Journal of Turkish Science Education, vol.5, no.3, pp.32-46, 2008 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)
This study was conducted with four fifth-grade children from a public elementary school. The purpose was to investigate children’s conceptions and misconceptions about the fungus kingdom both before and after a teaching intervention, using the interview and observation techniques of qualitative research. At both sets of interviews, the students were asked questions about molds, yeast, and mushrooms and about their feeding styles, reproduction, and living conditions. Interviews were tape recorded.
The students received six hours of instruction after the pre-interviews. Student misconceptions before and after instruction were identified by qualitative analysis of verbatim responses. Results indicated that before instruction students had many misconceptions like “mold and yeast are not living organisms”, “fungi are plants”, “fungi mean mushroom” etc. Although they changed most of their misconceptions after the instruction, they still had conceptions that were inconsistent with the scientific perspective. Children’s persistent misconceptions, incomplete explanations, and over-generalizations are also discussed in this paper.