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Engaging conceptual development within science through the use of concept cartoons: Harmonising direct instruction and constructivist pedagogy

Written by: Scott Buckler and Harriett Moore
6 min read
Scott Buckler and Harriett Moore, Holy Trinity School, Kidderminster, UK Introduction Within science, misconceptions can occur for a range of reasons (e.g. an opinion based on incorrect thinking); however, misconceptions can be resistant to change. The consistency of misconceptions has been specifically noticeable during transition from primary to secondary science (Driver et al., 2014). Consequently, an investigation was structured to assess the impact of an intervention comparing direct instruction and constructivist approaches through the use of concept cartoons. Between 1987 and 1990, the Science Processes and Concept Exploration (SPACE) project explored children’s scientific conceptual development and misconceptions (Black and Harlen, 1993; Harlen and Qualter, 2018; STEM Learning, 2016). From this, concept cartoons were developed as one way of challenging student misconceptions (Keogh and Naylor, 1998, 1999).  Concept cartoons provide a scenario where several characters

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