Monday, December 10, 2012

Treagust (2006). Conceptual change as a viable approach to understanding student learning in science

Treagust, D. F. (2006). Conceptual change as a viable approach to understanding student learning in science. In Kenneth Tobin (Ed.), Teaching and Learning Science: A Handbook, 25-32. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield.

The best-known conceptual change model in science education, based on students' epistemologies-examining how students think about their world originated with George Posner, Kenneth Strike, Peter Hewson, and William Gertzog (1982).

In this conceptual change model, student dissatisfaction with a prior conception was believed to initiate dramatic or revolutionary conceptual change and was embedded in constructivist epistemological views with an emphasis on the individual's conceptions and his or her conceptual development.

If the learner was dissatisfied with his or her prior conception and an available replacement conception was intelligible, plausible, and/or fruitful, accommodation of the new conception may follow.

An intelligible conception is sensible if it is noncontradictory and its meaning is understood by the student; plausible means that in addition to the student knowing what the conception means, he or she finds the conception believable; and the conception is fruitful if it helps the learner solve other problems or suggests new research directions.

The extent to which the conception meets these three conditions is termed the status of a learner's conception. Resultant conceptual changes may be permanent, temporary, or too tenuous to detect.

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