Did we really land on the moon? Does a pound of feathers and a pound of silver weigh the same? Is the Earth really round? What is the shape of the Earth's orbit?
Misconceptions happen at every age. Trying to break a students' misconceptions is something that is hard for a teacher to do. From research we are able to view how students are taught the same misconceptions over and over again, and a lot of the time this happens in topics revolving science. As a future teacher I need to work towards trying to figure out what these common misconceptions are before the final test or evaluation and instead use them as the opening example. By using it as the opener of a lesson hopefully this will be able to actually show the students the truth about the misconception they believe.
As I have stated in a previous post, I am a visual learner, and I work better at understanding when I am able to see it happen in front of me a few things happen
1. I am able to understand it better and fully (well most of the time fully)
2. I remember it
3. I am more interested in it, and then will lead to me wanting to learn more about the subject (either during the class or on my own)
While reading Misconceptions Die Hard by Joseph I. Stepans, Ronald E. Beiswenger, and Steven Dyche, I realized that when young students are explaining something that has happened in their science class they do not worry about the correct terms, but instead they talk about the process and what and how something happens. For science I think it is imperative for the students to learn how something happens, and the actual process and understanding instead of being able to spit out terms and definitions. In the article they state
Apparently, the elementary students were giving responses based on common sense and had not yet been encumbered with scientific terminology. On the other hand, many of the older students seemed to be so concerned with trying to fit the correct scientific terms into their explanations that they lost sight of the phenomena at hand.I remember doing this in my science courses in the past, I would make flash cards, memorize the terms for the test, and then as soon as I turned in the test I never thought about those terms again. Not only did not learn from this technique, but it made science boring and hard for me. I never truly enjoyed the subject, and I wish that my teacher would have used a different teaching method. Luckily I am able to in the future. I must talk to my students and see what they know, and what they understand in order to teach them correctly. I need to be flexible with my lessons. There could be a subject that I believe all of the students may know and understand, but instead they have a major misconception about the topic. I must be able to use their base of learning for the future lesson, and I need to figure out ways to assist them in breaking their misconceptions.