12th Symposium on Education


Identifying students' alternate conceptions in meteorology

John Yoder, West Chester University, West Chester, PA; and R. Pandya

Research suggests that new knowledge is filtered through previous conceptions. If these conceptions are misconceptions, they will inhibit learning; new knowledge will be distorted and confused as students try to reconcile new ideas with their existing misconceptions.

In spite of their impact on learning, there is relatively little information about studentsí meteorological misconceptions. This fall we will use surveys and interviews to identify common meteorological misconceptions among approximately 75 first-year college students and about 110 first-year high school students. Our survey will include multiple-choice questions, open-ended essay questions, and student-constructed concept maps. The surveys will also use confidence scales so students can indicate how strongly they are bound to their ideas. We will also interview a subset of these students to determine how they developed their previous conceptions.

With these assessment tools, we will document common meteorological alternate conceptions and track how they change over the course of high school. This is the first step toward a long-term effort to develop curricular elements that give students opportunities to test common meteorological conceptions and abandon erroneous ones.

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Poster Session 1, Poster Session: K-12, Popular and University Educational Initiatives
Sunday, 9 February 2003, 5:30 PM-7:00 PM

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