Misconceptions of scientific and mathematical concepts frequently prevent children from successfully learning some of the key ideas we teach in lessons. Whilst the student may ‘parrot’ back the correct answer at the end of the lesson, their ideas may not have changed – meaning they get questions wrong when we assess them at a later date. There’s some evidence that diagnosing and explicitly tackling common misconceptions can help students improve their performance in maths and science – though getting people to change their ideas (generally!) is very difficult.
Interesting article identifying some common misconceptions in mathematics:
Pupils’ Misconceptions in Mathematics
Article on misconceptions in science:
Understanding misconceptions – teacher guidance
Example of a questionnaire used to assess students’ science beliefs:
The Elementary Students’ Science Beliefs Test