Presentation on theme: "Science Misconceptions Management"— Presentation transcript:
1 Science Misconceptions Management Regional Staff Development DayNovember 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”Minds of Our Own DVD: “Lessons From Thin Air” Scene 3: Harvard Graduation 3:25 – 6:32
4 Misconceptions About Photosynthesis Carbon Dioxide plus Water yields Glucose plus Oxygen6 CO H2O C6H12O O2“Carbon Dioxide (Air) has no Weight”
5 Jan Baptist Van Helmont, 1649 Planted a Willow Shoot5 YearsLaterTree: Gained 164 lbsSoil: Lost 2 Ounces!!
6 Photosynthesis at the Atomic Level – Van Niel, 1930’s Reactants: CO H2OProducts: C6H12O H2O O2(Glucose gets 93% of its mass from CO2; 7% from H2O)-Campbell & Reece, Biology, Sixth Edition 2002
7 Other Examples“Earth’s 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 Earth’s 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 Factual: based on misinformation, e.g. “lightning never strikes the same place twice.”Preconceptions: based on incomplete observations or previous experience, e.g. groundwater exists as “underground rivers.”Conceptual: based on misapplying a general principle or example, e.g. blood flows like ocean tides, or tornadoes are attracted to mobile home parks.Vernacular: misunderstandings about the meaning of words, e.g. sun “rises” and “sets.”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 by Matt Soniak - April 5, :46 PMQuestion: 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.”
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 2011ElicitAddressReconcile
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 Distinguish between inherited and acquired traits.- All items & data taken from MOSART
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“Conceptual” Misconception: Confusing “acquired” for “inherited” traits.
14 1. Elicit Misconceptions Example: EL Life Science 2nd Grade Unit 2: L.OL Describe the life cycle of familiar flowering plants including the following stages: seed, plant, flower, and fruit.3rd Grade Unit 3: L.OL 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’Perhaps a Preconception, having seen roots emerge from germinating seeds. Or, Conceptual Misconception, based on faulty logic – since roots develop from germinating seeds, then seeds must conversely develop from roots.
16 1. Elicit Misconceptions Example: MS Physical Science 6th Grade Unit 1 “Matter and Energy”P.EN 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 Conceptual Misconception: “cold” flows just like “heat” flows.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 TectonicsE3.3B 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’Conceptual Misconception: Not understanding the role of convection in Plate Tectonics, and the fact that temperature differences drive convection.
20 1. Elicit Misconceptions Example: MS Science Regional Common Assessments
21 1. Elicit Misconceptions Example: MS Science Regional Common Assessments
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 Make sure district curricula are developmentally appropriate:- Examples from Benchmarks for Science Literacy, Project 2061, AAASLower elementary (K-2nd Grade):Too soon to name all the moon’s phases“Evaporation and condensation” will mean nothingMake 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
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 difficultIllustrate 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 timeHaving students memorize the names of invisible things & their parts (atomic and molecular theory) before adolescence (and the development of “concrete perceptions”) wastes timeStudents initially cannot confidently distinguish between “physical” and “chemical” changeLaw 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, Newton’s 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 placeMost students see food webs as involving the creation and destruction of matter
28 3. Reconcile Misconceptions Overcoming Student MisconceptionsNational Research Council, 1997, Science Teaching ReconsideredAnticipate most common misconceptions.Encourage students to discuss their ideas with other students – thinking about evidence and possible tests.Address common misconceptions with demonstrations and lab work.Revisit common misconceptions often.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 ResourcesMOSART: Misconceptions-Oriented Standards-Based Assessment Resources for TeachersAAAS Science Assessment: Topics with Common Misconceptions
32 Contact InformationTom Wessels, Science ConsultantGrand Traverse Regional Math Science CenterTraverse Bay Area Intermediate School District1101 Red Drive, PO Box 6020Traverse City, MIPh: Fax: