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Does Classroom Explicitation of Initial Conceptions Favour Conceptual Change or is it Counter-Productive?

Abstract

This research investigates the effect of classroom explicitation of initial conceptions (CEIC) on conceptual change in the context of learning electricity. Eight hundred and seventy five thirteen year-olds were tested in laboratory conditions to see if CEIC is or is not a productive step toward conceptual change. All students experienced a problem-based pedagogical treatment called “the electronic challenge.” The randomly determined experimental group was also exposed to CEIC. Data shows a significant beneficial effect of CEIC and no unwanted “contamination effect”, particularly for female subjects.

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Acknowledgements

Special thanks to undergraduate students involved in this research, Maude Bouchard-Fortier, Éric Durocher, Guillaume Cyr, Jean-Mathieu Lavoie-Lebeau, Jean-Sébastien Renaud and Amélie Perron-Singh, to the Centre des Sciences de Montréal, and also to Geneviève Messier, who worked on the literature review. This research was possible by a grant from the Fonds québécois de recherche sur la société et la culture (FQRSC).

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Correspondence to Patrice Potvin.

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Potvin, P., Mercier, J., Charland, P. et al. Does Classroom Explicitation of Initial Conceptions Favour Conceptual Change or is it Counter-Productive?. Res Sci Educ 42, 401–414 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11165-010-9203-4

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Keywords

  • Science education
  • Conceptual change
  • Classroom explicitation
  • Gender
  • Socioconstructivism
  • Problem-based learning