Journal of Science Teacher Education

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 405–425 | Cite as

Elementary Preservice Teachers’ Science Vocabulary: Knowledge and Application

  • Sarah J. CarrierEmail author


Science vocabulary knowledge plays a role in understanding science concepts, and science knowledge is measured in part by correct use of science vocabulary (Lee et al. in J Res Sci Teach 32(8):797–816, 1995). Elementary school students have growing vocabularies and many are learning English as a secondary language or depend on schools to learn academic English. Teachers must have a clear understanding of science vocabulary in order to communicate and evaluate these understandings with students. The present study measured preservice teachers’ vocabulary knowledge during a science methods course and documented their use of science vocabulary during peer teaching. The data indicate that the course positively impacted the preservice teachers’ knowledge of select elementary science vocabulary; however, use of science terms was inconsistent in microteaching lessons. Recommendations include providing multiple vocabulary instruction strategies in teacher preparation.


Vocabulary Elementary Science Preservice teachers 



I would like to acknowledge Dr. James Minogue for his generous assistance with data analysis.


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Copyright information

© The Association for Science Teacher Education, USA 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.North Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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