University of Extremadura (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN18 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Pages: 7571-7581
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.1768
Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain
From the research area of science education, several studies have been carried out that highlight the difficulty of learning physics concepts due to the fact that students present alternative ideas that are far from scientifically correct. These interpretations given by students in contrast to the theory governing the physical phenomenon studied are known in literature as misconceptions. Some authors have highlighted the importance of diagnosing the misconceptions presented by the students before the development of the didactic intervention. It is important to be able to analyse them, counteract them and build a meaningful learning of the new concepts explained in the teaching processes so that their understanding is not hindered by the existence of misconceptions. On this subject, research has been carried out on optical phenomena at different academic levels. These studies have shown how misconceptions persist in students even after formal education, a fact that may be related to the poor treatment given to optics concepts in the current education curriculum. For this reason, it is necessary to continue to study this topic in greater depth in order, on the one hand, to develop measuring instruments that allow us to detect misconceptions and, on the other, to develop didactic tools to combat them. However, the persistence of these misconceptions among teachers in training, both at primary and secondary levels, is of particular concern. For this reason, we have focused on the learning of optics by teachers in training. This community is expected to teach students between the ages of 6 and 16 concepts related to optics such as the behaviour of bodies when exposed to light, the formation of images and colour vision, among others. Therefore, they should have learned meaningfully these contents in order to be able to transmit them effectively and to adapt and design didactic explanations depending on the level of their students. Based on these considerations, the main objective of this research has been to analyse the misconceptions presented by teachers in training at various educational levels on basic concepts of optics. The specific objective has been to design, implement and validate an interactive misconception test using an online platform. The self-created test consisted of closed-ended multiple-choice questions with a single answer, designed from previous studies and developed with the distractor theory in mind. The test was implemented on a sample of 240 future primary and secondary school teachers from different disciplines. The reliability and discriminatory power tests revealed optimal reliability and validity values in the interactive test designed. The mixed qualitative and quantitative analysis of the data obtained shows the persistence of misconceptions in optics in this group regardless of their qualifications. The results of the research indicate that the items designed can be a very useful didactic measuring instrument to improve the teaching-learning of basic optical concepts at different academic levels. Likewise, we are concerned about the results obtained in the misconceptions, since the participating subjects will have to impart these concepts to their future students. Therefore, it will be necessary to study in depth the teaching methodologies that are carried out in the classrooms in order to combat the misconceptions found and promote an improvement in the teaching of optics at all levels of education.
Optics, misconceptions, teachers in training, interactive test, light, colour.