|This mini-collection includes several lessons that can help address the following Earth sciences misconceptions:|
Research indicates that students are reluctant to let go of misconceptions they may hold. Even after formal education, students often cling to misconceptions rather than adopt scientifically accurate views.
- Midwestern cities cannot be severely damaged by earthquakes.
- Mountains are rapidly formed.
- Continents do not move.
The misconceptions listed here and additional Earth sciences misconceptions can be found in ORC# 9950, "Earth Science Misconceptions."
- Identify misconceptions prior to instruction. This can be done with carefully planned activities designed to expose misconceptions. These activities could include discrepant events, demonstrations, conversations in which students share their thinking about the topic, etc.
- Use formative assessment strategies frequently to determine if students are modifying their thinking to a more scientifically accurate view. Journaling, exit slips, concept maps, electronic response systems or other immediate feedback strategies (thumbs up, sideways, or down), etc, can all be effective formative assessment tools. Probing questions in which students must provide evidence-based responses provide teachers with information that can be used to adjust instruction to meet the students’ needs.
- Revisit the topic after a period of time to confirm that a scientifically accurate conception has been adopted. This can be done when related topics are introduced, as part of long-term projects, or as part of ongoing journal activities.