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Anticipating preconceptions of students

Ironically, activating students’ prior knowledge can be a mixed blessing if some of the prior knowledge is misleading or downright wrong. Misleading or erroneous knowledge is especially common among young students, but it can happen at any grade level. A kindergarten child may think that the sun literally “rises” in the morning, since she often hears adults use this expression, or that the earth is flat because it obviously looks flat. But a high school student may mistakenly believe that large objects (a boulder) fall faster than small ones (a pebble), or that a heavy object dropped (not thrown) from a moving car window will fall straight down instead of traveling laterally alongside the car while it falls.

Because misconceptions are quite common among students and even among adults, teachers are more effective if they can anticipate preconceptions of students wherever possible. The task is twofold. First the teacher must know or at least guess students’ preconceptions as much as possible in advance, so that she can design learning activities to counteract and revise their thinking. Some preconceptions have been well-documented by educational research and therefore can in principle be anticipated easily—though they may still sometimes take a teacher by surprise during a busy activity or lesson (Tanner&Allen, 2005; Chiu&Lin, 2005). Exhibit 9.8 lists a few of these common preconceptions. Others may be unique to particular students, however, and a teacher may only by able to learn of them through experience—by listening carefully to what students say and write and by watching what they do. A few preconceptions may be so ingrained or tied to other, more deeply held beliefs that students may resist giving them up, either consciously or unconsciously. It may be hard, for example, for some students to give up the idea that girls are less talented at math or science than are boys, even though research generally finds this is not the case (Hyde&Linn, 2006).

Sources : Chi, 2005; D. Clark, 2006; Slotta&Chi, 2006; Owens, 2003.
Several misconceptions about science
Misconception What to do
Stars and constellations appear in the same place in the sky every night. Ask students to observe carefully the locations of a bright star once a week for several weeks.
The world is flat, circular like a pancake. Use a globe or ball to find countries located over the horizon; use computer software (e.g. Global Earth) to illustrate how a round Earth can look flat up close.
Dinosaurs disappeared at the same time that human beings appeared and because of human activity. Construct a timeline of major periods of Darwinian evolution.
Rivers always flow from North to South. Identify rivers that flow South to North (e.g. the Red River in North Dakota and Canada); talk about how Southern locations are not necessarily “lower”.
Force is needed not only to start an object moving, but to keep it moving. Explain the concept of inertia; demonstrate inertia using low-friction motion (e.g. with a hovercraft or dry-ice puck).
Volume, weight, and size are identical concepts. Have students weigh objects of different sizes or volumes, and compare the results.
Seasons happen because the Earth changes distance from the sun. Explain the tilt of Earth’s axis using a globe and light as a model; demonstrate reduced heating of surfaces by placing similar surfaces outdoors at different angles to the sun’s rays.

Questions & Answers

what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
research.net
kanaga
sciencedirect big data base
Ernesto
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
Daniel
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Maciej
characteristics of micro business
Abigail
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Anassong
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
NANO
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
s.
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
Tarell
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
Damian
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
Tarell
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
Virgil
is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
NANO
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Harper
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
s.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
SUYASH Reply
for screen printed electrodes ?
SUYASH
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
Ebrahim
or in general
Ebrahim
in general
s.
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
tahir
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Source:  OpenStax, Educational psychology. OpenStax CNX. May 11, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11302/1.2
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