Dealing With Science Misconceptions
The Spring 2005 issue of the California Journal of Science Education is a Must-Read. It can be shocking for a teacher to realize that many of the science concepts we assume, and/or diligently teach are simply not accepted by many of our students, mainly because of the many misconceptions they have acquired in their young lives. They may "learn" the material presented in class, and even pass the tests, but misconceptions are very common, and very hard to replace. Unfortunately, many of those misconceptions persist in textbooks, and even you, as a science teacher, may find that you have some of these misconceptions.
This very informative volume introduces you to this phenomenon
and provides a number of suggestions for effectively dealing
with it. Several chapters deal with specific misconceptions
common to particular topics in science (including evolution).
In addition, author William McComas discusses 15 popular misconceptions
related to the nature of science in his article: The Principal Elements of the Nature of Science:Dispelling the Myths (pp. 37-67). A careful read of that
article alone provides considerable material and motivation to
revise what you teach and how you teach it. It's worth listing
his "15 Myths of Science," so you can anticipate
the depth of the article:
For each myth, examples are given along with clarifications and clues for appropriate treatment in class. You should also note that the several lessons in the ENSI Nature of Science section that directly address most (if not all) of those myths. There is also a sample unit plan to consider for teaching the nature of science. You might find it especially enlightening to give your students a pre-test (available in that unit plan) that assesses student perceptions about the nature of science, teach the material (using some of those lessons) as part of your introductory unit, then re-assess with a post-test. No guarantee that higher scores indicate acceptance, but at least you will have raised a greater awareness.
book; Revise your course:
THE LATEST STUDY on this issue was published in 2013:
OTHER EXCELLENT RESOURCES (from Understanding Science website):