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Title: Promoting Conceptual Change in Pre-service Primary Teachers through Intensive Small Group Problem-Solving Activities
Contributor(s): Jarvis, Tina (author); McKeon, Frankie (author); Taylor, Neil  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2005
DOI: 10.1080/14926150509556642
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Abstract: Three Saturday sessions were provided for 22 pre-service primary teachers in the Midlands of England to help address their problems in understanding science. The course focused on developing understanding of the major concepts relating to the particulate theory of matter, energy, genetics and evolution rather than knowledge recall. A constructivist strategy using peer discussion of science problems with minimal practical work was used. Participants were given word and picture problems to provoke discussion and challenge existing ideas. Students were encouraged to raise and explore their own questions in a supportive environment. Cognitive change was assessed by examining the students' written explanations of the same problem at the beginning and end of each day. New problems requiring the transfer of ideas, discussed during the sessions, were also posed at the end of each day. Students completed a questionnaire and were interviewed about the teaching approach at the end of the course. They reported increased confidence and commented very favourably on the teaching strategy used. There were important conceptual improvements among the students but some errors continued. Results indicate the importance of cyclical review and revisiting of concepts. This is particularly important as increased confidence to teach science may not be fully grounded on correct scientific understanding.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 5(1), p. 21-39
Publisher: Routledge
Place of Publication: Canada and USA
ISSN: 1492-6156
Field of Research (FOR): 130303 Education Assessment and Evaluation
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 930202 Teacher and Instructor Development
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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