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Some References for Misconception Research

See also:Electricity Misconception References

AN EXCELLENT JOURNAL: Proceedings of The 2nd Int'l Seminar - Misconceptions and Educational Strategies in Science and Mathematics, July 26-29, 1987. Dr. J. Novak, Cornell U., Ithaca NY. Vol II and III. On microfilm from ERIC Document Repro. Services. (don't have ERIC ref numbers), also available from MRLG:

Meaningful Learning Reseach Group:


2009 J. Silsko, GIREP-EPEC/PHEC Repeated errors in Physics Textbooks: What do they say about the culture of teaching?

Paul B's Misconceptions References

Astronomy Misconceptions: bibliography

Chemistry Misconceptions: bibliography

List, students' naive physics misconceptions AIP "Operation Physics"

Chabay & Sherwood's References on the role of "static electricity" in electric circuitry

An excellent collection of research papers on electricity misconceptions:

ASPECTS OF UNDERSTANDING ELECTRICITY: PROCEEDINGS OF AN INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP, R. Duit, W. Jung, C. von Roneck (Eds), Verlag Schmidt & Klaunig, 1985 (QC530.A78 1985)

A book on misconceptions in classical (Newtonian) physics:

Preconceptions in Mechanics, by Charles Camp. Paperback (January 1994) , Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company; ISBN: 0840390718

"The Science Teacher" NSTA magazine special issue: The History and Nature of Science, Nov 2004 V71 N9 (all about fighting against "The Scientific Method")

F.M. Goldberg and L. C. McDermott, AN INVESTIGATION OF STUDENT UNDERSTANDING OF THE REAL IMAGE FORMED BY A CONVERGING LENS OR CONCAVE MIRROR, Am. J. of Phys. 55 (2) Feb. 1987 pp108-119.

Mario Iona, WHY JOHNNY CAN'T LEARN PHYSICS FROM TEXTBOOKS I HAVE KNOWN Millikan Award Lecture, Am J. Phys. 55 (4) Apr 1987 pp299-307

Mario Iona, WOULD YOU BELIEVE... Series of columns in The Physics Teacher (AAPT Publication)

Mario Iona, HOW SHOULD WE SAY IT? Series of columns in The Science Teacher, 1970-1972

SURELY YOU'RE JOKING, MR. FEYNMAN, by Dr. Richard Feynman, see "Judging Books by their Covers", a disturbing story of K-6 textbook errors and the textbook selection process. See exerpt

MAKING SENSE OF SECONDARY SCIENCE by Driver, R., Squires, A., Wood-Robinson, V., (1994) Details the misconceptions often held by children (and adults)

THE GOLEM: what you should know about science by Collins and Pinch, Canto Books, 1994. Debunks several science myths held by all, including scientists. Presents several case studies of scientific sociology and "science by concensus." Chemical transfer of memory, gravity waves, proof of relativity, spontaneous generation, pseudo-copulation in unisexual lizards. Excellent for stimulation of critical thought regarding the REAL workings of science.

INVENTING THE FLAT EARTH, by J. B. Russell (1997), examines a well known scientific myth (that Columbus' peers thought the earth is flat)

LIES MY TEACHER TOLD ME, by James W. Loewen, Norton 1995. Expose' of serious problems in K-12 history textbooks.

Legends, Lies, and Cherish Myths of American History

YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY, by Alfie Kohn, HarperCollins 1990. Refutation of numorous common beliefs, such as "boys are better at math", "competition builds character," "kids don't read because they're addicted to television," "religious people are more altruistic," etc.

S.J. Gould, "The Case of the Creeping Fox Terrier Clone," Natural History 97, no.1:16-24 Gould complains about the 'cloning' of bad information between textbooks by uncritical textbook authors.

EVERYTHING YOU KNOW IS WRONG, by Paul Kirchner, (c)1995 Rhino Records, General Publishing Group, Santa Monica, CA. Debunks a large collection of false popular conceptions, such as "bulls hate the color red," "man is the only animal that kills for sport," "overpopulation is the cause of starvation, "mice like cheese," "Einstein and Churchill were poor students," etc.

See also:Electricity Misconception References







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