Journal of Elementary Science Education

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 31–55

Teacher and student perspectives about the importance of primary children's ideas in science

  • Valarie L. Akerson
  • Lawrence B. Flick

DOI: 10.1007/BF03173837

Cite this article as:
Akerson, V.L. & Flick, L.B. J Elem Sci Edu (1999) 11: 31. doi:10.1007/BF03173837


This study explored whether primary teachers elicited student ideas, and whether primary students recognized the importance their teachers placed on their ideas. It was found that three primary teachers who participated in the study always elicited children's ideas prior to instruction and, thus, found student ideas to be important. It was also found that, regardless of whether the teachers addressed those ideas in instruction, students perceived that their ideas were important. Thus, the teacher and student perspectives of the importance of their ideas were similar: Implications include recommendations for follow-up studies that explore constraints to addressing student ideas when identified.

Copyright information

© Springer Netherlands 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valarie L. Akerson
    • 1
  • Lawrence B. Flick
  1. 1.Department of Teaching and LearningWashington State UniversityRichland