reflective journal 2 – misconceptions

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Addressing Common Science Misconceptions

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We recently discussed the importance of eliciting student prior knowledge. Eliciting this knowledge helps teachers know what knowledge students bring to the classroom before instruction begins. For example, according to the clip from A Private UniverseLinks to an external site. we watched during Week 5, people generally lack scientific understanding of why the seasons happen. The students in this clip recalled that Earth has an elliptical orbit and thought that we were closer to the Sun in summer and farther away in the winter (which is not true – see this kid-friendly explanationLinks to an external site.). When prior knowledge is not “quite right,” we often call that a misconception. There are MANY common science misconceptions out there. Look for a list on Google.

Think of a popular misconception, misunderstanding, or myth related to a science topic (note: do not use the seasons or heat transfer). After thinking of one (or using one from the list above), address all of the following in this second reflective journal entry:

What is the misconception? What is the correct conception?

Where might this misconception come from? What makes it so believable?

Would this misconception be problematic for future learning or experiences? Why or why not?

Outline a brief learning activity (using the 5E cycle) that would provide students with opportunities to overcome this misconception; specifically include how you would diagnose the misconception (look to Yin et al. (2008) articleActions for ideas). This does not have to be a fully written out lesson plan, but should cover all of the 5Es.

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