Preservice science teachers’ conceptions of students’ prior knowledge

Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Resource Type:
Research Brief
Educators/Teachers | Museum/ISE Professionals | Evaluators
Education and learning science
Afterschool Alliance

This article examines preservice student teachers’ views of students’ prior knowledge, specifically how these views change over time with classroom experience and where they diverge from the beliefs teachers express in their education methods courses. Teachers’ beliefs about student “misconceptions” have implications for the way they teach and for their thinking on how students learn. The observations made in the study offer informal science education (ISE) practitioners a useful reminder about the value of recognizing and building on student misconceptions, an approach that forms the basis of constructivist pedagogy.


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