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# Misconceptions

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### Misconceptions

1. 1. 2.0 MISCONCEPTIONS RATIONALE 1. Many misconception occur during the teaching and learning processes of certain topic in science 2. These misconceptions are transferred by the teachers to students which will eventually affect their perception towards the actual concept. 3. Teachers generally are unaware of these misconceptions and needs to be identified earlier. OBJECTIVES 1. To provide teachers with examples of misconceptions. 2. To help teachers to be more aware of the misconceptions which are frequently passed on to students without realising it. STRATEGIES 1. Before starting this topic, teachers are advised to go through the examples given to get a clear picture of some of the misconceptions. 2. Teachers are encouraged to identify other misconceptions that might occur in other topics. SUGGESTIONS Teachers are encourage to find other misconceptions that might occur during teaching and learning processes. Some examples are given below. 1
2. 2. 2.1 WATER AND SOLUTION 2.1.1 EVAPORATION OR BOILING? Theme : Issue: Matter in Nature Students are still not able to differentiate the differences between evaporation and boiling. Learning Area: Misconception: Water and solution The misconception here is that both processes refer to the same changes in the state of water from liquid to gas. Learning Actual concept: Objectives: Teachers must stress on the different temperatures involve in Analysing the both processes. process of evaporation of Boiling only takes place at a constant / fixed temperature for a water specific substance. i.e. Distilled water boils only at 100oC Evaporation of distilled water can occur at any temperature between 100oC (Boiling point) and 0oC (Freezing point) Learning Outcomes: Suggestions: Compare and contrast between 1. The word “point” refers to a specific temperature. evaporation and 2. Evaporation does not have a specific temperature or “point”. boiling 3. Encourage students to use Graphic Organiser to identify the similarities and differences. Evaporation Boiling Similarities Differences 2
3. 3. 2.1.2 CONCENTRATED OR SATURATED? Theme : Issue: Matter in Nature When ask to explain the difference between concentrated and saturated solution, students often misunderstood that when a solute is added to a concentrated solution, a saturated solution is automatically formed even if the solute is still able to dissolve in it. Learning Area: Misconception: Water and solution The misconception here is that a saturated solution is formed automatically after a concentrated solution is added with a solute. Learning Objectives: Actual concept: Analysing solution A concentrated solution does not become saturated if the solute and solubility added can still dissolved. The solution becomes saturated when it contain the maximum amount of solute and is unable to dissolve anymore solute in a solvent. Learning Suggestions: Outcomes: 1. Students must carry out the activity suggested in the text book Contrast and to show the ability of solutes to dissolve in a solvent. compare between 2. Teacher must focus on the ability of the particles of a solute to diluted solution, dissolve in the solvent and not the ability of the solvent to concentrated and absorb the particles of the solute. saturated solution 3. Teachers must allow students to carry out the activity suggested in the text book first before the concept behind the different types of solution can be discussed and understood by the students i.e. Dilute, Concentrated and Saturated Solution. 4. Encourage students to use Graphic Organiser to show the similarities and differences. 3
4. 4. 2.1.3 SOLUBILITY Theme : Issue: Matter in Nature Students cannot distinguish between the factors affecting the solubility of a solute and the factors affecting the rate of dissolving. Learning Area: Misconception: Water and solution The misconception here is that students often make the mistake of assuming that the factor that affects the solubility of a solute is the same as the factors that affects the rate of dissolving. When asked about the factors that affects the solubility of a solute, students often answer stirring and the size of the solute as the factors. Learning Objectives: Actual concept: Analysing solution Teachers must stress that temperature affects both the: and solubility i. solubility of a solute and ii. rate of dissolving of a solute. however : Solubility is influenced by: Learning i. the nature of the solvent and Outcomes: ii. the nature of the solute. Explain the factors while: affecting the solubility of solutes in water The rate of dissolving is influenced by: i. stirring and ii. the size of the solute. Suggestions: 1. Teachers must first relate solubility with the activity carried out by students on dilute, concentrated and saturated solution. 2. Students must carry out the activity to observe how solubility is affected by the temperature, the nature of solvent and the nature of the solute. 3. Students must also carry out activity to show how the rate of dissolving is affected by temperature, stirring and the size of solute used. 4. Students should be able to see how temperature affects both the solubility and the rate of dissolving. 4
5. 5. 2.1.4 WHOSE COLOUR? Issue: Theme : Teachers and students often explain the neutral point in neutralisation as the change in colour of the alkaline solution Matter in Nature (from purple to green) instead of the change in colour of the Universal indicator. Misconception: Learning Area: The misconception here is that students refer the change in Water and solution colour of the alkaline solution but not the colour changes of the Universal indicator. Actual concept: Learning Objectives: Teachers must stress that the indicator is used to observe the colour changes to determine the neutral point in neutralisation. Analysing acids and alkali The Universal indicator itself is green and will change colour to red in an acidic medium or purple in an alkaline medium. Teacher should stress that the changes of colour is of the Universal indicator and not of the alkaline solution. Suggestions: Learning 1. The word “changes colour” must refer to the Universal indicator Outcomes: and not to the medium (Acid or Alkali) Explain the meaning of neutralisation 5
