Resources to support the misconceptions area

Teaching Guidance for 5-11 11-14 14-16 16-19 IOP RESOURCES

On this page, you will find links to Google sheets and downloadable resource spreadsheets containing all of the information and resources from the Practical Implications of Physics Education Research (PIPER) literature review of students' misconceptions and naïve ideas in physics. 

You can read more about the project and how to use our misconceptions area here.

The literature review sheets

Each Google sheet has a list of children's ideas about a physics domain, compiled by Professor Robin Millar from the University of York, using Rosalind Driver et al.’s Making Sense of Secondary Science, Randall Knight’s Five Easy Lessons, The Victoria Science Continuum, and his own knowledge of the area. The ideas each have a reference count (number of times they have appeared in studies) and a unique ID. The statements that have been linked to a study are available to view in our misconceptions area: in each page, you will find the statement, diagnostic questions, links to resources to address the misconception and references that support the statement.   

Review sheet screen shot with unique ID and reference count labelled

The tabs along the bottom of the Google sheets allow you to navigate to different studies, listed as surname (year). 

Review sheet screen shot showing different study tabs

Each tab has the following information about the study:

  • Author, title, year, source 
  • Aim of study
  • Age of learners
  • Country of study
  • Details of researchers
  • Study design - how the evidence is gathered
  • Details of the sample - size, nature, diversity etc
  • Summary of data collection methods and instruments
  • Methods used to analyse data

Underneath this information, the findings from the study are listed. These are direct quotes of misconceptions or children's ideas and are linked to the Unique IDs from Professor Robin Millar's list where possible. Where these quotes match the list, these have been put into IOPSpark's misconceptions area.

Each tab also has suggestions for teachers, by researchers, both supported by evidence and not necessarily supported by evidence. Lastly, where possible, activities and processes trialled by the researchers have been listed. 

Please note: the information in the Google sheets about each study has been filled out where possible from reviewing the literature on children's ideas and misconceptions. However, there will be instances of blank sections within tabs, where the literature did not go into detail in that particular area.

Electricity and Magnetism literature review Google sheet

Forces and Motion literature review Google sheet

Light, Sound and Waves literature review Google sheet

Energy and Thermal Physics literature review Google sheet

Earth and Space literature review Google sheet

Properties of Matter literature review Google sheet

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