by: Yue Yin
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Type Journal ArticlePub Date 4/1/2012Stock # ss12_035_08_48Volume 035Issue 08
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It's the Principle in Matters That Sink and Float
This article explains how one’s observations may not be enough to dislodge student misconceptions about a particular scientific phenomenon. So the principle-based approach is discussed. F... See More
This article explains how one’s observations may not be enough to dislodge student misconceptions about a particular scientific phenomenon. So the principle-based approach is discussed. First the author provides explanations for the two scientific principles usually used to explain sinking and floating: resolution of forces and density. Then a series of questioning probes (with diagrams) are provided that are designed to ascertain student-held misconceptions. The principle-based approach to resolving student misconceptions is a form of ongoing formative assessment that gives teachers immediate feedback as to what their students are still having difficulty understanding. For teachers looking for formative assessment strategies to identify student needs, this article introduces an effective method for uncovering deep misconceptions.
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