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Misconceptions - Earth in Space.

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Richard Boxley                Science (Geology)

Science Assignment 1Ab

Misconceptions – Earth in Space

The misconceptions topic I have chosen is the Earth in space.  I chose this topic as it is related to my progression of a theme assignment and also because I wanted to see if pupils had similar misconceptions before and after learning a topic.

I interviewed groups of three pupils with a total of six pupils from a year group.  The year groups I interviewed were year 7, 8, 10 and 11.

Pupils in year 7 have yet to learn this topic while the older pupils have met it before at some point in their school life.

The basic outline of questions I chose to ask remained roughly the same for each group and they are outlined below.

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Can you draw another person standing on the other side of the Earth, for example in Australia?Can you draw some clouds with rain falling on the people?Why don’t the people fall off the Earth?What do you think gravity is?Where does gravity come from?Why do you think we see the Sun moving across the sky each day?The Sun is a star but why do you think it is so much brighter than the stars we see at night?Have you ever heard of a black hole, maybe on TV or in movies? What do you think a Black hole is?

These questions were adapted (or left out altogether) depending on the responses of the pupils.

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Addressing Misconceptions

  • Some misconceptions due to confusion between two concepts (i.e. the spin of the Earth and the Earth orbiting around the Sun).
  • Could use practical exercises or demonstrations to show how we know about the Earth in space, e.g. using globes and models to represent the Sun, Earth and people standing on the Earth (as seen in the first astronomy BBS session).
  • Websites/CD-ROMs can be useful in demonstrating processes, which we cannot normally observe.
  • The most important thing is to provide good evidence that will challenge the misconceptions pupils have.

...read more.

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