Identification of misconceptions about the moon held by fifth and sixth-graders in Taiwan and an application of teaching strategies for conceptual change
The purposes of this study were to develop a multiple-choice group test as a diagnostic instrument, to identify misconceptions about the moon held by fifth and sixth graders in Taiwan, and determine whether using alternative teaching strategies changes their misconceptions.
Misconceptions were identified with an instrument called Identification of Misconceptions about the Moon Test (IMMT). The IMMT was developed in a series of pilot studies. The results of data analysis were used to determine how the test items were revised. Five experts judged the construct validity. The test and retest reliability is .58. The data were analyzed and the results show that misconceptions about the moon are widely held among elementary pupils. There were no significant differences in misconceptions between subgroups of gender, grade, and religious background.
To determine whether misconceptions change in response to different teaching strategies and textbook-oriented teaching strategies were applied to experimental and control groups, respectively. Comparison studies of the gain scores on the IMMT between pre- post-tests and between different genders were accomplished by analysis of covariance procedures. The results have shown that designed teaching strategies produced significantly higher mean scores on the posttest than did the textbook-oriented teaching strategies. However, there was no significant difference in mean scores between boys and girls on posttests.
The possible factors contributing to misconceptions about the moon among the elementary pupils are discussed. The implications of this study and suggestions for science education and further studies to conclude the study.