Conceptual science teaching: concept cartoons & concepTests


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An introduction to Concept Cartoons and ConcepTests for Cambodian science teachers.

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  • 7
  • Do you recognize these characteristics in the 3 cartoons?
  • We will discuss 3 ways to use concept cartoons in a student centered way.You can also use concept cartoons in combination with other sca, such as “In the Fishbowl”Participants first experience the activity and then reflect on it.
  • By adding extra circumstances the teacher can make it more difficultCC can be discussed at different levels, e.g. including diffraction
  • Can be done with worksheet: Select the answer that best matches your thinking. Explain your thinking.2. Questions for reflection or for class discussionWith which idea/proposition do you agree? Is more than one idea correct? Why is this question important? Students need to think about why a certain answer is correct or not. Maybe a statement is only partly true. This reflection time can be accompanied by small experiments.Students can also be asked to think of a good definition of the concept shadow.3. Class discussion depending on voting distribution.Reflection question:Why is class discussion a good choice for this activity?
  • TT believe that shadow is physical object that accompanies an object always, sometimes you can see it.
  • If they reach consensus very rapidly, they must find reasons why students may have another idea. Otherwise, you can add extra elements such as making distinction between a clouded night and a clear sky night with full moon.Let groups with different views share their arguments and organize a class discussion. Discuss which alternative(s) seem(s) acceptable and what further information we need to be sure. Ask students whether they changed their initial opinion.Reflection questions:Why is group discussion a good choice for this activity?Alternative: could this activity be done as a whole class activity? Why (not)?
  • Setting up investigation: trying to investigate the overlap of shadows. It is important that they simulate the 2 situations: not transparent and transparent. Present them with the available material, but don’t give too many instructions. Students should try to design and execute the experiment themselves.Class discussion about the concept shadow. Due to the complex situation, the previous definition of the concept shadow may have to be reconsidered and broadened.Reflection questions:Why is Experimental investigation a good choice for this activity?Alternative: could this activity be done as a whole class activity or as a group activity? Why (not)?
  • 1. Each group (groups of 2) selects/ receives 3 concept cartoonsWhich method would you use?For one concept cartoon, prepare a 10 minute lesson fragment, using the concept cartoon. Keep lesson fragments for future use in workshops.Are other methods possible? Why (not)?In which stage of the lesson do you use the CC? Why?2. Study each others lesson fragments: Assign a group leader for each group.Would you apply the same method for this concept cartoon?What would you change and why?Would you use the CC in the same lesson stage? Why (not)?3. Apply changes4. Mock lesson (part) & discussionDiscussion questions:Integration in lesson plan: stage 3 (beginning or end)Time use: teacher should clearly indicate discussion time for students Peer investigation by TT members:Experimental method: students or teacher?Stage 3: Group discussion if lot of misconceptionsClass discussion if daily life related. To save time. More as review activity.Use of traffic lights for feedback.What is discussion stops quickly?Powerful in combination with experiment.-
  • 2 examples per science subject.
  • Which possible misconceptions are addressed in this CT?
  • Divide the class in groups of 2.Show this slide after presenting & discussing one or two examples.Use manual to answer these questions? (Maybe first try to answer and then check in manual?)Is there a lot of noise in the class? How do you feel about it?Voting method better and peer instruction: reasons.1. every student has the chance to rehearse their answer (verbally) to their partner, before having to speak it out in class.2. Afterwards far more students become willing to put up their hands to reply.3. How many disappointed looks do you get when a student is ‘bursting’ to tell you the answer, and you choose someone else? They can now turn to their partner and nod as if to say ‘I knew that, didn’t I?’ 4. Rehearsing their response means they can compare what they thought with the answers that are given. If they have not understood, they will become aware of this and try to make sense of their confusion.
  • Discussion: - How much time per step? Discussion per 2 should be really short.max. 2 minutes.
  • In groups of 2 teachers.Present their resultsEvaluating questions:Does the conceptest relate to the key topic explained before?Does it focus on conceptual (deeper) understanding?Does it reflect possible misconceptions with students?Is there likely to be a mix in correct and wrong answers? (Is the difficulty level ok)Is there an added value in the peer instruction process?Are wrong answers discussed?Does the teacher take the vote result into account?
  • Use the misconceptions from the first exercise.
