Misconceptions In Education

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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In order to teach any given lesson to the students, a teacher must have an understanding of what the students already know. Possessing an understanding of what exactly students already know is important because it allows the teacher to gauge what material should be taught, when the material should be presented, and how it should be covered so that the students can continue to learn. Some possible ways to find out what beliefs children possess prior to beginning instruction are to offer a pre-test, have children create concept maps, or engage in journal writing. Yet another way is to conduct student interviews in which specific questions are asked in an attempt to expose what children already know about a given concept. In addition to finding out what exactly students understand a teacher can also discover whether or not the students hold any misconceptions about the selected concept, which may need to be addressed prior to moving forward.

Like stated in the "Editor's Corner"� of The Science Teacher, "once we know what your students don't know or what they've mixed up, the real work of educating begins"� (Gerking 6).

Attempting to find out whether or not children possess misconceptions about scientific concepts is the reason that the following research and investigation is being undertaken. The problem of investigation is to determine what current beliefs children hold in regards to air pressure. More specifically, the purpose of the following research and investigation is to uncover whether or not children have misconceptions about air pressure. In order to find out whether or not children possess misconceptions regarding air pressure we must ask what, if any understanding do children have of this scientific concept and is their understanding accurate or do they possess misconceptions.

The initial reason for investigating whether or not children...

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