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ERIC Number: ED233884
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-May
Reference Count: 0
Studying Light in the Fifth Grade: A Case Study of Text-Based Science Teaching. Research Series No. 129.
Slinger, Lucille A.; And Others
This study documents text-based science instruction as it actually occurred in the classroom of a fifth-grade teacher teaching the unit on light found in "Exploring Science" by M.K. Blecha, P.C. Gega, and M. Green (1979, Laidlaw Brothers). The study, focusing on the nature of and reasons for the teacher's successes and failures, examined the planning process, actual instruction, students' learning and the textbook used. Although many excellent teaching practices were observed (such as providing hands-on experiences and integrating science with other areas), only one-third of the students understood certain basic ideas about light/seeing at the end of the unit. Two serious problems related to their lack of understanding were identified. First, the textbook did not describe how we see in a way adequate to alter the ideas of children strongly committed to their misconceptions. In addition, the teacher's guide did not prepare the teacher for the existence of those misconceptions or suggest a strategy adequate for dealing with them. The second problem concerned the teacher's questioning techniques. Correct answers were sought and incorrect answers were not used to diagnose students' misconceptions. It is indicated that both of these problems can be solved and teachers can be helped to understand students' misconceptions and change them successfully. (JN)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Concept Formation, Concept Teaching, Discussion (Teaching Technique), Elementary School Science, Grade 5, Intermediate Grades, Light, Questioning Techniques, Science Education, Science Instruction, Teaching Guides, Teaching Methods, Textbooks
Institute for Research on Teaching, College of Education, Michigan State University, 252 Erickson Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824 ($3.00).
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.; National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Michigan State Univ., East Lansing. Inst. for Research on Teaching.
Identifiers: Misconceptions; Science Education Research
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (55th, The Abbey, Lake Geneva, WI, April 5-8, 1982).