September 2012

Rethinking Conceptual Change Theories

This term I am very fortunate to be able to teach a graduate course on the Research in Science Education (EDCP 559 at UBC). This course makes me think and rethink many of the concepts I thought I have understood before. It made me think how we build our understanding and how new ideas fit into the existing frameworks. This week, we are discussing conceptual change theories. I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed reading the papers I assigned students to read. I am looking forward to our discussion tomorrow… I hope that slowly things will start falling into place for the students and for me… It takes time and effort to rethink and reconstruct our understanding of student learning of science, but it is certainly worth it… I also will be showing a short clip “Fish is Fish” by Leo Lionni tomorrow… I will also show it in my EDCP 357 – Physics Methods course which is also a fabulous opportunity to learn with the students. I just love it.

  1. Bransford, D., Brown, A. L., & Cocking, R. R. (2002). How people learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. (Free online: )
  2. Ă–zdemir, G., & Clark, D. B. (2007). An Overview of Conceptual Change Theories. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 3(4), 351-361.
  3. Posner, G. J., Strike, K. A., Hewson, P. W., & Gertzog, W. A. (1982). Accommodation of a Scientific Conception: Toward a Theory of Conceptual Change. Science Education, 66(2), 211-227.
  4. Savinainen, A., Scott, P., & Viiri, J. (2004). Using a Bridging Representation and Social Interactions to Foster Conceptual Change: Designing and Implementing and Instructional Sequence for Newton’s Third Law (Publication., from Wiley Publishing:
  5. Tyson, L. M., Venville, G. J., Harrison, A. G., & Treagust, D. F. (1997). A Multidimensional Framework for Interpreting Conceptual Change Events in the Classroom. Science Education, 81, 387-404.
  6. Smith, J. P. I., diSessa, A. A., & Roschelle, J. (1993). Misconceptions Reconceived: A Constructivist Analysis of Knowledge in Transition. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 3(2), 115-163
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