Teachers’ focus on pupils prior conceptions in Inquiry-Based teaching



An important component of inquiry-based instruction is identifying pupils’ previous experience and knowledge about phenomena under study and reflecting on it during the investigation. This paper focuses on teachers’ ways to identify and use the existing ideas and previous experience of pupils concerning the subject. We monitored to what extent teachers take pupils’ ideas - once these are revealed - into account, how they reflect on them in the initial phases of forming predictions and hypotheses and how they incorporate them into their teaching. We gathered our data by observing in-service teachers implementing inquiry-based science education (IBSE) in their classes. These teachers, who were also interviewed, were taking part in an IBSE-training project and were teaching at junior high level of a grade school (ISCED 2). Results of the performed qualitative analysis show teachers’ difficulties in revealing children’s previous knowledge, uncertainty how to deal with it once revealed and lack of flexibility.


Inquiry-based science education, previous experience, previous knowledge

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.26220/rev.2045

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