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Although classroom researchers have made considerable progress in better understanding how students acquire knowledge, researchers in physical education have yet to discover the potential of this inquiry. One of the least investigated areas includes understanding how students misconceive knowledge. The purpose of this study was to describe misconceptions that were revealed during the course of participation by students in an elementary physical education class. Secondary purposes were to test alternative methods for recording and classifying the types of misconceptions that emerged. Data collection included observations and videotape recordings, formal and informal interviews. Think aloud interviews, and document analysis. Misconceptions that emerged were classified into categories representing (a) motor skill execution, (b) confusion with regard to terminology, (c) confusion with regard to strategy, and (d) misconceptions concerning the instructional tasks of the lesson. Instruction was a major factor in either reducing misconceptions or creating a climate ripe for their development.
M.K. Hare and K.C. Graber are with the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801.