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Students are actively engaged in the learning process through building knowledge and understanding in response to learning opportunities provided by their teacher.Students develop critical thinking skills, learn to work collaboratively and independently and gain sophisticated communication techniques.Conventional science instruction often exacerbates the problem.
These students are able to relate new material to prior knowledge and, if warranted, assimilate new material into pre-existing conceptions.
The challenge of contemporary science education reform is therefore to address the diverse needs of a “mixed student epistemology” classroom.
Many students have strong beliefs that knowledge is conveyed by authorities, such as the instructor and the textbook.
Also many student's own knowledge structure is fragmented or “in pieces,” as described by di Sessa.
The aim of such efforts is not only to convey subject-matter content knowledge, but also to shape the student mindset, metacognitive practice, and understanding of the nature of science.
An ongoing debate in the science-education community exists between those who believe that students enter the classroom with stable and coherent ideas about the natural world that differ from those presented in science textbooks and by their science teachers, and others who claim that student knowledge consists of isolated structures called phenomenological primitives (p-prims).Each approach stresses the need for students to critically examine their own ideas in relation to target course ideas and discuss their ideas with peers.The second and third approaches emphasize the important role of the history and philosophy of science in science teaching.Fortunately, this portrayal is not valid for all students.Many other students enter the classroom with productive intellectual values and possess, or can quickly develop with little prompting, alternative, and coherent conceptions that conflict with target ideas.Naturally, a student's scientific knowledge structure reflects their view of science learning.Students who see science learning as a passive activity believe that scientific knowledge is received knowledge, while students whose knowledge structure is highly fragmented see scientific knowledge as an enormous body of unrelated “bits” or trivia to be memorized.In this paper we review three instructional strategies that show promise to address this challenge in the context of an introductory physics classroom: (1) the Reflective Writing and Labatorial interventions of Kalman et al.(2) the Conceptual Conflict Collaborative Group and Critique approaches of Kalman and Rohar, and (3) the integrated Elicit-and-Challenge and Bridging Technique strategies of Lattery.It seems the most plausible a priori position is “no.” Theories are things that belong to formal science (p. Recently, however, Lattery (2017) presented detailed counter evidence for this claim.His research shows that many introductory physics students can and do think theoretically and even generate their own theories that differ from those found in their textbooks.