Teaching is strengthened by identifying what students know and misunderstand before teaching a topic. Then teachers can more carefully and effectively craft experiences that will challenge and educate their students in ways that enhance understanding.
Pam Pelletier, Senior Staff, Center for the Enhancement of Science and Mathematics Education (CESAME), Northeastern University, Boston, MA
Once you have identified student misconceptions, you will need strategies for changing them. Read this excerpt from How People Learn, pp. 70-71 and pp. 179-180, a book from the National Research Council.
Concept maps can also be a useful tool for helping students to surface their preexisting knowledge.
What do you think are the most promising strategies for uncovering students' prior knowledge and changing student misconceptions?