Using a Vicarious Learning Event to Create a Conceptual Change in Preservice Teachers’ Understandings of the Seasons

Sarah Boesdorfer, Anthony Lorsbach, Marilyn Morey


Preservice teachers are entering science methods courses with misconceptions of topics they will likely teach; science methods educators need to find ways to help address their misconceptions.  The purpose of this study was to discover whether a vicarious learning event, viewing a video of a discussion of students’ misconceptions on the causes of the seasons, could create a conceptual change towards the misconceptions of preservice elementary teachers. Ten-weeks after viewing the video, half of the misconceptions initially identified in the preservice teachers had changed to the scientifically accepted explanation, suggesting that this may be one way to help change preservice teacher’s misconceptions.


Preservice education, misconceptions, conceptual change, teacher education, elementary teacher education, vicarious learning

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