Scholarly article on topic 'A Qualitative Study on Teacher Candidates’ Concept Knowledge Level'

A Qualitative Study on Teacher Candidates’ Concept Knowledge Level Academic research paper on "Educational sciences"

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Abstract of research paper on Educational sciences, author of scientific article — Meryem Ozturan Sagirli, Muhammed Said Akar, Ihsan Unlu

Abstract Concept teaching is an important process which should be handled with great care as of the very first years of primary education. Teaching concepts precisely and accurately during primary education will help students comprehend the concepts emerging in their secondary and further education. At this point, teachers, with their role as a guide, have great responsibilities. That the necessary conditions of concept learning and teaching process cannot be comprehended by teachers may naturally lead to the difficulties in learners’ concept learning and improving their skill of concept learning. From this perspective, it will make it easy to realize the aims and goals of teaching-learning practices if teacher candidates take courses on concept learning and teaching in their teacher training programs, know the basic concepts in their field of study, be aware of the misconceptions that emerge in teaching the topics available in their field of study, be knowledgeable about the techniques that will help overcoming the misconceptions and carry out the activities in their professional life with this consciousness. In literature, there are many studies conducted on students’ misconceptions in several courses and topics from primary to higher education and the methods that aim to determine their levels of concept knowledge and misconceptions. However, there is no study conducted on how teacher candidates develop their concept knowledge during their university education. It is believed that enlightening this point will help teacher candidates’ position on concepts and will guide the learning-teaching practices on this issue. The aim of this study is to examine how teacher candidates are trained regarding concept teaching and learning, based on students’ opinions. Case study was applied as the method of study. The participants included 30 freshman and senior teacher candidates, with 10 participants in each of the disciplines of Mathematics, Science and Social Sciences at the faculty of education of a university located in a middle-sized city in Turkey during the spring semester of the academic year 2011 -2012. The teacher candidates were interviewed through a semi-structured interview forms. The interviews were recorded via a sound recorder and the data gained though the interviews were analyzed qualitatively. The results of the analysis conducted have indicated that although the senior teacher candidates have higher knowledge of concepts, misconceptions and the techniques on determining misconceptions than the freshman teacher candidates, their knowledge was not sufficient. It is believed that offering elective or must courses in the faculties of education on concept analysis will help teacher candidates.

Academic research paper on topic "A Qualitative Study on Teacher Candidates’ Concept Knowledge Level"

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Procedía - Social and Behavioral Sciences 51 (2012) 787 - 796

ARTSEDU 2012

A qualitative study on teacher candidates' concept knowledge l evel

Meryem Ozturan Sagirlia*,Muhammed Said Akarb, Ihsan Unlu c

aUniversity of Erzincan, Faculty of Education, Department of Elementary Education, Mathematics Education, Erzincan 2400, TURKEY

University of Erzincan, Faculty of Education, Department of Elementary Education, Science Education, Erzincan 2400, TURKEY cUniversity of Erzincan, Faculty of Education, Department of Elementary Education, Social Science Education, Erzincan 2400, TURKEY

Abstract

Concept teaching is an important process which should be handled with great care as of the very first years of primary education. Teaching concepts precisely and accurately during primary education will help students comprehend the concepts emerging in their secondary and further education. At this point, teachers, with their role as a guide, have great responsibilities.That the necessary conditions of concept learning and teaching process cannot be comprehended by teachers may naturally lead to the difficulties in learners' concept learning and improving their skill of concept learning. From this perspective, it will make it ea sy to realize the aims and goals of teaching-learning practices if teacher candidates take courses on concept learning and teaching in their teacher training programs, know the basic concepts in their field of study, be aware of the misconceptions that emerge in teaching the topics available in their field of study, be knowledgeable about the techniques that will help overcoming the misconceptions and carry out the activities in their professional life with this consciousness. In literature, there are many studies conducted on students' misconceptions in several courses and topics from primary to higher education and the methods that a im to determine their levels of concept knowledge and misconceptions. However, there is no study conducted on how teacher candidates develop their concept knowledge during their university education. It is believed that enlightening this point will help teacher candidates' position on concepts and will guide the learning-teaching practices on this issue. The aim of this study is to examine how teacher candidates are trained regarding concept teaching and learning, based on students' opinions. Case study was applied as the method of study. The participants included 30 freshman and senior teacher candidates, with 10 participants in each of the disciplines of Mathematics, Science and Social Sciences at the faculty of education of a university located in a middle-sized city in Turkey during the spring semester of the academic year 2011 -2012. The teacher candidates were interviewed through a semi-structured interview forms. The interviews were recorded via a sound recorder and the data gained though the interviews were analyzed qualitatively. The results of the analysis conducted have indicated that although the senior teacher candidates have higher knowledge of concepts, misconceptions and the techniques on determining misconceptions than the freshman teacher candidates, their knowledge was not sufficient. It is believed that offering elective or must courses in the faculties of education on concept analysis will help teacher candidates.

