I have to confess, this is on my bedside table having just picked it up last week, rather than an established part of my reference library. Making Sense of Secondary Science has already been useful as a guide to research showing what students really think. Knowing what ideas and misconceptions they have really helps to prepare for what you’re going to teach them. This is particularly true if you want to approach it by showing them – or even better, letting them collect – evidence which contradicts what they have always believed.
I think this book will get used more as I produce more detailed schemes of work to use in my school. I have often started topics by asking student what they think they know, and ocassionally by giving them part of the test to assess previous understanding. This is a step in a more research-based approach.