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Understanding Experiences Blows Away Misconceptions Essay

Grades do not always determine a true understanding of academic concepts. As shown in our discussion, children who seem to have learned their lesson in math well may only have understood the technique in solving a mathematical problem but not the true concepts involved. I, myself, took another sample test and although I scored perfectly, the challenge of seeing through what might be traps for misconceptions was there to help me get a nice score. Misconceptions are easy to assimilate and yet be difficult to detect and even harder to correct. To help others clarify misconceptions, it is important to find out where the error is coming from.

In a study conducted over middle school students by the Arizona State University incoming teachers, interviewers realized that children tend to think they know that the mathematical concepts they learned are true because of the credibility of the teacher. However, their memory of what the teacher has taught can be erroneous (Flores, 2006, par. 1-4). One way to help overcome misconceptions is by guiding the person in identifying his or her mistake. In an interview, a researcher had to make a Year 7 student explain her idea of a “oneths” column in her notion of decimal places.

To correct the misconception, the teacher simply guided the student in finding out through her own efforts how it is impossible to have a “oneths” place in the decimal system (MacDonald, 2008, par. 1-13). True learning involves grasping a concept and using it practically in one’s life. Guidance in understanding the implications of what one experiences can help clarify misconceptions. Teaching techniques or “spoon feeding” makes learning shallow for people. Identifying the concepts that need to be learned and how they are applicable or happening in one’s life is more effective.

References Flores, A. (2006). How do students know what they learn in middle school mathematics is true? School Science and Mathematics. Retrieved 24 May, 2010, from http://www. thefree library. com/How+do+students+know+what+they+learn+in+middle+school+mathematics +is… -a0144150616. MacDonald, Amy. (2008). “But what about the oneths? ” A year 7 student’s misconception about decimal place value. Australian Mathematics Teacher. Retrieved 24 May, 2010 from http://www. thefreelibrary. com/%22But+what+about+the+oneths%3F%22+A+year+7+st udent’s+misconception+about+… -a0188952628.


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