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Reframing Misconceptions: Leveraging Cognitive Science to Transform Science Education
Much of the last four decades of discipline-based education research has focused on developing exhaustive lists that enumerate the misconceptions students bring into science survey courses. Although pinpointing students’ prior knowledge is a cornerstone for constructivist approaches to teaching, these efforts have had little impact on improving science learning. This presentation will suggest that while misconceptions, as viewed as a single construct, are probably not very useful, a new framework in which we think of students' misconceptions as problems related to "bad facts," phenomenological primitives, cognitive structures and affect, may prove to be more fruitful for improving teaching and learning in the sciences.