Some students consider light as separate from seeing
For example, the presence of light causes a room to be lit up, but it doesn't need to go into the eyes.
The following worksheets may help to identify whether students hold this particular misconception.
For more information, see the University of York BEST website.
Resources to Address This
Seeing with light (5-11)
Ref - SPT HS01 PN02
We are able to see objects when light from them enters the eye. This activity looks at light from luminous objects and reflected light from non-luminous objects.View Resource
How do we see? (11-14)
Ref - SPT Li01 TL05
This resource explores how we see by discussing a number of 'wrong tracks' and a 'right lines' statement.View Resource
The following studies have documented this misconception:
- Wenham, E. J. and Guesne, E. () The Place of Optics in Physics Teaching - Children's Ideas about Light. New Trends in Physics Teaching, IV Paris, UNESCO publication,
- Andersson, B and Kärrqvist, C. () How Swedish pupils, aged 12‐15 years, understand light and its properties. European Journal of Science Education, 5 (4)
- Eaton, J., Anderson, C.W. and Smith, E.L. () Students' misconceptions interfere with learning: case studies of fifth-grade students. Research Series 128, The Institute for Research on Teaching, Michigan State University.
- Watts, D. M. () Student Conceptions of Light: A case study. Physics Education, 20,
- Ramadas, J. and Driver, R. () Aspects of secondary students' ideas about light. University of Leeds Centre for Studies in Science & Mathematics Education.