ERIC Number: ED316436
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Using Conceptual Change Research To Reason about Curriculum. Research Series No. 195.
Berkheimer, Glenn D.; And Others
During the last 10 years, cognitive science researchers have produced research findings that have great potential for increasing students' understanding of science. However, commercial publishers continue to produce textbooks and teacher's guides in traditional ways. This project developed a prototype unit which used an alternative approach to curriculum development. The unit was a rewritten version of the existing "Models of Matter" unit. The curricular decisions were based on an extensive program of research in student conceptions and classroom teaching using preclinical interviews, pretests, classroom observations, journals by collaborating teachers, post-clinical interviews, and posttests. Five curricular issues discussed are: (1) macroscopic and molecular conceptions; (2) epistemological status of molecules; (3) physical characteristics of molecules; (4) nature of scientific explanations; and (5) need to balance scientific elegance and student comprehension. This paper argues that fundamental rethinking of science education curriculum is in order and research findings can be used to improve student achievement in science in basic areas such as kinetic molecular theory. (Author/YP)
Descriptors: Cognitive Structures, Concept Formation, Concept Teaching, Curriculum Development, Curriculum Research, Elementary School Science, Grade 6, Intermediate Grades, Misconceptions, Science Curriculum, Scientific Concepts
Institute for Research on Teaching, College of Education, Michigan State University, 252 Erickson Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824-1034 ($3.00).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Administrators; Practitioners
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Michigan State Univ., East Lansing. Inst. for Research on Teaching.