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Science Misconceptions Management Regional Staff Development Day November 5, 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Science Misconceptions Management Regional Staff Development Day November 5, 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Science Misconceptions Management Regional Staff Development Day November 5, 2012

2 Which of these represents a phase shape in the monthly change in appearance of the moon?

3 Introduction Where does all the mass in a tree come from? Harvard Graduation Minds of Our Own

4 Misconceptions About Photosynthesis Carbon Dioxide plus Water yields Glucose plus Oxygen 6 CO 2 + 6 H 2 O C 6 H 12 O 6 + 6 O 2 Carbon Dioxide (Air) has no Weight

5 Jan Baptist Van Helmont, 1649 Planted a Willow Shoot 5 Years Later Tree: Gained 164 lbs Soil: Lost 2 Ounces!!

6 Photosynthesis at the Atomic Level – Van Niel, 1930s Reactants: 6 CO 2 + 12 H 2 O Products: C 6 H 12 O 6 + 6 H 2 O + 6 O 2 (Glucose gets 93% of its mass from CO 2 ; 7% from H 2 O) -Campbell & Reece, Biology, Sixth Edition 2002

7 Other Examples Earths gravity does not extend beyond its atmosphere. Sustained motion requires sustained force. A sweater or mittens actually produce heat. Energy is a substance (e.g. caloric). Seasons are caused by Earths distance from the sun. The terms energy and force (or heat and temperature, or mass and weight or speed, velocity and acceleration) mean the same thing. Others?

8 Types of Misconceptions 1.Factual: based on misinformation, e.g. lightning never strikes the same place twice. 2.Preconceptions: based on incomplete observations or previous experience, e.g. groundwater exists as underground rivers. 3.Conceptual: based on misapplying a general principle or example, e.g. blood flows like ocean tides, or tornadoes are attracted to mobile home parks. 4.Vernacular: misunderstandings about the meaning of words, e.g. sun rises and sets. 5.Non-Scientific Beliefs: (???) – Gooding and Metz, The Science Teacher, April/May 2011

9 Non-Scientific Beliefs Why Some Civil War Soldiers Glowed in the Dark Why Some Civil War Soldiers Glowed in the Dark by Matt Soniak - April 5, 2012 - 9:46 PMMatt Soniak Question: What if science misconceptions are religiously based? A religious belief is not a misconception in the way we use the term. Skilled science teachers can respect religious beliefs while teaching science concepts and facts. http://www.cfa.harvard.edu

10 Misconceptions Learning Cycle The longer a misconception remains unchallenged, the more likely it is to become entrenched. – Gooding and Metz, The Science Teacher, April/May 2011 1.Elicit 2.Address 3.Reconcile

11 1. Elicit Misconceptions Encourage students to clarify their thinking – explain, rephrase, illustrate or demonstrate. Using assessment data to identify misconceptions. –Item Analysis – look for common incorrect responses –What is the Misconception? –What type of Misconception is it?

12 1. Elicit Misconceptions Example: MS Life Science L.HE.M.1 Inherited and Acquired Traits – The characteristics of organisms are influenced by heredity and environment. For some characteristics, inheritance is more important; for other characteristics, interactions with the environment are more important. L.HE.05.12 Distinguish between inherited and acquired traits. - All items & data taken from MOSART http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/smgphp/mosart/index.html

13 1. Elicit Misconceptions Example: MS Life Science Item Analysis: 25% students (n=290) correctly chose c 55% students incorrectly chose b - All items & data taken from MOSART http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/smgphp/mosart/index.html

14 1. Elicit Misconceptions Example: EL Life Science 2 nd Grade Unit 2: L.OL.02.22 Describe the life cycle of familiar flowering plants including the following stages: seed, plant, flower, and fruit. 3 rd Grade Unit 3: L.OL.03.31 Describe the function of the following plant parts: flower, stem, root, and leaf.

15 1. Elicit Misconceptions Example: EL Life Science Item Analysis: 35% students (n=207) correctly chose d 57% students incorrectly chose b

16 1. Elicit Misconceptions Example: MS Physical Science 6 th Grade Unit 1 Matter and Energy P.EN.06.41 Explain how different forms of energy can be transferred from one place to another by radiation, conduction, or convection.

