Techniques of Teaching Science and
Dr. Margaret Waterman, Biology Department, RH 205 (573) 651-2381
Exploring and dealing with students' alternative conceptions
QUESTION 1. Quickly explore some of the following sites to identify an alternative conception that you think is important to work on. You will be using this in the rest of this assignment, including creating some instruction to help students deal with their alternative conception.
Which misconception did you choose?
Some Science Misconceptions/Alternative Conceptions/Everyday Knowledge
A list from the MO Department of Elementary and Secondary Education http://dese.mo.gov/divimprove/curriculum/science/SciMisconc11.05.pdf
General alternative conceptions list
Textbook misconceptions -- scroll down to "the misconceptions"
Myths about the nature of science
Students alternative conceptions in
Challenges in teaching and learning introductory physics
http://newyorkscienceteacher.com/sci/pages/miscon/chem.php New York Science Teacher
http://resources.educ.queensu.ca/science/main/concept/chem/c07/C07CDTL1.htm Nice list from Queen's University, Canada
Evolution alternative conceptions
http://bioliteracy.net/misconception.htm List of misconceptions in biology
http://departments.weber.edu/sciencecenter/biology%20misconceptions.htm another list of biology misconceptions, with references
Question 2. According to constructivism and conceptual change, what is going on when students have "alternative conceptions"? http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/constructivism/index.html
Question 3. How can we help students deal with their alternative conceptions? After exploring the ideas proposed below, suggest teaching strategies that are likely to work. Tell why just explaining/telling won't work.
Some teaching/learning resources:
1. This first one is a set of online workshops for teachers. Wow, are they great. Each explains, gives examples, talks about implementation and looks at pros and cons.
http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/ Click on the Constructivism link, then check out the tabs at the top of the page. Especially recommended are:
applying the theory to your own classroom http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/constructivism/exploration.html
Getting started http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/constructivism/explor_sub1.html
Question 4. Use the alternative conception from you identified from the above list of websites. Tell why you have selected it, emphasizing what you see as the difficulties students face.
Question 5. For the alternative conception you selected in question 4, describe/design a science lesson that allows you to
a. assess the students prior knowledge,
b. have students become aware of their ideas
c. challenge students' ideas, and
d. give the students practice applying "correct" ideas.
DO NOT use the regular lesson plan from. Simply describe how you would do these things.