Encyclopedia of Science Education

Living Edition
| Editors: Richard Gunstone

Primary/Elementary Science Teacher Education

  • Pernilla Nilsson
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6165-0_232-4


What Is Primary Science?

It is universally accepted that learning science is important for the future lives of all citizens. Therefore, science as a required part of primary and secondary education has become commonplace in most countries. As children have a natural inclination and creativity for science and the world surrounding them, one expectation of teachers is the need to develop the skills for catching students’ ideas and stimulating their questioning and their (scientific) reasoning. However, research illustrates that there has been a common concern about primary teachers’ lack of scientific knowledge which has been seen as a major barrier to developing quality science teaching and learning in primary schools. Today, primary teachers’ scientific knowledge is widely recognized as having improved, but there is still world-ranging debate about the level and nature of scientific knowledge needed by a primary teacher in order to teach science...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Driver R, Guesne E, Tiberghien A (eds) (1985) Children’s ideas in science. Open University Press, Milton KeynesGoogle Scholar
  2. Harlen W, Qualter A (2009) The teaching of science in primary schools. David Fulter Publisher, LondonGoogle Scholar
  3. Nilsson P (2011) Why does scientific literacy matter in primary schools?: reflections on the OLGC experience. In: Loughran J, Smith K, Berry A (eds) Scientific literacy under the microscope – a whole school approach to science teaching and learning. Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, pp 127–138Google Scholar
  4. Olson J, Appleton K (2006) Considering curriculum for elementary science methods courses. In: Appleton K (ed) Elementary science teacher education. Lawrence Erlbaum, New Jersey, pp 127–151Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Teacher EducationHalmstad UniversityHalmstadSweden