Download full text
Download full text
ERIC Number: EJ1104665
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
How Aware Are Teachers of Students' Misconceptions in Astronomy? A Qualitative Analysis in Belgium
Cox, M.; Steegen, A.; De Cock, M.
Science Education International, v27 n2 p277-300 2016
Where previous studies have shown the existence of misconceptions in astronomy, this research focuses on the level of awareness that teachers have of these misconceptions and the possible strategies they use to change the students' mental models. Through focus group interviews with secondary school teachers and semi-structured interviews with teacher managers, this latent knowledge is made more explicit. The main findings suggest that the level of awareness about misconceptions varies considerably among the teachers. In general, the same pattern is found for the teacher managers. Some mental models, for example, the distance model are known by all the teachers whereas others are not known at all. Even though teachers acknowledge the importance of students' preconceptions in general, they have difficulties using their students' prior knowledge in an effective way in their teaching practice. According to the teachers, this is mainly due to a lack of time and difficulties experienced with differentiation. Suggestions are made to raise awareness on the one hand via teacher managers and teacher training programs for preservice, as well as inservice, teachers and to avoid further misconceptions on the other hand via a proper use of images in textbooks.
Descriptors: Misconceptions, Scientific Concepts, Astronomy, Qualitative Research, Science Instruction, Focus Groups, Secondary School Teachers, Science Teachers, Semi Structured Interviews, Foreign Countries, Pedagogical Content Knowledge, Films, Group Discussion, Surveys, Secondary School Students, Knowledge Level
International Council of Associations for Science Education. Dokuz Eylul University Faculty of Education, Buca, Izmir 35150, Turkey. Tel: +90-532-4267927; Fax: +90-232-4204895; Web site: http://icaseonline.net
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Belgium