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MOSART Self Service Site

Misconceptions-Oriented Standards-Based Assessment Resources for Teachers


  1. Should I assume that all students have misconceptions about all topics?
  2. How do students develop misconceptions?
  3. Should I be wary of trying to uproot misconceptions if they are religiously based?
  4. If I do not specifically cover a topic, will the students maintain misconceptions about it even if they no longer have misconceptions about a related topic which I have covered?
  5. Could I have taught misconceptions to my students?
  6. How would I know if I have misconceptions?
  1. Is it possible to let go of misconceptions as an adult?
  2. What if my students all have different misconceptions about the same topic?
  3. What can I do to encourage scientific understandings?
  4. Are there any techniques that do not work?
  5. Are misconceptions different depending on geographic area/SES/gender?
  6. Can I use tests like these in an integrated course, or can they only be used in a course that focuses on one area of science?

Should I assume that all students have misconceptions about all topics?

Yes, the safest approach is to assume that all of your students do hold misconceptions about all topics. A MOSART test can be used as a diagnostic to determine which misconceptions are held by your students with respect to different topics. Effective science teachers keep in mind that their students are not blank slates, but have often thought about topics prior to their discussion in the science classroom.