In the analysis given here, the student's conceptions were modeled as a network of causal expectations. It was suggested that causal conceptions of this type represent an important level of knowledge in students that can provide an intuitive foundation for understanding many quantitative laws and that students' preconceptions are natural starting points for building such a foundation.
The fact that this type of conceptual mapping is possible opens up the potential for describing differences in the knowledge structures of an individual at two different points in time. This in turn holds potential for the development of more sophisticated evaluation tools; and the development of new instructional strategies which take typical preconceptions into account and which foster a deeper level of understanding in students.
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