THE IMPORTANCE OF MISCONCEPTIONS IN SCIENCE TEACHING
University of Deusto (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Conference name: 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-5 March, 2013
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Covering a certain science topic in class does not mean that all students will get a deep understanding of it. There are certain barriers to learning science and one of them is the interference between misconceptions and scientific notions. Misconceptions are explanations about natural phenomena that we develop mainly based on our daily experiences and observations, such as the “fact” that the earth is flat. These misconceptions are generally little rigorous and in many cases technically wrong.
Misconceptions are remarkably persistent, because they are deeply rooted in the mental framework of the student, and a simple explanation given by the teacher, is not normally enough to carry out the conceptual change. In this paper, the concept of misconception in science teaching is described, and an explanation for the tendency of misconceptions to persist is given. Coexistence of misconceptions and scientific concepts often lead to the development of synthetic mental models, and some of these are described. Finally, different types of misconceptions are described, and some hints for teachers about how to deal with them in class are given.
Keywords: Misconceptions in science, conceptual change.