A new site for identifying misconceptions

by Stephanie Chasteen on June 9, 2011

When teaching, it’s crucial to know what your students tend to have difficulty with, so you can target your instruction to those topics.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) just released a really nicely designed website called Science Assessment for identifying these common student difficulties with content in life science, physical science, earth science, and the nature of science.  I’m pleased to see that, in the Fall, they’ll be adding some common difficulties with climate science.

This is most appropriate for middle school or high school, though introductory college instructors would do well to check it out as well.  You can explore the main themes in each topic, the sub-topics associated with it, how students tend to do on assessments in this area, and their common conceptual difficulties.

Of course, designing instruction to target those difficulties is key — writing questions or activities that force students to confront those misconceptions or (more positively) to help them build a more accurate representation of the world, is what this business is all about…

{ 1 comment }

Stefaan Vande Walle July 13, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Very interesting blog, I’ve subscribed to it. ‘Why we disagree on climate change’ from Mike Hulme (East Anglia) is very recommended on the same topic.

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