education research and biology instruction: 1) hypotheses about the structure of student knowledge (coherent vs. fragmented) that gives rise to misconceptions; and 2) the “warming trend” that considers the effects of students’ motivation, beliefs about the nature of knowledge and learning (their epistemic beliefs), and learning strategies (their cognitive and metacognitive skills) on their ability to change their misconceptions in science. We conclude with a description of proposed future work in biology education research related to misconceptions. PMID:26086651
Identifying students' misconceptions and learning difficulties and finding effective ways of addressing them has been one of the major concerns in chemistry education. However, the chemistry education community has paid little attention to determining discipline-specific aspects of chemistry that can lead to learning difficulties and…
Olakanmi, E. O.; Doyoyo, M.
This paper explores the effectiveness of using "structured examples in concert with prompting reflective questions" to address misconceptions held by mechanical engineering students about thermodynamic principles by employing pre-test and post-test design, a structured questionnaire, lecture room observation, and participants'…
Reichert, Collin; Cervato, Cinzia; Niederhauser, Dale; Larsen, Michael D.
In this paper we describe student use of a series of connected online problem-solving activities to remediate atmospheric carbon budget misconceptions held by undergraduate university students. In particular, activities were designed to address a common misconception about conservation of mass when students assume a simplistic, direct relationship…
Bean, Thomas E.; Sinatra, Gale M.; Schrader, P. G.
The use of computer simulations as educational tools may afford the means to develop understanding of evolution as a natural, emergent, and decentralized process. However, special consideration of developmental constraints on learning may be necessary when using these technologies. Specifically, the essentialist (biological forms possess an immutable essence), teleological (assignment of purpose to living things and/or parts of living things that may not be purposeful), and intentionality (assumption that events are caused by an intelligent agent) biases may be reinforced through the use of computer simulations, rather than addressed with instruction. We examine the video game Spore for its depiction of evolutionary content and its potential to reinforce these cognitive biases. In particular, we discuss three pedagogical strategies to mitigate weaknesses of Spore and other computer simulations: directly targeting misconceptions through refutational approaches, targeting specific principles of scientific inquiry, and directly addressing issues related to models as cognitive tools.
Navarro, Anita M; Taylor, Anita D; Pokorny, Anita P
Medical students make specialty decisions that are critically important to their long-term career satisfaction and overall well-being. The dynamic of larger class sizes set against stagnant numbers of residency positions creates an imperative for students to make and test specialty decisions earlier in medical school. Ideally, formal career advising begins in medical school. Medical schools typically offer career development programs as extracurricular offerings. The authors describe three curricular approaches and the innovative courses developed to address medical students' career development needs. The models differ in complexity and cost, but they share the goals of assisting students to form career identities and to use resources effectively in their specialty decision processes. The first model is a student-organized specialties elective. To earn course credit, students must complete questionnaires for the sessions, submit results from two self-assessments, and report on two physician informational interviews. The second model comprises two second-year career development courses that have evolved into a longitudinal career development program. The third model integrates career topics through a doctoring course and advising teams. The authors discuss challenges and lessons learned from implementing each of the programs, including marshaling resources, achieving student buy-in, and obtaining time in the curriculum. Invoking a curricular approach seems to normalize the tasks associated with career development and puts them on par in importance with other medical school endeavors. PMID:21099397
Weeks, Brian E.
College students often come to the study of evolutionary biology with many misconceptions of how the processes of natural selection and speciation occur. How to relinquish these misconceptions with learners is a question that many educators face in introductory biology courses. Constructivism as a theoretical framework has become an accepted and…
Hermann, Ronald; Lewis, Bradford F.
Over the course of history, scientists have constructed models and equations that provide insight into the motions of the heavens. However, research indicates many people hold alternative conceptions that, to them, explain the same observable phenomenon. Science educators have found that students learning about lunar phases may hold misconceptions…
A Reply to ''Reinterpretation of Students' Ideas When Reasoning about Particle Model Illustrations. A Response to ''Using Animations in Identifying General Chemistry Students' Misconceptions and Evaluating Their Knowledge Transfer Relating to Particle Position in Physical Changes'' by Smith and Villarreal (2015)''
Smith, K. Christopher; Villarreal, Savannah
In this reply to Elon Langbeheim's response to an article recently published in this journal, authors Smith and Villarreal identify several types of general chemistry students' misconceptions concerning the concept of particle position during physical change. They focus their response on one of the misconceptions identified as such: Given a solid…
Polo, Blanca J.
Much research has been done in regards to student programming errors, online education and studio-based learning (SBL) in computer science education. This study furthers this area by bringing together this knowledge and applying it to proactively help students overcome impasses caused by common student programming errors. This project proposes a…
Schulman, Eric; Cox, Caroline V.
The present system of astronomical magnitudes was created as an inverse scale by Claudius Ptolemy in about 140 A.D. and was defined to be logarithmic in 1856 by Norman Pogson, who believed that human eyes respond logarithmically to the intensity of light. Although scientists have known for some time that the response is instead a power law, astronomers continue to use the Pogson magnitude scale. The peculiarities of this system make it easy for students to develop numerous misconceptions about how and why to use magnitudes. We present a useful exercise in the use of magnitudes to derive a cosmologically interesting quantity (the mass-to-light ratio for spiral galaxies), with potential pitfalls pointed out and explained.
Yoshikawa, Masahiro; Koga, Nobuyoshi
This study focuses on students' understandings of a liquid-gas system with liquid-vapor equilibrium in a closed system using a pressure-temperature ("P-T") diagram. By administrating three assessment questions concerning the "P-T" diagrams of liquid-gas systems to students at the beginning of undergraduate general chemistry…
Simpson, William D.; Marek, Edmund A.
Discusses the relationship of school size to understanding of scientific concepts. Results indicated that students in small high schools had fewer instances of understanding and more instances of misunderstanding of the concepts of diffusion and homeostasis. No difference was observed for concepts related to food production in plants and…