Lost in space? The concepts of planetary phenomena held by trainee primary school teachers
The teaching of science in primary education has, at least according to the behaviourist tradition, sought to eliminate pupils’ faulty conceptualisations of scientific phenomena. This paper suggests that such conceptualisations are an integral part of learning and should be encouraged. The paper begins by reporting on an experiment originally developed to elicit information on the various concepts of planetary phenomena held by prospective primary school teachers in Finland. Through examining their conceptions, however, students became aware of their own cognitive processes and the underlying logic and consistency of their thinking. The paper suggests that this awareness and the methodology leading to it are powerful pedagogical tools since they sensitise students to similar features in school pupils’ thinking, which in turn encourages them to take this into account when developing and implementing school curricula.
Ojala, J. (1997). Lost in space? The concepts of planetary phenomena held by trainee primary school teachers. International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 6(3), 183–203. https://doi.org/10.1080/10382046.1997.9965047