6. 6. 2.2 AIR PRESSURE 2.2.1 WHAT IS PRESSURE? Issue: Theme : During this lesson, when students are asked to explain the application of air pressure in siphon and drinking straw, they often Matter in Nature explain by relating air pressure to its volume in a closed container. Misconception: Learning Area: The misconception here is that the principle of air pressure in siphon and drinking straw is explained by relating the principle of Air Pressure air pressure in a closed container. Actual concept: Learning Objectives: Teachers must stress the concept of air exerts pressure and that Applying the principle air moves from a higher pressure to a lower pressure. of air pressure in In the case of siphon and drinking straw, when a higher daily life atmospheric pressure moves to a lower pressure area, the liquid is pushed through the straw/siphon. Suggestions: Learning 1. Teachers must first help students recall that air exerts Outcomes: pressure. 2. Teachers must inform students that the relationship of volume Explain with and air pressure only applies to closed container but not to examples things that siphon and drinking straw. use the principle of 3. Teachers must show a diagram on the movement of air air pressure pressure from a higher pressure area to a lower pressure area. Higher atmospheric pressure presses onto the water Higher pressure Air pressure in the tube decreases as air is suck out Water flows through Water flows out of the tank due to the difference in air pressure above and below the water tank. 6
7. 7. 2.3 DYNAMIC 2.3.1 What is Work done? Issue: Theme : Students cannot understand why a girl standing while holding a book is not considered as work done. Force and Motion Misconception: Learning Area: The misconception here is that students do not relate distance as an important factor in work done. Dynamics . Actual concept: Learning Teachers must stress that work is the product of the force acting Objectives: on an object and the distance moved by the object in the direction of the force. Application of work Work done = Force(N) X Distance(m) Suggestions: 1. Teacher must stress on the concept that work is only Learning considered done when a force is applied to move an object in a Outcomes: specific distance, in the same direction of the movement. 2. Teacher must give examples to compare the differences Explain with between the situation when work is done and when work is not examples how work done. is done 3. Teacher must help students recall and understand the unit of force (N) when using the formula : Work = Force(N) X Distance(m) Distance moved (m) 7
8. 8. 2.3.2 WHICH DISTANCE? Issue: Theme : Students do not know the correct distance to use when calculating work done [ Work = Force(N) X Distance(m)]. Force and Motion Misconception: Learning Area: The misconception here is that students assume that the distance of stair case as the distance to be used in calculating work done. Dynamics Actual concept: Learning The vertical distance (height) is the actual distance used in Objectives: calculating work done. Application of work Distance of Stair case Vertical distance Suggestions: 1. Teachers should use diagrams to show the vertical distance of Learning stair case. Outcomes: 2. Teachers should inform students that the vertical distance (height) of the stair case is the sum of the height of each stairs. Explain with 3. Teachers must emphasised the distance moved is in the same examples how work direction with the force is done 4. Teachers should carry out this activity on a real stair case in schools. 8
9. 9. 2.4 SUPPORT SYSTEM 2.4.1 PROP ROOTS OR STILT ROOTS. Issue: Students are not able to differentiate between prop roots and stilt Theme : roots. Force and Motion Misconception: The misconception here is that both types of roots grow out from the stem for additional support. Actual concept: Learning Area: Prop roots and stilt roots do grow out from the stem of plants. Support System But prop roots of Maize plant grows from the nodes on the main stem while the prop roots of Banyan tree grows from the branches. Nodes Learning Objectives: Understanding the support systems in plants Maize Plant Banyan Tree Whereby, stilt roots of Mangrove Plants develop from the main stem. Learning Outcomes: Classify plants based on their support systems Mangrove Plant Suggestions: 1. Teachers must stress that stilt roots develop from the main stem near the surface of the soil whereas prop roots develop from the nodes of the stem or branches. 2. The use of diagram/pictures of plants as examples is recommended. 3. Teachers are encouraged to take students for fieldwork. 9
10. 10. 2.5 OTHER EXAMPLES OF MISCONCEPTIONS 1 Mass and weight 2 Excretion and defecation (digestion) 3 Buoyancy with density Why object float or sink with density 4 Unit of volume Solid – cm3 Liquid - ml 5 Terms of chloroplast and chlorophyll 6 Unicellular and multicellular organism -give specific example 7 Mixture and compound 8 Tropism (thigmotropism) and nastic movement 9 Long-sightedness and short-sightedness Different terms in English and Bahasa Melaysia 10 Is fungi a plant? 11 Plant carry out both respiration and photosynthesis 12 What is the concept of moment of force? 13 Difference between magnitude of force and force 14 Difference between diffusion and absorption 15 How to find out resistance in parallel circuit and serial circuit 10