Pre-service Primary Teachers' Knowledge of Science Concepts: an Instrument for its Assessment

José-Javier Verdugo, Joan-Josep Solaz-Portolés, Vicent Sanjosé


An instrument to assess primary school science conceptual knowledge in pre-service primary teachers is developed and validated. A test with 50 multiple-choice items was developed based on the four blocks of curricular content for children in primary school: natural environment and its preservation, diversity of living beings, health science and personal development, matter and energy. A sample of 83 pre-service teachers at one important spanish university was taken for statistical validation purposes. Both external consistency (as measured by test-retest correlation) and internal consistency (as measured by Kurder-Richardson’s 20th formula) were above 0.7. Item difficulty and discrimination was studied as well as distractor election. Everything suggests that this test is appropriate for its aimed purpose, although it needs some touch-ups. Furthermore, remarkable results about poor conceptual domain and misconceptions were identified in pre-service teachers. Implications of these findings are discussed.

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