Qualitative Quantitative and Experimental Concept Possession, Criteria for Identifying Conceptual Change in Science Education

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Students sometimes misunderstand or misinterpret scientific content because of persistent misconceptions that need to be overcome by science education—a learning process typically called conceptual change. The acquisition of scientific content matter thus requires a transformation of the initial knowledge-state of a common-sense picture of the world to an outcome state of a scientific conception articulated with scientific concepts, which the learner did not possess prior to learning. This paper introduces a taxonomy based on the idea that multiple operational criteria are needed to evaluate conceptual change into scientific concepts. Three sets of criteria—qualitative, quantitative and experimental—are identified, and their interrelations in the process of conceptual change are explored.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScience & Education
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1347-1359
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 516 Educational sciences
  • 6162 Cognitive science

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