, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 397-416
Date: 17 Apr 2008

Discussion, debate and dialog: changing minds about conceptual change research in science education

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Abstract

This paper provides a critical commentary on a suite of eight papers, which focus on conceptual change research in science education. Responses by Mercer, Smardon and Wells to a paper by Treagust and Duit are observed to reflect the backgrounds of the three authors with Wells focusing on issues of ontology and the affective domain. Mercer and Smardon focus on issues of identity and the role of dialog. Hewson’s, Vosniadou’s and Tiberghien’s responses to Roth, Lee and Hwang offer robust critique of what appear to be exploratory ideas. To what extent the authors of the response papers enter into dialog with the papers is discussed. How far research into learning in science has progressed since the 1980s is examined.