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Re: [Phys-l] Student Misconceptions

Good evening
I have taught various science courses in MS and HS for 37 years and
University level content and methods courses full time for 3 years and
adjunct teaching elem sci methods courses for at least 10 years. At present
I am teaching 2 undergraduate elem science courses at a Research 1
institution and 1 graduate elem sci/health course at a private religious

For the most part the elementary people (whether teaching or not) have more
misconceptions then they do correct knowledge. Add to that urban legend
beliefs and cultural beliefs (i.e. have to walk back over a baby so you
don't stunt its growth) and you have a pitiful bit of actual understanding
of science processes and information.

I did a presentation to the graduate course the other evening presenting
some misconceptions (or what-ever else you want to call them) showing why it
is important to have students (elementary students) confront their
understandings prior to me offering a plethora of teaching methodologies for
my students to use. I think most of the students thought the misconceptions
were facts and not incorrect.

I don't know what the answer is -- once course in science methods (and no
content courses) is not enough but it is all they can fit in their schedule.

Holly Priestley, EdD