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Community Forums - LifeSciTRC Scholars and Fellows - Science misconceptions in my classroom-- Andrea Cobb

A discussion forum for participants of the LifeSciTRC Scholars and Fellows Programs. If you would like to contribute to the forums or to change your subscription, please log in to the left.

  • What is one science misconception that you have observed among your students?
  • They do not understand that, as a part of the laboratory research process, steps must be validated and checked before the final step. (e.g., running a gel to check insertion of a gene in a plasmid before performing a transformation). They lazily just say that the experiment didn't work without sleuthing around to see what evidence might tell them about what happened.  I have banned the term"human error" in my classroom--they must be very specific and tell how what they did  changed the outcome. However, it is laborious to check these misunderstandings.  
  • How do you think electronic resources foster or contribute to this science misconception?
  • Science videos and even simulations usually show only positive expected outcomes.  The struggle for data is poorly portrayed.  
  • What can you, as a teacher, do to correct this misconception?
  • Find or create examples/resources which include unexpected outcomes (data0  and have students work through the scientific process to figure out what happened.  Even though we provide examples of validation, reworking steps, etc.  in the classroom, they don't truly internalize it until they are working on their own project and experience the outcome of failing to validate each step.  Perhaps I can play devil's advocate and set up some lab stations to give spurious data. What do you think?  Anything work for your students? 
This thread was posted on May 30, 2016 at 5:52 PM ET by Andrea Cobb.
  |   1 Reply   |   Last on 4/22/2017 at 2:47 PM ET
Re: Science misconceptions in my classroom-- Andrea Cobb

Big one is that organisms adapt when they have the need to, in natural selection. it is difficult for students to separate "human ability" with a species being able to survive in a changing environment in the LONG RUN :)

This was posted on April 22, 2017 at 2:47 PM ET by Erin Garland.