Faculty Research at Morehead State University


Discrepant Events: A Challenge to Students’ Intuition

Document Type


Publication Date



Studies on cognitive aspects of science education, especially how students achieve conceptual change, have been a focus of interest for many years.1 Researchers of student learning and conceptual change have developed several easily applicable teaching strategies. One of these strategies is known as discrepant events. Discrepant events are very powerful ways to stimulate interest, motivate students to challenge their covert science misconceptions, and promote higher-order thinking skills. The key point is that directly challenging students’ naive ideas will lead to more quality science learning going on in the classroom. In this paper, we summarize the research-based role of discrepant events in conceptual change and we share several highly successful discrepant events we use in our own classes.