In teacher education research, numerous studies are conducted that intensively focus different knowledge areas – content, pedagogical content, and pedagogical knowledge. However, specific knowledge types, which are differentiated into declarative and procedural knowledge, are often neglected. Against this background, the present study investigates different areas of 51 biology pre-service teachers’ professional knowledge on evolution and simultaneously tries to provide insights into the interrelation between the respective declarative and procedural knowledge. For this purpose, a combination of two instruments is used – a questionnaire on evolution, which measures declarative knowledge – and the Simulated Classroom Biology (SCRBio), which captures procedural knowledge in the area of diagnostic ability. In the SCRBio, questions focusing natural selection can be asked by pre-service teachers to virtual students, whereupon the given answers and the shown performance have to be diagnosed. The results in the SCRBio showed that pre-service teachers are able to assess the scientific correctness of the virtual students’ answers (91% diagnostic rate). Major problems were identified in diagnosing specific misconception categories (59% diagnostic rate). Weak to moderate correlations were found between declarative and procedural knowledge. The differentiated correlation analyses between declarative and procedural knowledge within a knowledge domain provided results that were contrary to expectations. These findings indicate that declarative and procedural knowledge of pre-service teachers are interrelated. Further replication studies could help explain the observed differences in the correlation measures within knowledge domains. In the future, the SCRBio could provide a simulated classroom environment to give pre-service teachers the opportunity to apply and train procedural knowledge.
Original languageGerman
JournalZeitschrift für Didaktik der Naturwissenschaften
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)215–229
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 12.2021
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    Research areas

  • Professional competencies of pre-school and school teachers - Professional knowledge, Declarative and procedural knowledge, Teaching and learning evolution, Simulated classroom environments

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