Understanding Children’s Thinking

Conceptual Change Interview Assignment: Understanding Children’s Thinking (15 pts)In this assignment you will interview two children or one child and one adult about a specific science concept.Chose a science concept that will be the focus of your interviews. This concept should be broad enough that you will be able to probe students understanding of various aspects of the concept. Describe the concept and the current scientific explanation of the concept (3 pts).Find two articles or websites on students’ conceptions (including common misconceptions or alternative conceptions) of that concept. Summarize what the research shows about common student difficulties with understanding that science concept. Include the age ranges for which the common misconceptions were identified (if provided). In some cases these misconceptions are common even into adulthood; in other cases they are common among younger students only.  Cite the sources that you used for this review (2 pts).List at least 5 interview questions that you will use to assess understanding of the concept. Include a description of any props that you will use or tasks that you will have your interviewees complete during the interview. Describe why you chose to ask these questions (3 pts).Conduct the interviews and summarize what you learned about their understanding (4 pts). What did you find surprising? How did your findings relate to what you had read about the research on students understandings of this concept?Reflect on the success of your interview questions. Did they elicit the kind of information you were looking for? Suggest how you might change or add additional questions (3 pts).Please turn in a 2 page double-spaced report.

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