New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Students´ Different Strategies in their Development of Knowledge, Understanding, and Skills in Science Education

Jan-Eric Mattsson, Södertörn University (Sweden)

Ann Mutvei, Södertörn University (Sweden)

Mikael Lönn, Södertörn University (Sweden)


Students differ in their ways of accomplishing varied forms of knowledge, develop personal understanding and improve their skills. Likewise, teachers differ in their way of teaching depending on earlier experiences and training, thus, for teachers it is important to understand the different strategies of the students and their own pedagogic profile in order to design learning situations advantageous for all students.

In this study we describe the development and the persistence of the learning outcome of five pre-service primary school teacher students and their academic teachers during one semester of science and technology teaching. The assessment of the students’ knowledge requirements was made during and shortly after the course, all of them passed. The focus here is to analyze the students' and teachers' different routes to achieve professional skills and was made eight months after the finished course. The students and the teachers met and discussed their experiences of their development during the course. The discussions in the whole group and in smaller subgroups were recorded and analyzed. One area of interest was to describe the personal and professional development during that semester and how this was regarded retrospectively. This may be regarded as an assessment of the pedagogic activities and their relevance for the different students.

Another important objective was to describe the conceptual development of both the students and their teachers and to investigate if there were differences in this development. The development of the conceptual profiles of each person was constructed out of the discussions and analyzed to reveal developmental changes. The conceptual profiles were regarded to contain three basic zones, externalism, internalism and relational.

A third objective was to investigate the quality of the development out of the criteria of Doll, the four R’s: richness, recursion, relations, and rigor and to what extent these criteria were visible in the conceptual development?

On the professional and personal level all participants recognized a development, for the students supported by experiences during practical training at schools. The result also show that type of conceptual development varied between participants but large similarities in the degree of conceptual development of different concepts in one person. Finally, many of the generative phases of conceptual development were correlated to Doll’s criteria of quality in teaching and learning.

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