Using a Vicarious Learning Event to Create a Conceptual Change in Preservice Teachers’ Understandings of the Seasons

Main Article Content

Sarah Boesdorfer
Anthony Lorsbach
Marilyn Morey


Preservice teachers are entering science methods courses with misconceptions of topics they will likely teach; science methods educators need to find ways to help address their misconceptions.  The purpose of this study was to discover whether a vicarious learning event, viewing a video of a discussion of students’ misconceptions on the causes of the seasons, could create a conceptual change towards the misconceptions of preservice elementary teachers. Ten-weeks after viewing the video, half of the misconceptions initially identified in the preservice teachers had changed to the scientifically accepted explanation, suggesting that this may be one way to help change preservice teacher’s misconceptions.

Article Details

Research / Empirical
Author Biographies

Sarah Boesdorfer, Illinois State University

Sarah Boesdorfer is a doctoral student in the Curriculum and Instruction Department at Illinois State University. Her interests are in science education and science teacher education, specifically in chemistry and the physical sciences.  She holds an M.S. in C&I from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and an B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Anthony Lorsbach, Illinois State University

Dr. Tony Lorsbach is Professor of Science Education at Illinois State University. He received his B.A. and M.S. in Biology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and his Ph.D. in Science Education from Florida State University. His research interests include constructivist learning environments; teachers’ beliefs about teaching, learning and the nature of science; and ecology education.

Marilyn Morey, Illinois State University

Dr. Marilyn Morey is Associate Professor in the Curriculum and Instruction Department at Illinois State University. She received her B.S. in Education from Indiana University, and her M.S. and Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Illinois State University.  Her research areas include science teaching efficacy, students’ science stories, and development of integrated curricula.