NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ984136
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Nov
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-0036-6803
Investigating Elementary Teachers' Conceptions of Animal Classification
Burgoon, Jacob N.; Duran, Emilio
School Science and Mathematics, v112 n7 p410-419 Nov 2012
Numerous studies have been conducted regarding alternative conceptions about animal diversity and classification, many of which have used a cross-age approach to investigate how students' conceptions change over time. None of these studies, however, have investigated teachers' conceptions of animal classification. This study was intended to augment the findings of past research by exploring the conceptions that elementary teachers possess about animal classification. Using interviews and written items, we documented teachers' conceptions about animal classification and compared them with student conceptions identified in previous research studies. Many of the teachers' conceptions observed in this study were similar to students' conceptions in that they were often too limited or too general compared with scientifically accepted conceptions. Also, the teachers in this study frequently used "non-defining" characteristics, such as locomotion and habitat, to classify animals. As a result, several misclassifications were observed in the teachers' responses to the written items. Notably, the results of our study demonstrate that teachers often have the same alternative conceptions about animal classification as students. We explore some possible explanations for these alternative conceptions and discuss the instructional implications of the findings. (Contains 1 table and 1 figure.)
Wiley-Blackwell. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8598; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio