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Title: Physical science misconceptions: Moving from identification to intervention
Authors: Riley, Joseph Philip
Yap, Kueh Chin
Toh, Kok Aun
Boo, Hong Kwen
Ho, Boon Tiong
Issue Date: Nov-2006
Citation: Paper presented at the International Science Education Conference, Singapore, 22-24 November 2006
Abstract: Research indicates that physics misconceptions develop early in life and often continue
through adulthood despite the efforts of even the best education. This means that teachers, who
have not had the benefit of tertiary science courses, often hold the same misconceptions as their
students. Conceptual change interventions with young learners generally report disappointing results.
Little research exists regarding success of interventions with young adults. This study focuses on
preservice primary teachers and addresses theses questions: Can knowledge of learners’ alternative
conceptions be applied in instructional interventions to encourage conceptual change? Will
preservice elementary teachers evidence conceptual change after involvement in discussions with
peers holding different views on the concept? This study used the results of pre-service teachers’
responses to physical science, two-tier test items to assign them to discussion groups. Group
members were then challenged to try to reach consensus through argument and persuasion.
Preservice elementary teachers in Singapore, and the United States were involved in the initial study
and Singapore primary pre-service teachers in this follow up.
Appears in Collections:Conference Papers

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