© 2012 Publishedby Elsevier Ltd. Selection and/or peer review under responsibility of Prof. Ay§e Qakir ilhan Keywords:Concept, misconception, teacher candidates

1. Introduction

Educators have recently dealt with the problem of "what to do to be able to teach courses in primary, secondary and higher education as planned in the curriculum". The principal reason why the researchers have paid

* Assoc. Prof. Dr. Meryem OZTURAN SAGIRLI. Tel.: +90-446-224-0089 E-mail address: msagirli2@gmail.com

1877-0428 © 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and/or peer review under responsibility of Prof. Ay§e Qakir ilhan doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.08.241

their attention to this aspect is that the concepts that are the basis of teaching, effect achievement in a course and has a wide range of usages in all courses are not indeed learned properly as targeted in the curriculum planned, which was in fact revealed in researches (Azizoglu and Alkan, 2002). Therefore, concept teaching and learning is an important sensitive topic to be taken into consideration.

Concept is generally a form or a structure of knowledge that has a meaning in mind and represents common features of variable objects and phenomena (Ulgen, 2004, p.107).In other words, concept has certain aspects of objects or cases and is a general and abstract designation (Kuçuk and Demir, 2009).Concepts play an important role in the constitution of system, theory or a design but it is essential that these concepts be well defined, that is, the terms and expressions that are the designations of concepts should clearly and precisely be explained so that they are understood smoothly. So, one should know the features of concepts and how they are acquired.

Oncul (2000) states that concepts are acquired as a result of abstracting and generalization and continues to explain that abstracting separates concept from object while generalization attributes concept to more than one object. Gagné distinguishes concepts as concrete and defined (abstract) ones. Concrete concepts are informally learned from the very beginning of life whereas the abstract concepts generally need to be taught (Senemoglu, 2000, 513-514). But individuals may interpret the cases that take place around themselves based on their preliminary knowledge before they are in learning environment (Kose, Coçtu and Keser, 2003). Their preliminary knowledge sometimes lead to mislearning of new concepts. Their interpretations and views on this point are most often different from the scientifically accepted ones. In general, such conceptions are designated in the relevant literature as misconception, misunderstanding, preconception, alternative framework, children science, spontaneous knowledge, naïve theory etc (Champagne et al., 1983; Mintzes, 1984).

Misconception is neither a mistake nor a wrong answer given due to lack of knowledge; misconception replaces concept in mind but is scientifically different from the meaning of that concept (Eryilmaz and Surmeli, 2002). So, taking into consideration some factors that result in misconceptions will absolutely help us eliminate them.Ulgen (2004) classifies four reasons for misconceptions: "Learning of unscientific teachings such as beliefs, religious and mythological teachings", "false and permanent learnings that remain from the early years and unchanged at adolescence", "the use of metonymies and synonyms instead of concepts", "the mistakes made in the course book as well as way of lecturing". The fact that the concepts an individual learns are not embodied in mind, not to contextualize with the existing schemas, and extra scientific use are some of the reasons for misconception for individual (Bilim ve Teknik -TUBÎTAK / October 2010). Eryilmaz and Surmeli (2002) state that if individuals explain their mistakes are not false giving reasons and say they are sure of themselves, then we can say that they have misconceptions; that is, all misconceptions are false but not all mistakes are misconceptions.

