Formative Assessment Probes: To Hypothesize or Notby: Page Keeley

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Formative assessment probes are used not only to uncover the ideas students bring to their learning, they can also be used to reveal teachers’ common misconceptions. Consider a process widely used in inquiry science—developing hypotheses. Perhaps you require your students to develop a hypothesis before engaging in the process of inquiry. If so, how well do you (and your students) really understand the meaning and use of a hypothesis? Before reading further, think how you would respond to the probe “Is It a Hypothesis?” (Keeley et al. 2008; Figure 1). Which of the statements A–N describe a hypothesis? Jot down your answers and think about your conception of what a hypothesis is (and isn’t).

Grades
  • Elementary
Publication Date
12/1/2010

Community ActivitySaved in 429 Libraries

Reviews (10)
  • on Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:16 AM

Who hasn't used the term "educated guess" to describe a hypothesis? Page Keeley brilliantly explains why this phrase is incorrect and misleading, and explains what true scientific hypotheses are (and what they are not).

Valerie  (Katy, TX)
Valerie (Katy, TX)

  • on Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:48 AM

This article was an eye opener to me. I know that there are many misconceptions that students have in science but I never thought about the misconceptions teachers have. I think that at the beginning of the year it would great to have a meeting/ seminar on these misconceptions so we do not teach our students incorrectly. I know throughout school I was taught incorrectly about what a hypothesis actually is.

Anna Walker
Anna Walker

  • on Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:59 PM

This article is helpful to future teachers because it outlines what a hypothesis is and how it can be used in the science classroom. This is helpful because I believe there are a lot of misconceptions about what a hypothesis is, and how to incorporate making them in our classrooms.

Gloria S
Gloria S

  • on Thu Oct 27, 2016 9:31 PM

I love the fact that this article addresses the topic that students are not the only ones who hold misconceptions, teachers can to. I found it enlightening that the article went into detail about what hypotheses are and what they are not. Going through school, I was taught that hypotheses were everything that the article said they were not. This was a great read and it assisted in clearing up my own misconceptions about hypotheses and how they can be used in the classroom.

Kristen
Kristen

  • on Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:27 PM

This probe with multiple choices and multiple answers would be an excellent probe to use for a teacher inservice in the beginning of the year or a science department meeting. Students are not the only ones who can have misconceptions about what a hypothesis is. Many teachers confuse the word hypothesis with prediction. Taking the probe first and then reading through this article might help to clarify your own understanding of the meaning as well as those of your students.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Fri May 13, 2011 9:28 AM

This a good article that clarifies what a hypothesis is (and is not) and when it is used. Included with the article is a probe that confronts the reader (and students) with his/her own misconceptions about a hypothesis. Do you know the difference between a prediction and a hypothesis? Why shouldn’t you use the word “prove” when assessing results of a lab experiment? Why isn’t it correct to refer to a hypothesis as an “educated guess?” With what should an investigation begin? Read on.

Kathy Sparrow  (Delray Beach, FL)
Kathy Sparrow (Delray Beach, FL)

  • on Tue Nov 22, 2016 9:44 PM

A hypothesis is actually not an "educated guess" as many of us grew up believing, thinking, or even teaching to our own students. However, according to this article, a hypotheses is not a guess at all, but is a "tentative prediction." This article is an interesting read, addressing the concept that teachers can have misconceptions when it comes to science teaching, as easily as students can. It highlights the need for teachers to have a clear understanding of what they are teaching.

Hilary P
Hilary P

  • on Tue Nov 22, 2016 9:44 PM

A hypothesis is actually not an "educated guess" as many of us grew up believing, thinking, or even teaching to our own students. However, according to this article, a hypotheses is not a guess at all, but is a "tentative prediction." This article is an interesting read, addressing the concept that teachers can have misconceptions when it comes to science teaching, as easily as students can. It highlights the need for teachers to have a clear understanding of what they are teaching.

Hilary P
Hilary P

  • on Tue Nov 22, 2016 9:44 PM

A hypothesis is actually not an "educated guess" as many of us grew up believing, thinking, or even teaching to our own students. However, according to this article, a hypotheses is not a guess at all, but is a "tentative prediction." This article is an interesting read, addressing the concept that teachers can have misconceptions when it comes to science teaching, as easily as students can. It highlights the need for teachers to have a clear understanding of what they are teaching.

Hilary P
Hilary P

  • on Tue Nov 22, 2016 9:44 PM

A hypothesis is actually not an "educated guess" as many of us grew up believing, thinking, or even teaching to our own students. However, according to this article, a hypotheses is not a guess at all, but is a "tentative prediction." This article is an interesting read, addressing the concept that teachers can have misconceptions when it comes to science teaching, as easily as students can. It highlights the need for teachers to have a clear understanding of what they are teaching.

Hilary P
Hilary P


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