This paper describes the method used by the author to teach a class of Year 8 students about light and its properties so that the students’ own ideas were considered and their misconceptions addressed. To achieve this a series of teaching modules were designed using a model of conceptual change suggested by Posner and his colleagues at Cornell University. Students’ prior misconceptions about light were identified using a pretest developed by the author. After teaching a posttest was used to determine if the teaching method resulted in a lower level of misconceptions. Interviews from seven students selected at random and the observations gathered by a participant observor were used to verify results.
It was found that the teaching method resulted in a lower level of misconceptions in the sample and this was confirmed by the results of the interviews and participant observation. This paper concentrates on the design and content of one of the teaching modules.