To eliminate the misconceptions the students have in mind, they need to be determined first. Certain methods and strategies may facilitate determining these misconceptions. In the assessment of students' concept levels and determination of their misconceptions, some of the most commonly used methods are concept maps (Hazel & Prosser, 1994; Kaptan, 1998), conceptual change model (Geban and Ertepinar, 2001), concept circle diagram (Akyurek, 2011), prediction-observation-explanation (POE) (Liew & Treagust, 1994), case interview (Osborne & Gilbert, 1980), event interview (Osborne & Cosgrove, 1983), concept interview (Abdullah & Scaife, 1997), drawings (Smith & Metz, 1996), conceptual change model (Canpolat ve Pinarbaçi, 2002) and word association (Maskill & Cachapuz, 1989).These models and strategies help determine the misconceptions selected by the lecturers in accordance with the courses and relevant subjects.

People define the world using the concepts from the beginning of their lives. They even learn the concepts and their designations, classify such concepts and discover the relation, which helps them refresh their knowledge and make up new concepts and knowledge. The cognitive learning and reconstruction process continues throughout all periods of life. When individuals learn new knowledge, they construct it on the preliminary knowledge. This preliminary knowledge sometimes effect adversely learning new concepts (§ensoy et al, 2005) thereby lead to misconceptions. Hence, teaching concept is an important process to be taken into consideration from the very beginning of elementary school. Teaching concepts properly and correctly in elementary school will help the students comprehend the concepts to be learned in the secondary school or in the later periods of life. (Demirci and Efe, 2007). The teachers who act as counselors in education have a great role in this topic.

Most teachers regard their students as mentally clean white board and assume a role in filling out this board but the problem in this way of thinking is that the board is not as clean as thought and there exist even some

preliminary knowledge and intuitions (Dündar, 2008, p. 327). Otherwise, it would be difficult for teacher to make the expected conceptual change without assessing what students' intuitions and preliminary knowledge are, how consistent they are with scientific thought even if he knew the latest and most efficient teaching strategies (Aydogan et al. 2003). Teacher's not being able to understand concept learning process and conditions of teaching can make it hard for student to learn concepts and develop concept learning skills (Ülgen, 2004, p. 143). Therefore, teachers' learning about concept teaching and learning in the schools of education where they receive their professional training, being aware of misconceptions that are faced in teaching branch studies, knowing strategies to eliminate these misconceptions as well as continuing their profession with that awareness will facilitate reaching the target in educational activities.

What kind of teaching process are teacher candidates subject to in teaching and learning concept during their bachelor degree studies? The objective of the study actually concentrates on this question. Previous studies with regard to students' misconceptions they face, their understanding level of concepts and misconception determination methods have been reported. But such studies lack of information on how teacher candidates regard concepts in their bachelor degree studies. Bringing this topic into light will be of importance to ascertain the case of teacher candidates' knowledge on concepts and help with educational activities.

1.1. Purpose of the study

The aim of this study is to investigate what kind of educational process teacher candidates go through in concept learning and teaching considering students' views.

2. Method

This study is a qualitative study in which we used case study method (Mcmillan & Schumer, 2006) and content analysis was conducted. The objective of this analysis is to reveal the findings interpreted and revised to the reader (Yildirim and §im§ek, 2004).

2.1. Sample

The sample of the study consists of 30 teacher candidates that are first year and fourth year students studying in the departments of mathematics, science and social sciences education in the school of education at a university in a medium scaled province of Turkey in 2011-2012 spring term. 5 first year and fourth year teacher candidates from each department participated in the research.

2.2. Data Collection

In the study, the students were asked to fill out an open-ended questionnaire in a given time and their views were recorded but the unintelligible, unanswered or incomprehensible answers were disregarded in evaluation.

The open-ended questions were prepared in accordance with the objective of the research considering the interviews with teacher candidates, the news in media, scientific documents, views of experts. In addition, three teacher candidates were applied a pilot scheme in order to determine the order and the way of asking these open-ended questions. The questions in the questionnaire are as follows: "Describe concept, Explain misconception, Write down ten concepts related to your field of study, Give an example of misconception concerning your field of study, Explain what you can do to observe if one of your students has misconceptions.

