Misconceptions about misconceptions

December 3, 2009

I’ve got a new podcast posted, this one with my esteemed colleague Valerie Otero of the University of Colorado at Boulder.  She tells us why she thinks that the idea of student “misconceptions” is very dangerous — and gives us a new way to think about student ideas in the classroom, and some activities to […]

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Myth: The astronauts didn’t float away because they had heavy boots

November 9, 2009

Below I am reposting a rather long piece taken verbatim from the website of Steve Detweiler who just says that it’s an “amusing anecdote from a friend of mine.”  So, I’m not sure of the veracity of the story, and some claim that it’s an urban legend.  It may well be.  But it opened up […]

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Learning depends on what you already know

April 15, 2009

Firstly, I just have to say how beautiful the view is outside the airplane window right now.  It’s been an extraordinarily bumpy ride on my trip from San Francisco back to Denver, and I’m a real nail-biter when it comes to turbulence.  But now we are above the clouds and the sky is white with […]

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What do you believe about how people learn?

February 12, 2009

[Session:  Eugenia Etkina – Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK)] What you believe about how people learn, and about the role of teachers and students is in the classroom, WILL affect your teaching. For example, do you believe that a student misconception is something that needs to be eradicated with a clear example that clears up the […]

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Dr. Steph has a new podcast series!

February 5, 2009

I’ve got a new podcast series out, and this one is my best yet.  I’ve been hired by the wonderful folks at the National Science Digital Library (they provide a central depot for great digital media for teaching science) to create a podcast for elementary educators on using polar science in their teaching.  We (me […]

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Concept maps of science (and student misconceptions)

September 26, 2008

Especially for K-12 teachers, check this baby out.  The National Science Digital Library has Science Literacy Maps online.  For a bunch of different topics (Math, Technology, Physics, Nature of Science) you can click to get a concept map of a set of topics.  In physics, for example, you can click on waves to see a […]

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Is Pluto further away than the stars?

July 26, 2008

I’ve just posted a new episode of my Science Teaching Tips podcast — Which is Closest? Which is farthest away from the earth, the stars or Pluto? The answer may be obvious to you, but a lot of people get this wrong.  Here’s the task — arrange these in the order from closest to furthest […]

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Private theories

February 14, 2008

I’ve posted a new episode of my Science Teaching Tips podcast: Private theories. TI Director Linda Shore was one of the people originally involved in the Private Universe video (from Annenburg Media), which showed surprisingly persistent misconceptions in students. In the famous opening scene, they interview students as they graduate from Harvard and ask them […]

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