Pre‐service teachers often enter the teaching profession with pre‐conceptions about teaching and learning science that are not consistent with contemporary learning theory. To build on this knowledge, we need to identify the beliefs and knowledge that pre‐service teachers have about science teaching. In this exploratory study, we investigated pre‐service teachers’ pre‐instructional conceptions of students’ prior knowledge. Results indicate that our pre‐service teachers held a limited number of conceptions about prior knowledge including a blank slate model of learning.

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