2.3. Data Analysis

The students were to fill out open-ended questionnaire with 5 questions prepared before and the unintelligible, unanswered or incomprehensible answers were disregarded in evaluation. The data were analyzed in

terms of content and the similar data were encoded, were brought together with rubrics. The application was conducted separately by three experts and compared to assess the consistency of encodings. The encodings were reported mostly similar. The citations under each code were evaluated one by one by three scientifically experts and the encodings of interviews were made up. The data were revised and interpreted with last version of analysis. In analysis, the first year teacher candidates studying in the department of mathematics education were encoded as MED1 and fourth year teacher candidates as MED4; first year teacher candidates in science education department as SED1, fourth year ones as SED4; first year teacher candidates in social sciences education department as SSED1 and fourth year ones as SSED4. Besides, the common aspects of answers were stated as codes and the rubrics were designated as concept description, misconception description, misconception example, determination of misconception. If the answer is not compatible with the question, it is matched with insignificant description code.

3. Findings and Discussion

The findings in this research were evaluated separately for each department and for each question. 3.1. The findings and interpretations of the question "Define concept"

Examining the answers of those in MED1 related to this question, no common aspect or code was not observed. While two teacher candidates define concept as "the designation of subtitles of certain units in a course" one teacher candidate as "the equivalence of a case". Considering the answers of these teacher candidates, one cannot state that they made the description of concept. Therefore, these three responses are evaluated under insignificant description category. One teacher candidate described it as "the words designating entities", another "the things perceived with our senses and intuitions, conceptualized in our mind or what we understand seemingly". Even if these teacher candidates do not make scientific descriptions, they do give approximate or parallel responses to the description of concept. But the code of the first description is entity and designation of objects whereas the code of the second explanation is the thing perceived and conceptualized.

When the answers of MED4 students are studied, the definition of concept, "the meanings we give to the cases and phenomena in our world of thinking' is classified with the code of cases and phenomena while others "the meanings used to describe an object", "terms that describe the aspects of an object, a word, or thought and classify them according to their certain aspects" are classified with the code of terms categorizing the entities. One could state that the findings concerning this code are compatible with scientific concept description. So, the answers are reconsidered in parallel with the definition. While the answers of two teachers are "each term in a subject, unit or field of study", "the specific designation attributed to the formula or definitions of all scientific disciplines like mathematics or physics", the responses of students are categorized under the category of insignificant definition with the code "a general attribution offormula, terms or definition to a specific field of study". When the answers are studied, the description of concept is considered the equivalence of terms, formula and definitions.

The answers of those in SED1 "the act of understanding a judgment or an case. The things to be explained and learned", "reinforcement of understanding something" "the permanent transfer of some information or quantity to individual" were categorized under insignificant definition with the same code since these definitions are well beyond the description of concept and the common aspects of such definitions are composed of understanding and transfer.The definition "a way of explanation of a quantity" is also beyond the meaning of concept and therefore under the category of insignificant definition while "the phenomena referred to an object or another phenomenon" was classified under in parallel with the definition with the code of phenomenon and object indicator.

With regard to the answers of those in SED4, the "imagination of objects in human mind. The whole of cases and phenomena conceptualized in human mind", "a case that gains meaning in human mind, a form of knowledge that represents the total of cases and phenomena" and "the whole ofphenomena. The attribution to the whole of cases imagined in human mind" are categorizedwith the code of case and phenomena in parallel with the definition of concept; "the words or phrases that classify views, cases, humans or other things. Concrete concept: fire, land, table etc and abstract concept: thought, image etc." with the code of words that classify entities in parallel with the definition of concept while "the designations given to objects and entities are called concept" with

the code of general designation of entities and objects in parallel with the definition of concept. SED4 students were successful in defining the concept.

