ERIC Number: ED306076
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Misconceptions in the Earth Sciences: A Cross-Age Study.
Schoon, Kenneth J.
Misconceptions interfere with the formation of new insights and provide a faulty foundation. This causes difficulty in the learning of new materials. Therefore, effective teachers strive to know which misconceptions students have, and then develop a plan by which these suspected misconceptions can be corrected or averted. This paper reports on an investigation which was designed to determine the misconceptions in the earth and space sciences that appear to be prevalent, and to discover if certain individual characteristics are related to the misconceptions held. A questionnaire of 18 multiple choice items was administered to 1,213 students (5th, 8th, and 11th graders, and adults in college and trade school). Results indicated that the participants held many misconceptions in the earth sciences. Some subgroups appeared to have more misconceptions than others. Common misconceptions revealed by this survey were grouped into three types: (1) primary, which were misconceptions chosen more often than the scientifically acceptable conception; (2) secondary, in which the scientifically acceptable response was more frequently chosen, yet a particular distracter was still chosen twice as often as the least chosen distracter; and (3) functional, which was the least chosen response for that question. Six primary, 14 secondary, and 1 functional misconceptions were identified. Significant differences were found across genders, races, educational levels, and locations. (RT)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (62nd, San Francisco, CA, March 30-April 1, 1989).