  • Comparative questions:Compare the two techniques and list similarities and differences.Can both techniques be used in your teaching? List arguments pro and contra.Similarities:Conceptual thinkingDiscussion, argumentation promotionRelated to students’ misconceptions,Differences:Graphical aspectConceptests usually as formative assessment toolDaily life, conceptests can be abstract MCQ.Shorter time use, easier to make vs. Stronger learning instrument
  • Conceptual science teaching: concept cartoons & concepTests

    1. 1. Concept Cartoons & ConcepTests An Introduction to Conceptual Science Teaching
    2. 2. 2 Alternative frameworks / misconceptions • Test yourself A boy tries to pull a dog, so he exercises a force on the dog. The dog also pulls back. They both remain at place. What is the exact reason for this? 1. Both forces undo each other. 2. The dog rest at place due to the friction force of the ground. 3. Because the boy exercises a force less than the dog.
    3. 3. 3 Alternative frameworks / misconceptions • Test yourself You have a lamp, a piece of cupper and a battery. Make a drawing so that the lamp will light up.
    4. 4. Come into the class carrying two ice hands If you put a glove on one ice hand, will that make the ice melt slower, faster or make no difference? Alternative frameworks / misconceptions
    5. 5. 5 Alternative frameworks / misconceptions • Test yourself: True or false? – A moving object needs a force – The rainbow has 7 colors – Space is a zero-gravity environment – The Earth goes around the Sun once a day – The greenhouse effect is a bad thing – Objects float because they are lighter than water – Ice is always at zero degrees Celsius
    6. 6. 6 Alternative frameworks / misconceptions • Find an example of a misconception you encounter in your class. • Where do you think this misconception comes from? • Try to construct a definition of a misconception • What can we do about it?
    7. 7. Elicitation • How can we detect misconceptions? Envelope activity
    8. 8. 8 Tools for conceptual change 1. Conceptual experiments 2. Concept tests & Peer instruction 3. Concept maps 4. Concept cartoons 5. …
    10. 10. 10
    11. 11. Characteristics of a concept cartoon 1. Range of viewpoints 2. Alternative conceptions represented (realistic) 3. Situation from daily life 4. Stimulate thinking & discussion 5. Generate interest to find out
    12. 12. How to use concept cartoons in your class? 1. Class Discussion 2. Group Discussion 3. Experimental Investigation 4. Use in combination with other SCA • In the Fishbowl • Traffic Light Cards • …
    13. 13. Class Discussion
    14. 14. Class Discussion 1. Show the cartoon 2. Individual reflection • With which idea do you agree and why? • Is more than one idea correct? • What is a good definition of the concept shadow? 3. Quick scan (showing hands) 4. Class discussion
    15. 15. Group Discussion
    16. 16. Group Discussion 1. Make small groups and distribute the concept cartoon 2. Individual thinking time 3. Group discussion and consensus seeking 4. Feedback (raising hands) 5. Share viewpoints in a class discussion 6. Provide an explicit summary of the initial problem.
    17. 17. Experimental investigation
    18. 18. Experimental investigation 1. Introduce the cartoon 2. Thinking time & quick scan (raising hands) 3. Let students work together in small groups to set up an investigation. 4. Each groups presents its outcomes to the class. 5. Class discussion. 6. Explicit summary by the teacher
    19. 19. Concept Cartoon Circus 1. Select 3 concept cartoons 2. Group discussion & development lesson fragment 3. Peer investigation & feedback 4. Improve lesson plan fragment & mock lesson 5. Class discussion.
    21. 21. Example earth science: day and night Six friends were wondering why the sky is dark at night. This is what they said: A. The clouds come in at night and cover the sun. B. The Earth spins completely around once a day. C. The Sun moves around the Earth once a day. D. The Earth moves around the Sun once a day. E. The Sun moves underneath the Earth at night F. The Sun stops shining. Who do you think has the best reason? Describe your reasons.
    22. 22. Example earth science: solar eclipse What causes a solar eclipse?
    23. 23. Example earth science: solar eclipse During a solar eclipse, parts of the Earth experience darkness for a brief time during the day. Throughout time, people have had different ideas about what happens during a solar eclipse: A. The Sun passes between the Earth and Moon B. The Earth passes between the Sun and the Moon C. The clouds block out the Sun. D. The Earth’s shadow falls on the Sun. E. The Moon’s shadow falls on the Earth. F. The Sun shuts off light for a few minutes
    24. 24. Example Biology: Photosynthesis Where did most of the matter that makes up the wood and the leaves of the trees originally come from?
