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This content is taken from the National STEM Learning Centre's online course, Teaching Primary Science: Physics. Join the course to learn more.

Planning to address misconceptions

Children come to school with their own explanations of the world around them, and these may be different to the accepted scientific explanation. These misconceptions, sometime referred to as alternative conceptions, can be resistant to change.

For each topic in this course, we will:

  • Provide an overview of the concept to develop your own subject knowledge
  • Identify possible misconceptions children might hold
  • Introduce diagnostic activities to help reveal children’s ideas
  • Suggest practical activities which allow children to test out their ideas and experience ‘conflict’ in their thinking.

Over the next three steps, which feature in all of our primary science subject knowledge courses, we will look at some these ideas in more detail, including why we should explicitly teach scientific vocabulary, and how practical activities can help children develop an understanding of their own misconceptions.

If you have already completed one of our other primary science subject knowledge courses you may want to move straight onto step 1.8

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This article is from the free online course:

Teaching Primary Science: Physics

National STEM Learning Centre