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Effect Of Pedagogy On Conceptual Change In Repairing Misconceptions Of Differing Origins In An Introductory Materials Course

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Clearing up Student Misconceptions in Materials

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Page Numbers

15.439.1 - 15.439.12



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Paper Authors

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Stephen Krause Arizona State University


Jacquelyn Kelly Arizona State University

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Jacquelyn Kelly, Arizona State University
Jacquelyn Kelley is a M.S. student in the School of Materials in the Fulton School of Engineering at Arizona State University. Her BS degree is in Physics and Chemistry Education. Her principle research areas are inquiry-based learning and development and assessment of inquiry-based modules in materials science and engineering. She teaches physics, chemistry and mathematics in a local arts high school.

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Dale Baker Arizona State University

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Dale Baker, Arizona State University
Dale R. Baker is a Professor of Science Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at ASU and is the Co-Editor of The Journal of Research in Science Teaching. She teaches courses in science curricula, teaching and learning, and assessment courses with an emphasis on constructivist theory and issues of equity. Her research focuses on issues of gender, science, and science teaching. She has won two awards for her research in these areas. In this work she is responsible for developing assessments and overseeing data collection, analysis, and feedback to the project.

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Sharon Kurpius-Robinson Arizona State University

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Sharon Robinson Kurpius, Arizona State University
Sharon E. Robinson Kurpius is a professor of Counseling Psychology. She has received numerous national grants examining undergraduates’ academic persistence and the academic success of talented adolescent girls. She was recently named a “Multicultural Scholar” by the NACAC for her work on the retention of racial/ethnic minority students in higher education. In this work she will be interviewing focus groups to study gender, self-efficacy, and other affective issues in learning in materials science.

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Effect of Pedagogy on Conceptual Change in Repairing Misconceptions of Differing Origins in an Introductory Materials Course Abstract

Different pedagogies will affect how conceptual change and repair of misconceptions occurs. Taber has developed a categorization scheme for classifying origins of misconceptions which he refers to as "impediments". In particular, he states that there are two general types, each with subtypes. Null impediments refer to missing information (necessary for learning new material) due to students: 1) not having prior knowledge (deficiency) or; 2) not recognizing links between new material and their prior existing knowledge (transfer). Substantive impediments refer to faulty conceptual models which originate from: 1) observations or personal experience or (experiential); 2) prior courses and teaching (pedagogic) or; 3) bending or misinterpreting of new concepts to fit prior knowledge (misinterpretive). Knowledge of the origin of different types of misconceptions can be useful in selecting more effective pedagogical techniques for repairing of the misconceptions. Thus, in this paper we address the research question of, “What is the effect of different pedagogies on misconception repair as classified by Taber's five categories of misconception origin?” Conceptual change in an introductory materials course was measured by the Materials Concept Inventory (MCI) for five differing pedagogies used by the same instructor in 2002, 2003, 2007, Spring 2009, and Fall 2009. Conceptual change theory framed the study which used results of Hake gains from specific MCI questions to generate misconceptions that fit each of Taber's five categories. Conceptual change differed for the various pedagogies. Overall, however, there was a trend in the effectiveness of differing pedagogies in achieving conceptual change. Ranked from highest to lowest, the order of pedagogy effectiveness, as measured by increases in conceptual change, was found to be: 1) team discussions with hands-on activities and concept sketching in 2007; 2) team discussions with contextualized concept mini-lectures and activities in the Spring of 2009; 3) team discussions, contextualized concept lectures and activities, plus pre-post topic assessments and daily reflections in Fall 2009; 4) lecture with some discussions in 2003 and; 5) lecture only with no team discussions or activities in 2002. It was found that all pedagogies using student engagement achieved greater conceptual change compared to passive learning and lecture-only pedagogies. Another interesting effect for the two pedagogies in Fall and Spring 2009, which used contextualized concept mini-lectures and activities, was that course dropout rate was lowered and course retention improved to 95%. This was an increase from 89% in 2002, 86% in 2003 and 82% in 2007. While all active learning pedagogies were better than passive lecturing for achieving conceptual change, different categories of Taber's misconception origins were more effectively addressed by different active learning pedagogies. It was found that an awareness of Taber's misconception origin categorization scheme, as used in conjunction with frequent formative assessment and feedback, has proven effective in uncovering new and diverse misconceptions in materials engineering. The usefulness of Taber's classifications with frequent formative feedback for improving teaching and learning is discussed and assessed in the paper.

Introduction In introductory materials science and engineering (MSE) courses students come from various engineering disciplines and have taken many physical science classes through their K-13 education, including one or two college level chemistry classes. The goal of the K-13 classes is for students to be able to understand and explain nature, including the characteristics and


Krause, S., & Kelly, J., & Baker, D., & Kurpius-Robinson, S. (2010, June), Effect Of Pedagogy On Conceptual Change In Repairing Misconceptions Of Differing Origins In An Introductory Materials Course Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16355

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