Primary Teachers' Conceptions about Science Teaching and Learning

By Panagiota Antoniadou and Michael Skoumios.

Published by The International Journal of Science in Society

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The study of teachers’ conceptions about issues related to science teaching and learning is of particular significance because those conceptions often influence the way that teachers interact with students and apply the curriculum and teaching material. Although secondary science teachers’ conceptions about teaching and learning have been extensively investigated, research on primary teachers’ conceptions is limited. The present study investigates primary teachers’ conceptions about issues related to science teaching and learning (meaning of learning and teaching, purpose of teaching, teaching tools, main teaching practice, classroom organization, teachers’ strategies to deal with students’ errors in science). A written questionnaire was used as a data collection method, which was based on the views about teaching and learning of the three dominant approaches to science teaching and learning (transmission, discovery and constructivist). The questionnaire was applied to 173 primary teachers in Greece. The frequencies and the percentage frequencies of teachers' answers per question were determined. It emerged that teachers’ conceptions are related to the views of constructivist and discovery approach. In particular, it was concluded that the majority of teachers activated conceptions about the meaning of learning, purpose of teaching and classroom organization, which are consistent to the views of the discovery approach, whereas their conceptions about the meaning of teaching, teaching strategies and teachers’ strategies to deal with students’ errors are consistent to the views of the constructivist approach to science teaching and learning.

Keywords: Teachers’ Conceptions, Teaching, Learning, Science Education

The International Journal of Science in Society, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp.69-82. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 410.952KB).

Panagiota Antoniadou

Teacher, Piraeus, Greece

Panagiota Antoniadou obtained her first degree in Informatics from the University of Piraeus in 2008 and her Msc in Education from the Department of Primary Education at the University of the Aegean. Her research interests include teachers and students’ conceptions about learning and teaching.

Dr. Michael Skoumios

Lecturer, Department of Primary Education, University of Aegean, Rhodes, Dodecanisa, Greece

Michael Skoumios obtained his first degree in Physics from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in 1987, a second degree in Education from the University of Aegean in 1992, and his PhD in Science Education from the Hellenic Open University in 2005. His research interests include science concept learning and teaching science in primary and secondary schools. He is currently teaching Science Education in the Department of Primary Education of the University of the Aegean (Greece).