Students Alternative Scientific Conceptions
Because a student’s understanding is different from the perspective found in the textbook and delivered by their instructor in the classroom, they misread the textbook and mishear the words of their instructor.
“There is considerable evidence that they [students’ personal scientific conceptions] are not readily abandoned, but are retained together with the accepted scientific view” (McDermott, 1984). “Basic knowledge gain under conventional instruction is essentially independent of the professor” (Halloun and Hestenes, 1985a). The work of Halloun and Hestenes (1985a) appeared shortly after the paper of McDermott (1984). Taken together these two publications underlined the necessity for a theory of conceptual change that would provide the underpinnings of new instructional methodologies that could provide enhancements on the knowledge gains on the mechanics diagnostic test devised by Halloun and Hestenes beyond those made by conventional instruction.
Learning is concerned with ideas, their structure and the evidence for them. It is not simply the acquisition of correct responses, a verbal repertoire or a set of behaviors.
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