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ERIC Number: EJ1038998
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Nov
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 41
ISSN: ISSN-1046-560X
Framing Prospective Elementary Teachers' Conceptions of Dissolving as a Ladder of Explanations
Subramaniam, Karthigeyan; Esprivalo Harrell, Pamela
Journal of Science Teacher Education, v24 n7 p1177-1199 Nov 2013
The paper details an exploratory qualitative study that investigated 61 prospective teachers' conceptual understanding of dissolving salt and sugar in water respectively. The study was set within a 15-week elementary science methods course that included a 5E learning cycle lesson on dissolving, the instructional context. Oversby's ("Prim Sci Rev" 63:6-19, 2002, "Aspects of Teaching Secondary Science," Routledge Falmer, London, 2002) ladder of explanations for the context of dissolving, current scientific explanations for dissolving and perspectives on conceptions and misconceptions provided the unified framework for the study. Concept maps, interview transcripts, written artifacts, and drawings and narratives were used as data to investigate these prospective teachers' conceptual understanding of dissolving throughout the 15-weeks of the methods course. Analysis revealed that participants' explanations of dissolving were predominantly descriptive explanations (39%) and interpretative explanations (38%), with lower percentage occurrences of intentional (14%) and cause and effect (9%) level explanations. Most of these explanations were also constructed by a set of loosely connected and reinforcing everyday concepts abstracted from common everyday experiences making them misconceptions. Implications include: (1) the need for science teacher educators to use multiple platforms to derive their prospective elementary teachers' conceptual understandings of science content; and (2) to identify and help them identify their own scientific conceptions and misconceptions and how they influence the construction of scientific/nonscientific explanations. Science teacher educators also need to emphasize the role of meaningful frameworks associated with the concept that is being introduced during the Engage phase of the 5E learning cycle. This is important because, relevant prior knowledge is associated with the knowledge of the particle theory of matter and both are part of larger knowledge system comprised of interrelated scientific concepts.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A