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Title: The influence of background knowledge on students' conceptualisation and drawing skills in first year Life Sciences
Authors: Booi, Kwanele 
Van Staden, Vanessa 
Keywords: Life Sciences;Background knowledge;Conceptualization;Drawing skills
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: UNISA Press
Conference: 2015 ISTE International Conference on Mathematics, Science and Technology Education 
Abstract: Globally knowledge gaps have been identified in the Life Sciences classroom of first year students who join teacher education programs in tertiary institutions. These gaps are created by their different schooling backgrounds ranging from well-resourced schools with qualified Life Sciences educators to schools that are under-resourced and disadvantaged in various ways. This notion results in pedagogical challenges for lecturers who have to accommodate both groups through various strategies they incorporate into their teaching and learning programs. This qualitative study aims at identifying the knowledge gaps that exist due to the diverse schooling backgrounds of the first year Life Sciences students enrolled in the B.Ed. degree in the FET phase. As an evaluative study, a baseline assessment was given to first year Life Sciences students with the explicit purpose of identifying their prior competencies in the subject. Results from this assessment were analysed by means of Maton’s Legitimation Code Theory (LCT) on semantic density. It was found that background knowledge influences conceptualisation and drawing skills of first year Life Sciences students. Consequently, some intervention strategies were proposed in this paper as ways of assisting the disadvantaged students in bridging and erasing the identified knowledge gaps.
Description: Conference Proceeding
ISBN: 978-1-86888-833-7
Appears in Collections:Edu - Conference Proceedings

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