Alternative Conceptions in Science
The alternative conception selected by Annie Stanford (s2759037)is:
Most children identify the word reproduction with copulation in mammals.
Students commonly believe that sexual reproduction is primarily achieved through sexual intercourse. Early childhood to middle year’s students acquire naive ideas through their parents, culture and the world around them. These interactions are interpreted uniquely and may lead to a type of metacognitive impairment, whereby misconceptions inhibit the learning of contemporary theory (Georghiades, 2006; Adams and Griffard, 2001). Bladdeley (1997) similarly notes that older ideas, particularly misconceptions have great robustness and learner’s cling to these naive notions throughout the learning experience.
Okeke (1980) states that a transitional phase is evident in the evolution of alternative conceptions, specific to the area of reproduction and inheritance, in which the child endeavours to make sense of the mother/father relationship and sexual intercourse. The focus thus, is on sexual reproduction from early childhood highlighting the importance of clarifying the meaning of the word reproduction before introducing the different modes of reproduction when implementing novel pedagogy (Hestenes et al.,1992; Hake, 1998).
In order to address misconceptions and assess the level of scientific knowledge in the classroom the educator first need a forum for identification and assessment. The Five E’s Instructional Model provides this platform with the Engage (orientation) phase of the lesson being crucial in identifying these factors. Employing the constructivist approach to learning with the introduction of a concept cartoon at the Engage phase of the lesson would serve to stimulate thought and discussion (Morris et al., 2007; Sewell, 2002). Through the use of the concept cartoon the teacher is able to address these common alternative conceptions and provide students...