Conceptual change research: An introduction

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript

11 Citations (Scopus)


Research on conceptual change investigates how concepts change with learning and development in different subject matter areas with a focus on explaining students’ difficulties in learning the more advanced and counterintuitive concepts in these areas. Some researchers are not persuaded that there is a need to distinguish “conceptual change” processes from learning in general. We argue, however, that while conceptual change is undeniably a form of learning, it is important to differentiate it from other types of learning because it requires fundamental changes in the content and organization of existing knowledge as well as the development of new learning strategies for deliberate knowledge restructuring and the acquisition of new concepts. In fact, it is our contention that the problem of conceptual change is one of the major reasons behind students’ widespread failure to understand counterintuitive concepts, mostly (but not only) in science and mathematics. We also argue that, to a large extent, the general ineffectiveness of instructional interventions in these areas could be attributed to the inadequate attention that has been given so far to the problem of conceptual change (Vosniadou, Vamvakoussi, & Skopeliti, 2008).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication International Handbook of Research on Conceptual Change
EditorsStella Vosniadou
Place of PublicationNew York, USA
PublisherRoutlege, Taylor and Francis
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780203154472
ISBN (Print)9780415898829, 9780415898836
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameEducational Psychology Handbook Series


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