Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Evolution - The Greatest Show on Earth - Section 1: Hook


When I first began looking into addressing misconceptions, I thought it would be as simple as just telling the students the correct answers and that would be the end of the conversation. In this I was sadly mistaken. Although some of the misconceptions revealed by the probe can be addressed this way, I have since found that in order to achieve the conceptual change that is required so students can "accept" new explanations, I had to provide a series of scaffolded lessons that addressed them systematically.

The probe becomes tool that drives the lessons that follow. The series is aimed at having students

1. Realize that there are some inconsistencies between what they believe and their observations during the lessons. 

2. Be able to craft explanations that make sense to themselves and their peers

3. Be able to use these new explanations in other areas of inquiry.

For example, 83% of my students believe that "Survival of the fittest means that the strong survive and eliminate the weak".

This misconception is specifically addressed in the "Survival of the Fittest" lesson, where students use a cartoon to realize the inconsistency in their thinking, explain why the meaning of fitness does not necessarily means stronger or faster, and then use that new idea to create their own explanation. 

Bear in mind that the probe is only the first step in uncovering student misconceptions. Your understanding of where your students thinking needs changing will help guide you as you modify any of these lessons to suit the results revealed by the probe.

  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Beginning to address misconceptions
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Evolution - The Greatest Show on Earth

Unit 8: Evolution
Lesson 1 of 17

Objective: SWBAT identify and explain the factors that drive evolution.

Big Idea: Students begin to uncover how the study of evolution has practical applications.

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76 teachers like this lesson
Science, Evolution, Genetics, fossil record (Evolution), natural selection (Evolution), fossils, genetic drift, cladistics, mutations, embryology
  50 minutes
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