Using nursing students’ previous knowledge about cell as starting point of teaching planning




Free word association test, Cognitive structure, Learning process


The prior knowledge of the student is extremely important for learning new content, and the diagnosis of such knowledge can assist teacher’s education planning. In this article the free association of words method was carried out to survey the students' previous knowledge in order to formulate a Cytology lesson plan. Thus, 60 freshman nursing students were asked to provide 15 words about the topic “Cell” during their first Cytology class. The initial analysis found that students had adequate prior knowledge with 210 terms (123 central terms and 87 derived terms) and 752 citation obtained. All terms were categorized into eleven categories and were used as references to construct a teacher education planning guide aiming a systematized knowledge by the common sense between the terms and frequencies of these categories. The teaching strategy sought the activation of student’s prior knowledge, content leveling and contextualized learning by focusing on concrete applications in students’ everyday life. The strategy allowed for greater assimilation of the content, motivation and participation in class by the students. In addition, an initial diagnostic evaluation form to collect associated free terms was formulated to facilitate the organization and analysis of prior knowledge data by the teacher.

Author Biography

Lidianne Salvatierra, Universidade Estadual de Roraima, Boa Vista, RR

Mestre e Doutora em Ciências Biológicas pelo Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia. Tem Pós-Doutorado em Educação, através do Programa Nacional de Pós Doutorado da CAPES pela Universidade Estadual de Roraima. Atualmente é Professora Adjunta I e coordenadora do curso de Biologia da Universidade Federal de Tocantins.


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How to Cite

Salvatierra, L. (2021). Using nursing students’ previous knowledge about cell as starting point of teaching planning. Ciência E Natura, 43, e28.