Types Of Preconceptions

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According to Meheaut (2012), preconceptions are defined as “opinions or conceptions formed in advance of “true” knowledge or experience. Thus, preconceptions can be considered also as prejudices or biases in forming scientific concepts. From the perspective of cognitive psychology, preconceptions can be defined as learner’s biased schemas of objects and phenomena” (Meheaut, 2012, para. 10). Preconceptions are often ideas and/or thoughts students’ have in regards to a particular topic or subject area. The “pre-instructional knowledge” (preconceptions) that students’ bring into the classroom can be based on things such as intuition, everyday life experiences, and information learned in other settings (Lucariello & Naff, 2017). There are two types of preconceptions students’ can bring into the classroom. The first preconception is referred to as an anchoring preconceptions. These preconceptions are consistent and similar to the concepts being taught so students’ are only adding, adjusting, and/or enriching their original preconceptions. The second type of preconception is referred to as alternative preconceptions. These preconceptions are inconsistent to the concepts being taught and those inconsistences make learning difficult for students’ because their preconceptions, in essence,…show more content…
Understanding students’ preconceptions allows teachers to add, delete, adjust lesson to target specific learning. Having this understanding of preconceptions can increase learning opportunities which will “challenge students’ existing ideas and build new ones” (Worth, 2000, p. 4). Some learning opportunities and/or building knowledge includes: textbook scavenger hunts, use of picture books, virtual field trips, etc. (Lent
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