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Welcome to iCTLT 2016!
Wednesday, March 30 • 4:30pm - 5:00pm
Paper Presentation 4/9: 299 Facilitating Conceptual Understanding in Science

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Our teachers observed that students have varied and mostly inaccurate conceptual understanding of how the world around them works. These misconceptions must be corrected before the students can assimilate new information introduced to them. At other times, well-prepared students with preconceived answers may also become close-minded and hinder the spirit of inquiry learning. 

This presentation focuses on how the science teachers of Palm View Primary School attempt to leverage on the affordance of technology to challenge students' conceptual understanding as a form of engagement, facilitate discussion and collaborative learning to bring about conceptual understanding and change. 

Posner, Strike, Hewson and Gertzog (1982) suggested four essential conditions for conceptual change. They are: (1) Dissatisfaction - students realize there are some inconsistencies when their way of thinking does not solve the problem at hand. (2) Intelligibility - students get opportunities to argue their own interpretations of events and relationship so that they become aware of their pre-instruction conceptions. (3) Plausibility - students get opportunities to apply the concepts in a new context. (4) Fruitfulness - the new concept opens up new areas of inquiry. 

This presentation is based on an on-going study on two Primary 3 and 4 Science class comprising students of mixed abilities. The teachers incorporate students’ daily activities and experiences as units of their learning design. These insertions ensure that the learning experiences are contextualised and act as relevant triggers to help students begin the process of conceptual change. Leveraging on the affordances of mobile devices and cloud-based tools, the students were able to extend their learning experiences from the class, to the school compound, leading eventually to personal learning spaces out of the school. This provides the students with a pool of rich and diverse life experiences which they can share and harness as ideas and learning resources to be gained in one context and applied in another. 

Our preliminary results suggest that in such learning environment, students are more able to address scientific misconceptions. Every student had to reflect and resolve the conceptual conflict before integrating and applying the new understanding and concepts into their lives. Teachers who embarked on this study agree that the students were engaged and demonstrated dispositions of inquiring minds. The students had also expressed that the experience had allowed them to rectify many misconceptions that they previously assumed was true.



Palm View Primary School


Palm View Primary

Wednesday March 30, 2016 4:30pm - 5:00pm GMT+08
MR 336