Regarding the answers of those in SSED1, "the words used to explain a thought, a view and a system", "words that express a matter or a view ", "concept is a way of expression of abstract objects or terms we create in our mind that are mentally turned into concrete objects" and "certain terms informative about the subject that is to be retained and better explained" are categorized with the code of words or terms that represent a thought, a system or a subject in parallel with the definition of concept while "general expression of objects that we think of, give meaning to and conceptualize in our mind" with the code of the designation of entities and objects in parallel with the definition of concept. Though these teacher candidates were the first year students, they were able to define the concept.

Concerning the responses of SSED4, "it is the general or common term that comprises objects and cases and categorizes them under one title ", "they are the phrases used for classification of views, cases or other things" and "the words that represent certain objects or subjects in scientific context, I can say" were categorized in parallel with the code of words that classify the entities. Such explanations state that the term concept was regarded almost as the equivalence to the definition of concept in literature. "concept is the general or abstract name of an object or view in mind" and "it is the general name of objects in mind" were categorized under the insignificant definition with the code of the general name of opinion and objects in mind.

3.2. The findings and interpretations of the question "Explain misconception"

The responses of those in MED1 to this question, "miscomprehension of a phenomenon, misnaming", "misinformation about a term or concept, miscomprehension of that concept", "having misinformation about a concept", "miscomprehension which emerges by using a certain number of concepts in a subject in another context", were categorized in parallel with the code of misapprehension. The students used the word "false" in the definition of misconception and matched the misconception with misunderstanding or misapprehension. Misconception is not directly related to misunderstanding or misapprehension but indirectly explained with them. Therefore, the definitions above were encoded in parallel with the definition of the misconception. The statement of a teacher candidate "the fact that what we know as absolutely concise is different from its authenticity' is matched more with the scientific definition of the concept and was categorized with the code of misconception definition in parallel with the definition of concept. Considering the responses, it can be said that the students in MED1 are informed about the misconception.

The responses of those in MED4 to this question, "during mental misperception when defining the concept, mistaking", "lack of understanding of concepts taught to students", "misperception of a concept meaning or use", "misunderstanding or misperception", were categorized with the code of misapprehension in parallel with the definition of the concept. The teacher candidates matched the misconception with misperception. The closest scientific meaning of misconception "the fact that the images we create in our mind are different from the common sense the people make" was the response. This response was categorized in parallel with the code of the definition of concept. It can be concluded that those in MED4 are informed about the misconception at a high level.

With regard to this question, the teacher candidates in SED1 "misunderstanding of a definition is mislearning", "it is to misunderstand something", "to be mistaken about what we know for sure or to be misinformed about that point" were categorized in parallel with the code of inaccurate informationwhile "it is erronous that the information is permenant when transferred. The knowledge could not be transferred to the individual completely, if indeed transferred, it was not fully to reach that person" was categorized with the code of insignificant temporary knowledge, in addition "not knowing exactly the quantity of what to be expressed" was categorized in incomplete knowledge with the code of insignificant information. SED1 students were able to define the misconception at an intermediate level.

Regarding the responses of those in SED4, "these are the cases where some words matched by concepts, and which we use without even being aware of are not expressed. When sugar water dilution is composed or when tea is drunk, they say that sugar melts in tea, which is an inaccurate misconception. Indeed, sugar does not melt but is just diluted in tea", "it is the fact that we understand the concept our teachers teach us from the very beginning of childhood is not really that concept and that it is not matched. For example, heat and temperature are very often

confused, this misconception still exists for students", "it is to suppose and develop misconception about a case or concept. For instance, dilution-melting/matter-object/solid-weight etc" were categorized with the code of misconception in parallel with the definition of concept. SED4 students were confident in the definition of misconception, which we could understand from the responses given: "the mistakes made due to the lack of knowledge" was categorized with the code of misapprehension in parallel with the definition of concept. "it means that the new learned knowledge does not match the previous" was categorized with code of insignificant knowledge in not being able to associate.

