Developing an electronic science subject audit for primary trainee teachers

Grant type: Development (2000-08)
Round: March 2003
Amount awarded £5,000.00
Completed: March 2005
Leader(s): Keith Ross
Organisation: University of Gloucestershire
Contact Email:
Address: School of Education, Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham, GL50 4AZ
Antony Paddle
St Martin's College, Ambleside
Ashley Martin and Gordon Guest
University of the West of England
Ian Bremner
University of Sunderland, School of Education
Start Date: 2 February 2004
End Date: 31 December 2004
Interim report received: 18 November 2008
Final report received: 18 November 2008

Many institutions have developed their own approach to auditing the science subject knowledge of trainee primary teachers. There are several self-study guides with practice questions (ref: Letts Science for Primary Teachers), but we are looking for a multiple-choice electronic audit. A commercial attempt, by UCLES, has been widely used but is suffers from not addressing the known misconceptions of entrants to teacher training. This bid will enable us to pool the resources of a number of ITE institutions to develop a set of questions that look for misconceptions. The project will encourage setting of the questions in everyday contexts. Electronic delivery of the audit allows trainees to see their own misconceptions. It also gives tutors access to question analysis to identify areas of subject knowledge where misconceptions are most common, allowing us to provide subject support for the trainees. The questions can be re-administered at the end of the course to provide evidence that the trainees have overcome their misconceptions. The questions are likely to be available in three formats: Qmark-Perception, Blackboard and WebCT. A co-ordinator for each of the three formats will be identified, who will keep the bank of questions updated (as a copyright-free resource). We will ask any institution that wants to use the materials to undertake an evaluation of the questions and feedback modifications and additions to the co-ordinator.