Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching, Volume 9, Issue 1, Article 7 (Jun., 2008)
Çiğdem ŞAHİN, Hava İPEK and Alipaşa AYAS
Students’ understanding of light concepts in primary school: A cross-age study

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Constructing abstract concepts in students’ mind is rather difficult (Novak, 1988). New materials that support instructions should be improved (Akdeniz, Yiğit & Yıldız, 2001; Novak, 1988). These materials should have certain features in order to remove students’ misconceptions. Furthermore, teachers have undertaken considerable challenges in order to remove these misconceptions. Teachers play an active role in the instruction process, and teachers have an important role in instruction (Gilbert & Watts, 1983; Hewson, 1992). Teachers should be able to facilitate students’ conceptual change (Çalık & Ayas, 2005b). Therefore, a great importance should be given to teacher education, both in pre-service and during in-service training.

To further determine students’ knowledge and to remove their misconceptions, other conceptual change techniques like drawings, concept mapping, word association, prediction-observation-explanation and interviews about concepts can be utilized (White & Gunstone, 1992) which are related to probing understanding should be used in new studies.

Teachers should be aware of science topics and students’ misconceptions. To remove students’ misconceptions, science topics should be related to examples from daily life. Abstract concepts should be connected with appropriate experiences. In particular, metacognitive materials should be developed to overcome students’ misconceptions (Gilbert, & Watts, 1983). Thus, students can become aware of their own learning.

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