Misconceptions part 4: Are there really that many?

Yes. Have you ever wondered what misconceptions your students or children (for you homeschooling parents who are following along) may have about Earth and Space Science?  In a course I teach (Earth Science for Teachers) one of our assignments is to write a short paper on a common misconception, report where the misconception comes from, … Continue reading Misconceptions part 4: Are there really that many?

Misconceptions part 3: Teaching the Seasons for Retention

In my Misconceptions, part 1 post I included as an example the common misconception: Seasons are caused by the variation in the distance between the sun and Earth.  When Earth is closer, we experience summer, and when it is further away, we experience winter. Why do students come to the classroom with this misconception?  Firstly, … Continue reading Misconceptions part 3: Teaching the Seasons for Retention

Misconceptions part 2: The Baking Soda / Vinegar Volcano

Ask my teacher friends.  I really hate the baking soda vinegar volcano. The danger in using vinegar/baking soda to teach about volcanoes is that many students get the wrong ‘take away’ message, unless it is extremely carefully presented. At best (as far as it relates to volcanoes), it shows that a fluid flows downhill. Volcanoes … Continue reading Misconceptions part 2: The Baking Soda / Vinegar Volcano

Misconceptions in the Science Classroom, part 1

Students can easily become enmeshed in their "preconceived notions" about science, and unfortunately, these ideas often come from those of us most invested in preventing them.  At the university level, I have encountered quite a few students well into their twenties who cling to inaccurate ideas.   These ideas start when students are young and if they … Continue reading Misconceptions in the Science Classroom, part 1