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ERIC Number: EJ910999
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Pages: 39
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 85
ISSN: ISSN-0950-0693
The Insidious Nature of "Hard-Core" Alternative Conceptions: Implications for the Constructivist Research Programme of Patterns in High School Students' and Pre-Service Teachers' Thinking about Ionisation Energy
Taber, Keith S.; Tan, Kim Chwee Daniel
International Journal of Science Education, v33 n2 p259-297 Jan 2011
The present study contributes to the constructivist research programme (RP) into learning science by comparing patterns in responses from two groups of learners--senior high school students and pre-service teachers--in the same educational context (Singapore), to a diagnostic instrument relating to the topic of ionisation energies. This topic is currently included in the curriculum for 16- to 19-year-old students studying chemistry in Singapore (and elsewhere). The comparison shows that: (1) although graduate pre-service teachers offered some types of incorrect responses less frequently than high school students; (2) they retained high levels of alternative conceptions commonly found among high school students; and (3) of particular note, certain alternative conceptions were found to be "more" common among the graduates. This suggests the intuitive appeal of certain alternative conceptions is such that they can readily be reproduced down "generations" of learners. The findings are explored in terms of a range of conceptual resources that have been developed within the constructivist RP. The analysis suggests that the curriculum sets out inappropriate target knowledge for senior high school students, given the nature of the subject matter and the prior learning of the students. It is also suggested that it may be fruitful to consider conceptual learning in terms analogous to the RP found in science, and that from this perspective certain insidious alternative conceptions can be understood as derived from commitments that are taken for granted and protected from explicit challenge by a protective belt of refutable auxiliary conceptions. (Contains 4 tables and 5 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Singapore