Technology and Early Science Education: Examining Generalist Primary School Teachers’ Views on Tacit Knowledge Assessment Tools

  •  Michael Hast    


For some time a central issue has occupied early science education discussions – primary student classroom experiences and the resulting attitudes towards science. This has in part been linked to generalist teachers’ own knowledge of science topics and pedagogical confidence. Recent research in cognitive development has examined the role of so-called tacit knowledge and its potential benefits for supporting conceptual development in children. However, the incorporation of such tools would depend on teachers’ willingness to use it. Taking a qualitative approach through interviews, the present study examined 12 generalist primary school teachers’ views on science education and their perceptions of tacit knowledge assessment as an approach to facilitating conceptual change. The overall results indicate positive attitudes embedded within a model centred on trust and responsibility of learning. These findings support the use of relevant software for teaching children by emphasising the willingness of teachers to use such technology, which has further consequences for continuing professional development of classroom teachers who do not have formal science backgrounds, which in turn should promote science achievements among students.

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