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Science is a field that includes knowledge, skills, scientific attitudes and noble values. Integration between these three elements is essential to ensure the quality of science education. As a field of knowledge, science provides a framework that enables students to understand the concept of the universe around them. Scientific knowledge becomes more meaningful to students when they are taught effectively to relate the facts with concepts, make generalizations, to link new learning with existing knowledge and apply this knowledge in daily life (Curriculum Development Centre, 2001a).
Science and misconception are always close related, as most of the students misunderstood a lot of science concepts without even realizing them. Misconceptions can be referred to as preconceived notions, non-scientific beliefs, naive beliefs (Caramazza, McCloskey & Green, 1981), mixed conceptions, common sense concepts (Haloun & Hestenes, 1985), or conceptual misunderstandings. Basically, in science these are cases in which something a person knows and believes does not match what is known to be scientifically correct. Moreover people who hold misconceptions are certainly not aware that their ideas are incorrect. Many misconceptions occur during the teaching and learning processes of certain topic in science. These misconceptions are transferred by the teachers to students which will eventually affect their perception towards the actual concept. Teachers generally are unaware of these misconceptions and needs to be identified earlier. There are many reasons for misconceptions, many arising from bad science, but some from an oversimplification of the truth and others from urban myths that everybody thinks that they know. Many people, even science teachers, do not fully understand the nature of science, and incorrectly portray the aims of research, and what science can actually achieve. The main reason for this is that the philosophy of science is woefully neglected most scientific education curricula, and many scientists learn how to do experiments, but with little understanding of why, and the basic underlying processes defining the very nature of science (Martyn Shuttleworth (2009).
Learning becomes meaningful if the students can relate the new knowledge gained with existing knowledge and the ability to use that understanding in new situations. There are several factors that can interfere effective learning. Some of them are,the stage of cognitive development of students, lack of motivation and learning strategies such as memorizing theorems, definitions and troubleshooting steps (Ausubel, 1968). Difficulty in learning science is due to the methods used by teachers to convey a concept to students (Yakubu, 1992). According to Yakubu (1992), teachers encourage their students to memorize facts of science rather than really works in the concept. This phenomenon contributes to students' misconception in the learning of science. As a result, they are unable to develop the new knowledge gained to be more meaningful.
"The stumbling way in which even the ablest of the scientists in every generation have had to fight throught thickets of erroneous observations, misleading generalizations, inadequate formulations, and unconscious prejudice is rarely appreciated by those who obtain their scientific knowledge from textbooks"
(James Bryant Conant (1893-1978), Science and Common Sense)
The primary aim of this study is to determine the prevalent or dominant misconceptions on water and solution that need to be addressed in the science classroom. Furthermore, it also examined if the number of misconceptions and proportion of students having misconceptions are correlated with gender and the ethnics. The results of this study will provide data to teachers and curriculum developers on the prevalent misconceptions of the students on water and solution . Moreover, the findings will serve as a guide for teachers in planning classroom activities that could address misconceptions, and thus, improve their students' conceptual understanding and facilitate the acquisition of advanced knowledge.
1.2 Problem Background
Science is one of the subjects that usually perceived as hardest and difficult subject that students had to undergo during their high school. In this subject, more concepts, ideas, theories and findings will be introduce to the students. It is labialized as 'out of the world' subject by the students as they need a deep understandings and acceptance rather than memorizing the concepts. Science should be taught by comprehensively and coherently as it is essential for the students to understand the concept. Therefore, in the process of learning science, understanding its concept is one of the most important aspects to ensure meaningful learning. Unfortunately, most of the studies have shown that lots of students do face problems in understanding and applying the concepts in their daily life. The concept of water and solution is among one of the basic concepts of science, which have became problems to students. Researchers showed that students have problems with some science topics.
Nowadays, people can gain knowledge and get information very much easily. The development of technologies, usage of internets, encyclopedias, books, movies and educated parents help the children to gain much knowledge and concepts even before they enter primary schools. This phenomena had let the students come to school bringing with them some preconceptions that are incompatible with established scientific theories. Such preconceptions had made the students difficult to adopt and take the actual concepts with open minded. Lee, et. al (1992) pointed out at least three ways in which alternative conceptions among children differ from generally-accepted concepts. First, children have difficulty with the kind of abstract reasoning used by scientists. Second, children are interested in unique explanations for specific events; unlike scientists, they are not concerned with the need for coherent and non-contradictory explanations for a wide variety of phenomena. Third, the everyday language of our society often leads children to have views that are different from those of scientists, and common speech is often at odds with the precise language used by scientists.
While the origins of children's beliefs are uncertain, they are thought to have been formed as the result of previous experiences. For instance, some children describe the evaporation of water from a puddle as the water disappearing (Russell and Watt 1990). Some are influenced by folklore, that eating carrots helps you see at night (WW2 British propaganda), or the media; e.g. space ships explode with sound. The ideas have coherence; they make sense and seem to be useful in explaining children's own experiences of everyday phenomena. Furthermore since ideas of this kind are intuitive and fruitful for children they are resistant to change.
