10 SES 01 B, Parallel Paper Session
Parallel Paper Session
Introduction and Theoretical Framework
Nakhleh (1992) defines misconceptions as concepts which students construct on their own, but these are outside the concepts which are scientifically accepted or are aimed to be constructed by teachers. Main reasons for misconceptions are faulty or insufficient perception of the concepts learnt, concepts of daily language having different meanings in scientific language, not using appropriate teaching approaches while teaching topics and concepts, insufficiency in the construction of relationships between the concepts and concepts and daily life (Mann & Treagust, 1998). Previous studies have shown that students’ misconceptions are resistant to change and improvement because they have a consistency among themselves and are supported by some daily life experiences (Mintzes, Wandersee & Novak, 2001). Moreover, these misconceptions have a negative effect on students’ subsequent learning (Osborne & Wittrock, 1983; Hewson & Hewson, 1984; Griffiths & Preston, 1992; Palmer, 2001). Therefore, misconceptions are challenges which are difficult to deal with since they hinder both students’ present and future learning.
When the literature is considered, it can be said that teachers have an important role for overcoming students’ misconceptions. In this respect quality teaching plays an important role to achieve desired learning among students. Previous studies mainly focused on the detection of misconceptions among teachers, pre-service teachers and students almost at all grade levels and in all subject areas and the eradication of these misconceptions by particular teaching methods (e.g. Brown & Clement, 1987; Griffiths & Preston, 1992; Palmer, 2001). Although these studies provide valuable information regarding awareness of and struggle with misconceptions, there are not enough studies regarding teachers’ attitudes towards misconceptions such as teachers’ general perceptions of misconceptions or how much importance they give to students’ misconceptions during their teaching. In fact, teachers’ attitudes may affect their teaching process in the lessons and the environment they create for students’ meaningful learning. As for science lessons, Huinker and Madison (1997) stated that teachers’ attitudes and beliefs about science and science education play an important role in the way their behaviors in science teaching take shape. For this reason, the aim of this study is to understand science teachers’ attitudes towards students’ misconceptions. In order to achieve this aim, this study focuses on the following research questions:
1. What are the perceptions of teachers about students’ misconceptions?
2. How do teachers explain the source of students’ misconceptions?
3. What kind of teaching methods do teachers frequently use when dealing with students’ misconceptions?
4. How do teachers use their professional competencies in their struggle with students’ misconceptions?
It is expected that understanding teachers’ attitudes towards students’ misconceptions provide useful information to teacher educators, curriculum developers, textbook writers and teachers in their struggle with students’ misconceptions.
References Brown, D. E. & Clement, J. (1987). Misconceptions concerning Newton’s Law of action reaction: The underestimated importance of the third law. Proceedings of the Second International Seminar Misconceptions and Educational Strategies in Science and Mathematics. Cornell University, 39-54. Gorden, R. L. (1956). Dimensions of the depth interview. American Journal of Sociology, 62, 158-164. Griffiths, A. K. & Preston, K. R. (1992). Grade – 12 students’ misconceptions relating to fundamental characteristics of atoms and molecules. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 29(6), 611-628. Hewson, P. W. & Hewson, M. G. (1984). The role of conceptual conflict in conceptual change and the design of science instruction. Instructional Science, 13, 1-13. Huinker, D. & Madison, S. K. (1997). Preparing efficacious elementary teachers in science and mathematics: The influence of methods courses. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 8, 107-126. Magnusson, S., Krajcik, J., & Borko, H. (1999). Nature, sources, and development of pedagogical content knowledge for science teaching. In J. Gess-Newsome, & N. G. Lederman (Eds.), Examining pedagogical content knowledge. The construct and its implications for science education, 6, 95-132. Dordrecht/Boston/London: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Mann, M. & Treagust, D. F. (1998). A pencil and paper instrument to diagnose students’ conception of breathing, gas exchange and respiration. Australian Science Teachers Journal, 44, 2, 55-59. Mintzes, J. J.; Wandersee, J. H. & Novak, J. D. (2001). Assesing understanding in biology. Journal of Biological Education, 35(3), 118-125. Nakhleh, M. B. (1992). Why some students don't learn chemistry. Journal of Chemical Education, 69, 191-196. Osborne, R. J. & Wittrock, M. C. (1983). Learning science: A generative process. Science Education, 67(4), 489-508. Palmer, D. H. (2001). Students’ alternative conceptions and scientifically acceptable conceptions about gravity. International Journal of Science Education, 23(7), 691-706. Shulman, L. S. (1987). Knowledge and teaching: Foundations of the new reform. Harvard Educational Review, 57(1), 1-22.
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