17 1. Elicit Misconceptions Example: MS Physical Science Item Analysis: 18% students correctly chose b 56% students incorrectly chose a

18 1. Elicit Misconceptions Example: HS Earth Science Earth Science Unit 3: Plate Tectonics E3.3B Explain why tectonic plates move using the concept of heat flowing through mantle convection, coupled with the cooling and sinking of aging ocean plates that result from their increased density.

19 1. Elicit Misconceptions Example: HS Earth Science Item Analysis: 17% students (n=156) correctly chose a 40% students incorrectly chose e

20 1. Elicit Misconceptions Example: MS Science Regional Common Assessments

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22 2. Address Misconceptions Strategies: (Gooding and Metz, 2008, Science Scope 32(1): 62-64) Call for clarification (ask students to explain, rephrase, illustrate, or demonstrate). Call for evidence to substantiate students claims. Wait time. Maintain an open mind about alternative solutions, procedures and ideas.

23 3. Reconcile Misconceptions Misconceptions are individualized and therefore must be corrected by their owners. Teachers should focus not only on repairing existing misconceptions, but also on preventing future misconceptions.

24 3. Reconcile Misconceptions Lower elementary (K-2 nd Grade): –Too soon to name all the moons phases –Evaporation and condensation will mean nothing –Make no effort to introduce energy as a scientific idea –Anthropomorphism (ignore it) –Plants make their own food is very difficult and should be saved for middle school Make sure district curricula are developmentally appropriate: - Examples from Benchmarks for Science Literacy, Project 2061, AAAS

25 3. Reconcile Misconceptions Upper elementary (Grades 3-5): –Not many have much of an idea of what a billion is –formal energy concepts can wait, but start to develop an understanding of heat, without necessarily differentiating it from temperature –The idea that cells are the basic units in which life processes (especially biochemical) occur is difficult –Illustrate transfer of energy in physical systems, biological energy transfer is far too complicated

26 3. Reconcile Misconceptions Middle School (Grades 6-8): –Most think of light years as a measure of time –Having students memorize the names of invisible things & their parts (atomic and molecular theory) before adolescence (and the development of concrete perceptions) wastes time –Students initially cannot confidently distinguish between physical and chemical change –Law of definite proportions and quantitative gas laws are likely to be more confusing than helpful

27 3. Reconcile Misconceptions Middle School (Grades 6-8, continued): –The things around them do seem to slow down of their own accord (friction, Newtons First Law of Motion) –In some organisms, all the genes come from a single parent (asexual reproduction) –The full-blown concept of ecosystem can be left until students have many of the pieces in place –Most students see food webs as involving the creation and destruction of matter

28 3. Reconcile Misconceptions Overcoming Student Misconceptions National Research Council, 1997, Science Teaching Reconsidered 1.Anticipate most common misconceptions. 2.Encourage students to discuss their ideas with other students – thinking about evidence and possible tests. 3.Address common misconceptions with demonstrations and lab work. 4.Revisit common misconceptions often. 5.Assess and reassess the validity of students concepts.

29 Address misconceptions with demonstrations and lab work

30 3. Reconcile Misconceptions Curricula Evaluation: (Lowery (2008), cited in Gooding and Metz, 2011, The Science Teacher) Make sure science concepts are presented at grade- appropriate levels. Go into depth with fewer topics. Move from direct experience to the abstract. Emphasize hands-on experiences and discrepant events. Build on prior learning. Provide multiple opportunities to learn, re-learn and reflect.

31 Online Resources MOSART: Misconceptions-Oriented Standards-Based Assessment Resources for Teachers –http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/smgphp/mosart/in dex.htmlhttp://www.cfa.harvard.edu/smgphp/mosart/in dex.html AAAS Science Assessment: Topics with Common Misconceptions –http://assessment.aaas.org/topicshttp://assessment.aaas.org/topics

32 Contact Information Tom Wessels, Science Consultant twessels@tbaisd.org Grand Traverse Regional Math Science Center Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District 1101 Red Drive, PO Box 6020 Traverse City, MI 49696-6020 Ph: 231-922-7875 Fax: 231-922-6391


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