When it comes to the responses of those in SSED1, "it is to acknowledge that the view that is confused and misinterpreted is correct lacking of knowledge on the relation of more than one subject and ignoring the nuances", "as a result of misapprehension, it is the misstatement of concepts, and the mention of a different concept or some knowledge while stating that concept", "it is to be of opinion that the previous knowledge of individual is inaccurate or lacking by researching on the concept he has acquired as well as learning more about that concept", "it is the fact that an entity has a different content of information and that the definition we have known turns out to be false ", "it is the misinterpretation and misunderstanding of concept" were categorized with the code of misconception in parallel with the definition of concept. It can be concluded that SSED1 students are informed about misconception at a high level.

Concerning the responses of SSED4 students, "it is to develop false concept about a point or a concept and to suppose it correct. The way an individual understands a concept is quite different from what is scientifically accepted meanings" and "it is the fact that the individuals develop and bring about views and understandings about cases, which are scientifically inaccurate " reflect absolutely the very definition of misconception in literature. Such definitions were categorized under misconception with the code of misconception definition. "it is more the information that constitutes an obstacle to significant learning, against scientific thinking and which emerges due to personal empirical experiences", "it is the fact that individuals lead to views and understandings which are scientifically false", "it is the confusion of a concept the another due to lack of learning of similar entities on a subject" were categorized with the code of misconception in parallel with the definition of concept. SSED4 students are at intermediate level informed about misconception definition.

3.3. The findings and interpretations of the question "Write down ten concepts related to your field of study"

It was obvious when the responses of the students were studied that all of those in MED1, MED4, SED1, SED4, SSED1 and SSED4 could write down ten concepts without any mistake. In mathematics, most frequent concepts were cluster, subcluster, line, line segment, half-line, triangle; in science, cell, mass, heat, temperature, dilution, melting while in social sciences, they were revolution, climate, environment, valley, culture, civilization. These findings show that teacher candidates know what concept means even if they can't make a certain definition.

3.4. The findings and interpretations from the analysis of the question "Give ten examples of misconception related to your field of study"

Four of the students in MED1 answered "I don't know" while one of them gave the examples as misconception "it is to multiply in mathematics and composition in Turkish". These findings revealed that first year teacher candidates could not give examples of misconception although they could define it.

The answers of MED4 being studied, three teacher candidates answered "I do not remember", one teacher candidate replied "since the sine function is taught in trigonometry as the ratio of the length of the opposite side to the length of the adjacent, if one studies on a triangle, it is not to seperate the opposite side from the adjacent side or if on a rectangular to look for the ration even if it is not a triangle". One teacher candidate gave a correct example of misconception "when it comes to a cluster, only a close shape is thought" These findings revealed that 4th year teacher candidates compared to the first year ones gave better examples of misconception but they lacked in this point.

The students in SED1 gave examples of lack of information for misconception such as "I always knew that in physics there was cetnrifugal force but I learned that it was of question under certain conditions and I understood that it was a misconception","it is actually to not be able to express evaluation". Such statements were reported

under insignificant definition category with the code of lack of knowledge. Other teacher candidates stated that

"electricity current transmits all acid, base and salt solution (true), all solutions transmit current", "we would make a mistake if we did not explain vaporization as a result of the transition of liquid into gas state confusing it with melting" were scientifically closer in meaning to misconception and could be accepted as examples of misconception. "I realized that what I knew of right about a point turned out to be wrong after experiment" was categorized under insignificant definition example with the code of finding the true option with experiment rather than misconception.

The responses of SED4 showed that "the concept, dark, is generally used for the setting without light but a dark setting is used for misconception because there is already a setting and as there is no light, it is setting without light", "heat-temperature, melting-solution", "for example, the students consufe very often solution and melting. To illustrate most people say that the sugar we put in tea melts indeed it does not melt but solve", "for example, students know it wrong that the ice melts in water, sugar solves in water. The melting of sugar in water is a misconception ", "the fallacy between heat and temperature: heat is the energy of one particule while temperature is the total energy of all particules" were correct misconception examples. What can be noted here is that students of SED4 could give examples of misconception. Among the examples given melting-solution and heat-temperature were most considerable. A good many studies on the misconceptions students hold in literature (Turgut and Gurbuz, 2011; Paik, Cho and Go, 2007; Aydogan et al, 2003; Eryilmaz and Surmeli, ; Jones, Carter and Rua, 2000) as well as those related to solution (Qalik and Ayas, 2003; Ayas et al, 2001; Kabapinar, 2001; Raviolo, 2001; Prieto, 1989) have been reported.