    25. 25. Example Biology: Photosynthesis Where did most of the matter that makes up the wood and the leaves of the trees originally come from? A. Sunlight B. Water C. Soil D. Carbon Dioxide E. Oxygen F. Minerals G. Chlorophyll
    26. 26. Example Biology: Digestive system What is the main function of the digestive system? Here are some answers from students: A. The main function is to release energy from food. B. The main function is to help us breathe. C. The main function is to break food down into molecules that can be absorbed by cells. D. The main function is to break food down in the stomach into small pieces of food that can be used by the body. E. The main function is to carry bits of food and nutrients to all the different parts of our body. F. The main function is to store food so that we can get energy when we need it.
    27. 27. Example physics: phase changes Put five ice cubes in a glass. After 20 minutes, most of the ice had melted to form “ice water”. There were still some small pieces of ice floating in the water. Measure temperature of ice water . Then add five more ice cubes. Three minutes later, measure the temperature. A. The temperature of the “ice water” increased B. The temperature of the “ice water” decreased C. The temperature of the “ice water” stayed the same
    28. 28. Example Chemistry: Atom structure A group of friends is looking at grains of salt through a magnifying glass. They are wondering what they would see if they had a device powerful enough to see the individual atoms. These are their answers: A. The atoms would be packed tightly together. They would look like a solid material without any empty spaces between the atoms. B.I would see vibrating atoms arranged in an orderly way with spaces between them. There would be nothing in the spaces, not even air. C.I think I would see atoms not moving and arranged in an orderly way. There would be space between the atoms. The space would be filled with air. D.I think I would see atoms in the shape of small cubes. Each of these cubes would join together to form a larger cube of salt. E.I think I would see lots of vibrating atoms connected together by little lines. The lines connecting each atom give them a definite cube shape. F.I think I would see individual atoms moving from place to place. They would be moving all about the inside of the crystal shape.
    29. 29. Example chemistry: chemical bonding • The neon atom tends NOT to lose any electrons because A. The ionization energy is so high B. That would result in a negative ion C. Of its relatively strong effective nuclear charge D. Its electrons are paired together within the same orbitals
    30. 30. ConcepTests & Peer Instruction • What are characteristics of ConcepTests? • Can you give an example of a topic or lesson where you would use this? • Why would you prefer this method to any other? • What voting distributions were encountered (and are possible)? How would you react on each one? • Can you think of any practical tips?
    31. 31. Scheme for using ConcepTests
    32. 32. Review: step-by-step • Divide lesson in key-topics • Teach about 1st topic • Present Concept test • Short individual thinking time • Students “vote” with answer cards • Vote results determine subsequent steps: – Students discuss in groups of 2 – Brief explanation and move on • Students “vote” again – Eventually new ConcepTest – If result not good, additional instruction
    33. 33. Practical aspects • Select example in manual, or choose new topic. • Integrate a ConcepTest in lesson plan process, paying attention to: - What are key topics of the lesson? - What are possible misconceptions with the students? - What actions do you plan before the concepTest? - Integrate voting & peer instruction. • Evaluate each other’s lesson plan process, using the checklist.
    34. 34. How to make concepTests? • Vote results • Information from peer discussions • Results from exams • Research
    35. 35. Make your own concept cartoon/ ConcepTest Identify the misconception Make an open question Categorize the answers Make draft concept cartoon/test Try-out in class Analyze responses and modify
    36. 36. Conclusion • Compare Concept Cartoons and ConcepTests and list similarities and differences. • Can both techniques be used in your teaching? List arguments pro and contra.
    37. 37. References • Driver, R. et al., 1994, Making Sense of Secondary Science: Research into Children’s Ideas, Routledge, 210p. • Mazur, E., 1997, Peer Instruction: A User’s Manual, Prentice Hall, 253p. • Keeley, P. et al., 2005, Uncovering Student Ideas in Science: 25 Formative Assessment Probes, Vol. 1, NSTA Press, 193p. • Keeley, P. et al., 2007, Uncovering Student Ideas in Science: 25 Formative Assessment Probes, Vol. 2, NSTA Press, 194p. • Keeley, P. et al., 2009, Uncovering Student Ideas in Science: 25 Formative Assessment Probes, Vol. 4, NSTA Press, 184p. • Naylor S., Downing, B. and Keogh B. (2001) An empirical study of argumentation in primary science, using Concept Cartoons as the stimulus. Third International Conference of the European Science Education Research Association. Thessaloniki, Greece