NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1149250
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1029-8457
Questions about Answers: Probing Teachers' Awareness and Planned Remediation of Learners' Misconceptions about Electric Circuits
Gaigher, Estelle
African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, v18 n2 p176-187 2014
This article reports an exploratory multi-case study on how science teachers understand and envisage addressing learners' misconceptions about electric circuits. Four teachers from schools in and around a large South African city participated in the study. An open-ended questionnaire was designed in a novel way, questioning teachers about wrong answers they expected from their learners in test items suitable for Grade 9. Semi-structured interviews supported the questionnaire results, providing insight into the teachers' understanding of learners' misconceptions, and their ideas about how learners' misconceptions should be addressed. Two of the teachers showed insight into learners' conceptual difficulties, reflecting on learners' thinking. Another teacher indicated some typical wrong answers but seldom understood the misconceptions leading to these mistakes, while the remaining teacher did not expect typical wrong answers corresponding to well-known misconceptions. All the teachers indicated that they would address learners' mistakes mostly by practical work or demonstrations, but only two of the teachers also referred to the importance of developing conceptual understanding. Results suggest that these teachers' understanding of learners' misconceptions relates to their own subject matter knowledge. Furthermore, the study showed that the technique of questioning teachers about anticipated learners' answers is a promising way of probing teachers' understanding of learners' misconceptions and the strategies they envisage using to address these misconceptions. It is recommended that learners' misconceptions be addressed explicitly in teacher preparation and professional development programmes as an avenue to develop teachers' pedagogical content knowledge (PCK).
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Grade 9; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Secondary Education; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A