Inter-student Conflict as a Stimulant for Conceptual Change

Year: 1985

Author: Thorley, N. Richard, Treagust, David F.

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Research suggests that conventional teaching techniques have proved largely ineffective for dealing with the probl.em of science students' misconceptions or alternative frameworks. This paper reports an investigation whereby inter-personal conflict within dyadic interactions is used as a strategy for promoting develop- ment towards correct scientific conceptions amongst first-year tertiary physics students. The data indicate that a large number of physics students at the tertiary level hold non-scientific con- ceptions of physical phenomena. The dyadic interaction strategy has proved effective as a means of encouraging students to actively and closely consider their own thinking about basic physical concepts. Further, results highlight the importance of inter-personal conflict in the proc@ss of conceptual change.