The term “prior knowledge” refers to all of the information one possessed before learning about a specific subject. It makes it easier to learn new knowledge, as Dochy et al. (1999) note. According to their estimates, prior knowledge accounts for between 30 and 60% of the variability in learning results. By evaluating pupils’ past knowledge, a teacher can narrow their emphasis and modify their lesson plans. It aids pupils in making connections between previously learned material and new information. Knowing what knowledge students currently possess enables you to:
- Tackle misunderstandings and knowledge gaps
- Become conscious of the range of backgrounds present in your class.
- Build a link between the new information and the pupils’ prior knowledge
Questions to Ask When Evaluating Prior Knowledge
When utilizing assessments of prior knowledge: omit to require pupils to sign their names on the evaluation and let them know that the test is not graded.
Make a list of 10 to 15 statements about the course material, including prevalent myths. Ask the class to check each statement to see if it is true or false.
- Make two or three open-ended questions in advance. Each question should receive a two- or three-sentence response from the pupils.
- On a poster paper, centre graphics, graphs, and passages from the upcoming course material. This gives pupils room to write around the material.
- Hang pictures all over the place.
- arrange pupils into groups of two to four.
- Each poster should have a group in front of it.
Give them five minutes to record their thoughts, knowledge, and questions regarding the subject.