Elementary Teachers’ Understanding of Students’ Science Misconceptions: Implications for Practice and Teacher Education

Oct. 20, 2008

Source: Journal of Science Teacher Education, Volume 19, Number 5 / October 2008, Pages 437-454

This study explore what elementary teachers know about student science misconceptions and how teachers address student misconceptions in instruction. The sample included 30 teachers from California with at least 1-year of experience teaching grades 3, 4, and 5.
A semistructured interview was used. The interview transcripts were transcribed and coded under the following categories: definition of misconceptions, sources of misconceptions, development of misconceptions, and teaching strategies for addressing misconceptions.
The results suggest that, although most of the teachers are aware of misconceptions, they do not understand how they develop or fully appreciate their impact on their instruction.

Updated: Feb. 04, 2009