smart kids

Understanding Students' Alternative Conceptions: A Mirror to their Thinking

Manisha Wadhwa, Indu Nashier Gahlawat, Annu Chhikara


The concepts of knowledge in specific context vary among the young kids and adults. The Adults find many contextual concepts (knowledge) as vague or incorrect when children describe particular concept. It needs to be understood that children have their own way of thinking and have their logic. This paper explores various alternative conceptions of children, their sources and impacts on child's learning. During this action research in a primary and middle school a deliberate effort was made to understand children's alternative conceptions. A number of tools like questionnaire, discussion, observation, interview and checklists were used. Alternative conceptions were identified for 'Who is a scientist? What is Science? Heat, plants and food. It was found that children's alternative conceptions were so strong (due to the most INFLUENTIAL SOURCES) that they cannot be changed easily in a short period of time. Teachers and family members need to challenge these alternative conceptions continuously regularly so that they form scientifically correct ideas.


Misconceptions; alternate conceptions; school children; Education

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