Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours


Faculty of Education

First Advisor

Dr Mark Hackling


Research has shown that despite formal education, secondary and tertiary students hold a host of misconceptions about respiration. This exploratory study investigated whether a four phase conceptual change teaching strategy could overcome conceptual problems typically associated with respiration, in a Year 8 science class from a school in Perth, Western Australia. The strategy consisted of a Conceptual Awareness Phase, an Exposition Phase, a Misconception Awareness Phase and an Application Phase. Two-tier multiple choice test items used in previous studies to identify misconceptions about respiration were also used in this study, together with interviews. The encouraging results suggest that the implemented conceptual change strategy was successful in developing in Year 8 students an acceptable scientific conception of respiration, and an awareness that the term 'respiration' is used differently by the lay, medical and scientific communities. The strategy was also found to be successful in reducing the incidence of misconceptions typically associated with respiration. Implications and recommendations for educators, textbook authors and curriculum writers, and the need for future research are discussed.