Misconception probes in human anatomy and physiology
Quinton, Murvyn Scott
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Learning is a process of acquiring knowledge and understanding. When students enter the classroom, they bring their current knowledge and understanding with them. Teachers build upon this knowledge to move students toward new levels of comprehension. The problem is that in many cases, students bring incorrect information or misconceptions into the classroom. When teachers add more upon these concepts, the students often end up with a blending of the correct and inaccurate information. Misconception probes are a tool that requires students to address these problematic concepts and allow teachers to identify the specific misconceptions that students have so that they can be corrected. This study investigated how the use of misconception probes would affect students in a science classroom. Specifically, the areas investigated were the impacts on learning and achievement and the impact on student confidence. Students were given misconception probes that focused on problem concepts within the selected unit, and then remedial instruction was given to address the misconceptions. Performance on the unit exams did not show a significant change; however, some students showed a marked decrease. Student metacognitive awareness of what they did and did not know increased. This resulted in students providing more accurate assessments of their confidence on the surveys given before the exams. This action research showed that misconception probes can be a valuable tool to help inform the teacher and to help students to recognize where their understanding is lacking.