The responses of those in SSED1 "for example, when I was small, I used to believe that the reason for the diversity of rainbow colors was rain. But, indeed it was related to the solar rays. I didn't know that the rainbow took different colors through the reflection of solar rays", "I can give an example of misconception related to the sunrise and the sunset. We used to believe that the sun rose and set while the world was stable. In fact, the sun was stable and the world was moving.", "Archeology is known as the science of excavation. But when we had detailed information about it, we learned that it had a wider meaning than the science of excavation. I realized that it was the science of the past. ", "We are often taught that the Arab peninsula is covered by deserts. Therefore, we have an image in our mind that it consists of only deserts. When we learn more about it, we learn that it is not composed of only deserts but only some of it is so." are not indeed the examples of misconception. Such statements were categorized under insignificant knowledge as the code of learning the real reason of a case. "The terms revolution and reform are very often confused. A misconception that both mean the same is of question. Reform is to renovate while revolution is to abolish and replace something." are good examples of misconception. Only one teacher candidate among other first year students that studied in the department of social sciences education could give an example of misconception.

The answers of SSED4 students, "the fact that the people consider the world flat and not round can be an example of misconception. ", "to use the term social studies for social sciences is an example of misconception. ", "for instance, a student said that it was a misconception to think that sugar or salt disappear melting. They do not in fact disappear but are invisible as they turn into micro-molecules. " are good examples of misconception. "Children suppose that rice is a plant but rice is a product of paddy. ", "it is the error that the world revolves around itself. The people had difficulty in believing that the world revolved. If the world revolves, why then the door of our stable does not move (the example we observed) " were categorized under insignificant knowledge as the code of learning the real reason of a case. Besides, it should be noted here that even if one of the teacher candidates was studying social sciences education, he was able to give an example of misconception with regard to science education.

3.5. The findings and interpretations from the analysis of the question "Explain, what would you do to learn if one of your students had misconceptions about a subject"

Two students in MED1 said "no idea", one of them stated "I follow", one of them explained "I would ask him to show in what fields of study concept was generally used as well as the real place of concept usage and to explain the difference between the two. " But we are not able to regard any of these interpretations as the technique for scientifically misconception determination. One teacher candidate revealed that he adopted a correct technique in misconception determination interpreting "I use controlled experiment and empirical method". This statement was

categorized under the correct technique with the code of determination through controlled experiment and observation.

The responses of MED4 students being examined, "I would practice an activity with the specifically chosen examples about the subjects the students had difficulty in understanding and find the misconceptions from the responses given" and "I would ask the student to define the concepts and specificities related to the subject. If wrong definitions were made, I would check the reason for that by doing activities with the student" formed the code of determination through the activities while the answers "I would ask him questions about the topic, make him explain the subject and reveal how he comprehended the subject", "Benefiting from the socratic method, I would ask questions that could make students become erroneous, which would make students hesitate. If he knew the concepts, he would not err" formed the determination code with discussion method and were regarded under correct technique category. One teacher candidate formed the code of determination with discovery through "I would give more importance to visuality. I would teach with certain games. If I understood that there was a complexity in student's mind related to the subject, I would lead him to recognize it and solve it". It is obvious that last year students compared to the first year ones were more aware of misconception determination. This case could be the result of the educational field courses the students took or any subject they studied during preparation for the examination of appointment to teaching profession (KPSS).

The statement of those in SED1 "I would ask questions about a subject. If the information he learned were wrong, if he misapprehended the subject, he would answer it wrong. I would in this way understand the misconception" was not considered to be a correct way of misconception determination technique because each wrong answer of student would be regarded as misconception. Even if "I would learn about student's sciolism on that subject and gather all information gained and find out the shortcomings. I would ask detailed questions with examples", "I could learn while discussing a topic", "I would have them do experiment, would observe and ask questions" "I would ask him to give an example, or to use it in a sentence" were not the exact equivalences of misconception determination techniques. Since they could be used as these techniques' sub-domains, misconception determination, technique category were attributed respectively determination with questions and examples, determination with discussion method that were encoded with experience and observation. Although the students in SED1' were just first year students, they could put forward ideas about this topic satisfactorily.

