International Education Journal

Educational Research Conference 2005 Special Issue


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An exploration of common student misconceptions in science

Fiona Thompson
School of Education, University of Adelaide

Sue Logue 
School of Education, University of Adelaide


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This study formed the basis of an assignment for a teacher-training course. The objectives of the study were to define three scientific concepts and identify for each some of the misconceptions that students commonly have. Six students, representing three distinct age groups were interviewed, using a predetermined set of questions and activities for each concept. Student responses were recorded and evaluated in an attempt to understand what misconceptions were held by the students, how they acquired them. The study showed that the level of misconceptions varied between concepts. There appeared to be some patterns in the level and type of misconceptions between the three age groups, suggesting that a more rigorous study in this area would be of value. 

Science, misconceptions, teacher training, students


 Thompson, F. and Logue, S. (2006) An exploration of common student misconceptions in science. International Education Journal, 7 (4), 553-559.

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