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The Reasons for the Seasons

The Science Teacher—April/May 2011

The Moon can only be seen at night, electricity only comes from batteries, and dinosaurs and cavemen lived at the same time—these are just a few of the misconceptions students have about science (Phillips 1991). Though instructional labs, demonstrations, and textbooks can alter misunderstandings for a quiz or test, students often revert back to their prior misconceptions of science (Atwood and Atwood 1996; NRC 1996; Dove 1998). This article describes an inquiry-oriented activity the author created to challenge students' alternate conceptions of the seasons and facilitate their adoption of a more accepted scientific theory.
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