The responses of students in SED4 being examined, "using the conceptual change model, the students are given texts and the concepts they have acquired are learned. Then, the misconceptions are determined", is an accurate method of determining misconceptions used in science and technology courses. This method has been used to determine the misconceptions in courses by most researchers (Aydin and Balim, 2007; Hewson and Hewson, 2003, Pmarba§i and Canpolat, 2002; Geban and Ertepinar, 2001). Misconceptions can be found by such ways as "I say the concept and ask its definition. If he confuses the concepts and makes a definition of another something else, then I understand that there is a misconception" which is the way of determining through explanation and "to be able to ascertain a student's misconception, questions are asked to that student, answers are obtained, by which the misconception could be inferred from the answers or else by asking questions to the students having misconceptions determined and getting the answers, the misconceptions could be found" that is the way of determining through questionsbesides "I would give a test prepared to determine the misconceptions" which is the misconception determination test. "Let's take into consideration warm and cold. Cold is not a concept, temperature is a concept, it can be said a low temperature for cold" was not analyzed as the statement did not answer the question.

SSED1 students' responses, "I give classical tests. I let my students speak in the class very often. I would make it possible to have them make sentences" was categorized with the code of determination by activities whereas "I would first ask him what he understands from that concept. Then, I would ask him to use that concept in a sentence. I would try to show it. I would ask him his opinion about the concept and by this way; I would be able to find the misconception. ", "before teaching, I would write down the concepts on the board and try to learn what the students think of them. That would make it easy for to measure the level of knowledge of the students about concept. I would make a move depending on the level of knowledge of students in concept.", "I would help him express himself freely about that subject. This could let us know where and how mistakes are made and how we could help sort out this problem. ", "for example, I would ask a question to my students about lunar eclipse. I would ask the reasons of lunar eclipse. If there were a misconception or misapprehension, I would give him this assignment and let him research on it. If mislearning persisted, I would try other methods. For instance, I would explain the lunar

eclipse visually by showing models of world, moon and sun or let them watch a presentation related to this topic. " was categorized in misconception determination with the code of making explain the case through questions. The teacher candidates in SSED1 were found to be good enough at determining their misconceptions, their level of study taken into consideration.

The responses of those in SSED4 examined, it is stated that "I would determine the misconception by examining the reading habit of a student" was categorized under insignificant knowledge with the code of reading habit. "I would make an introduction about the course. Having studied the subject, we would reveal what they knew or what they did not by making a list of concepts in their mind. " was the way of determination of misconception by explanation, "There exists quite many techniques concerning this point. Concept maps, concept networks, and word binding tests could be some of them" was determining by concept map technique, "I would allow them seize the meaning and differences of concepts and vivify them in their mind. A while later, I would measure the level asking questions " was determining by mind mapping technique, "I would determine misconceptions by applying diagnostic tree, concept map, constructed grid techniques. Then, I would eliminate the misconceptions by conceptual change texts, refutation texts, constructed grid, semantic analysis techniques" was categorized under determination of misconceptions by concept mapping, conceptual change texts, refutation texts, techniques of semantic analysis.

It is evident that the teacher candidates in SSED4 are aware of misconception determination techniques and of what they really mean. Moreover, the fact that one teacher candidate explains almost all the misconception determination techniques one by one is a sign of knowing well the point.

4. RESULTS

The present study revealed that fourth year teacher candidates had some shortcomings in definition of concept and misconceptions, giving examples of misconceptions as well as determining misconceptions although they were better compared to the first year teacher candidates. The study also reported that SSED1 and SSED4 students had a higher level of understanding concept compared to SED1 and SED4, MED1 and MED4 students. It is therefore suggested that each department in the faculty of education should add in their curricula concept analysis course either as elective or obligatory course to educate teacher candidates better.

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