There is agreement that children are not passive recipients of knowledge but that conceptual development involves the active construction of new knowledge, a process that produces a change in ideas. There is agreement that the ideas children bring with them to science lessons have an impact on learning outcomes. Because science is often in conflict with our common sense view of looking at the world, it sometimes doesn't make sense. (Cross and Peet 1997). The problem for the teacher is that explanations for phenomena and the concepts being developed derive from a vocabulary rooted in everyday experience. It is from this vocabulary that we reason about scientific ideas. For example, when added to warm tea, sugar goes into solution. the sugar is the solute and the warm tea the solvent. Here we have a familiar phenomenon described precisely with an unfamiliar vocabulary. For the learner, scientific ideas must develop or evolve, demanding interpretation in such a way that some words take on a different meaning.
Misconceptions can have serious impact on student learning. The prevalence of those misconceptions hinder students from learning more advanced concepts, and as they continue to build up knowledge, it becomes more difficult to rectify the misconceptions. If their initial understanding is not engaged, they may fail to grasp new concepts and information presented in the classroom, or they may learn them for purposes of a test but revert to their preconceptions outside the classroom (Donovan, et. al., 1999). It is then important that the science teacher should find ways to identify and carefully address those misconceptions that students bring to class.
1.3 Problem Statement
This study is taken up to analyze the misconception of learning water and solution concept by the form two students. There are still no research had been conducted to overcome the difficulties and problem that students are merely facing in this topic. By conducting this study of project, we could identify some of the misconceptions and produce students that could come up with better conceptual thinking. Furthermore, this topic is regarded as the hardest topic by the form two students as it require more conceptual thinking and applying in daily life.
There are several main objectives to be achieved through this study. The objectives are;
To identify the concepts in water and solution topic those are often done as misconceptions among form two students.
To identify the misconceptions in water and solution concept.
To determine the relationship between the level of understanding and the level of application of water and solution concept in daily life among the students.
To analyze students performance on answering the water and solution questions and find out their main problem during answering the questions.
To understand the main reason for the misconceptions by the form two students when studying this topic.
To help the teachers to be more aware of the misconceptions which are frequently passed on to students without realizing them.
To help the students to enhance the knowledge about water and solutions.
To suggest suitable approaches to overcome the misconception those have been identified among the form two students in water and solution concept.
1.5 Research Questions
i. What are the concepts in water and solution topic those are often done as misconceptions among form two students?
ii. What are the misconceptions in water and solution concept?
iii. What is the relationship between the level of understanding and the level of application of water and solution concept in daily life among the students?
iv. How students are performing on answering the water and solution questions and what are their main problems during answering the questions?
v. What are the main reasons for the misconceptions by the form two students when studying this topic?
vi. What are the suitable approaches to overcome the misconception those have been identified among the form two students in water and solution concept?
To achieve the objectives of this study, the following scopes are determined for this project:
This study only focuses on Form Two students in Sekolah Menengah Kebangasaan Pasir Gudang 2.
Its focuses on Water and solution concept, the fifth chapter out of ten chapters in Form Two Science Subject.
The focus will be on the difficulties that student faces during studying the water and solution topic.
It's also focus on the main reasons that affect students' interpretation of observations and concepts in this topic.
Held a questionnaire at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Pasir Gudang 2 and data acquisition.
1.7 The Importance of project
This Study is conducted to identify the most common misconceptions on water and solution concept by form two students. This study will give variety of information to the science teachers about the students' misconceptions on water and solution concept. Using the results obtain from this study, teachers can identify the strengths and weaknesses of students on the understanding of water and solution concepts in teaching and learning processes.
Therefore, some important strategies and specific techniques can be designed to make the concepts in water and solution topic understandable and can be directly linked to the knowledge of the phenomena of nature.
Contextual learning is one of the approaches that are emphasized by the Curriculum Development Centre (CDC) in revised science Syllabus. The findings from this study are expected to give impression to the CDC about the students' understanding level regarding water and solution concept. Thus, the CDC may update the curriculum in order to improve the standard of Science Curriculum.
Through this study, the students can realize their own misconceptions and shortcomings in water and solution topic. If these misconceptions are ignored or not addressed properly, the original understanding or beliefs of students will still remain, and the problem will become a barrier to the occurrence of meaningful learning processes. On this awareness, students are expected to adopt more effective contextual learning.
Finally, this study hopes to provide benefits to the parties concerned to create a meaningful Science teaching and learning process.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Misconception refers to the action or act of understanding as well as an assumption because of the sense (Oxford Dictionary, 1994). In other word, misconception refers to the mental image that does not coincide with the scientific concept (Skelly & Hall, 1993).
The concept refers to ideas, processes, phenomena or ideas with common characteristics (Abu Hassan, 2001). In addition, the concept is the way to sort of experience (Freyberg & Osborne, 1981). A concept is designed through every change of experience.
In the terms of definition and goals, science is a systematic observation of natural events and conditions in order to discover facts about them and to formulate laws and principles based on these facts. (Â Academic Press Dictionary of Science & Technology)
A clear, colorless, odorless, and tasteless liquid, H2O, essential for most plant and animal life and the most widely used of all solvents. Freezing point 0Â°C (32Â°F); boiling point 100Â°C (212Â°F); specific gravity (4Â°C) 1.0000; weight per gallon (15Â°C) 8.338 pounds (3.782 kilograms). (The free dictionary by Farlex)
In chemistry, a solution is a homogeneous mixture composed of two or more substances. In such a mixture, a solute is dissolved in another substance, known as a solvent.