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An analysis of scientific understandings of preservice elementary teacher education students

Ginns, Ian S. & Watters, James J. (1995) An analysis of scientific understandings of preservice elementary teacher education students. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 32(2), pp. 205-222.

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Abstract

This article reports an investigation of the intuitive scientific ideas and understandings of 321 preservice elementary teacher education students enrolled in the 2nd year of a 3-year program. The sample completed a physical science concept challenge instrument by responding, in writing, to open-ended questions about the concepts of floatinglsinking, the nature of matter, air pressure and its effects, and the balance beam. Subjects’ responses and explanations were analyzed, and response categories established. The results reveal that the majority of subjects, with the exception of a high proportion of those who had a successful senior high school background in physics and chemistry, have misunderstandings in these basic concept areas. It is argued that teachers should have a sound conceptual knowledge base in order to implement effective problem-solving strategies in the elementary science classroom. The importance of teaching science in elementary schools is widely acknowledged, therefore, teacher educators must identify and implement more effective strategies for science instruction in preservice teacher education courses that will enable all students to construct scientifically accurate concept knowledge.

Impact and interest:

21 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 19560
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional URLs:
Keywords: preservice teachers, misconceptions, primary science, alternative frameworks, elementary science, physical science concepts, teacher knowledge
DOI: 10.1002/tea.3660320209
ISSN: 1098-2736
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > Schools > School of Curriculum
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Deposited On: 14 Apr 2009 15:51
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2013 18:09

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