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Early Childhood

Considering Prior Knowledge

Author Post
Amanda Firenza Amanda Firenza 735 Points

 I believe it is important to consider students' prior knowledge when teaching any subject, not just in science. Each student brings different experiences, perspectives and prior knowledge to the table. Their language and culture should be considered as well because it will affect the way they learn the content. In science, they may have prior knowledge that may conflict with what is being taught in class. Encouraging students to share what they know before beginning a new topic can help them to better grasp that topic and feel confident in their knowledge.

Chandni Thakkar Chandni Thakkar 945 Points

Hey Amanda! Fantastic post! You make an excellent point. Prior knowledge should be activated in every subject, no matter what. The problem is that our students are so diverse that it is very hard to know who brings what into the classroom. As the teacher, we should be very aware of this and not make any students feel bad because they were not previously aware of something. I think a great way of knowing what students know already is using a KWL chart.

Rachel Sheidler Rachel Sheidler 1125 Points

I totally agree with you! Students can learn from their peers' experiences and perspectives and knowing prior knowledge your students have can help you plan for future instruction and differentiate instruction to meet their learning needs. I am a firm believer that learning is assimilating what you know to the new information you are given. That being said, gauging prior knowledge your students may possess is huge to play off what they already know and address possible misconceptions before the lesson even begins!

Adam Raabe Adam Raabe 555 Points

I agree that the prior knowledge is important.  Another perspective to have towards it is that students might also know information on a topic, so you might be able to approach it in a different way that is less work or that makes it more relatable to the child.  This can help them understand why they are learning what they are learning and lead to a stronger understanding of the material.

Amy Lu Amy Lu 990 Points

I completely agree with your post! I think that prior knowledge is so important because you'll be able to know where the student stands and where you should start teaching.

Sherita Celestine Sherita Celestine 730 Points

I also agree, I believe that one of the best ways to encourage and help students learn is by connecting prior knowledge to what is being taught to them. Teachers need to know what level the students are at, as well as what they know so that they can help the student be successful with what they are learning. I also think that if the prior knowledge is not connected, the students may not know what they should and they will get frustrated.

Anna Suarez Anna Suarez 640 Points

You made such a great and valid point! It is truly amazing how students can have a better understatement of a topic when we encourage them to speak and share what they already know about a topic, that can also be very good discussion for the class.

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