Approaches to Identify Typical Mistakes by Primary Schoolchildren Studying Natural Science Concepts



The article describes approaches to the typology of the main mistakes of primary schoolchildren studying natural science concepts. This is the overview of the problem of the development of natural science concepts in the works of native and foreign researchers. In the course of the analytical study, a comparison was made of the content, structure of tasks and methods of assessing the monitoring studies, as well as a comparison of descriptions of typical mistakes of primary school children. In “VPR” (“Vserossiiskie proverochnie raboti” are the obligatory Russian tests for schoolchildren), all subject knowledge is presented through certain skills, and the mistakes that chidlren make are interpreted as "gaps" in knowledge and skills that need to be filled. SAM (Student Achievement's Monitoring) reveals the "structure" of achievements and backlogs. SAM evaluation tool has proven itself well in assessing the natural science literacy of younger schoolchildren, namely the ability to act according to a model, the ability to act with understanding and the degree of freedom (the manifestation of natural science literacy) in the possession of certain modes of action. TIMSS (Trends in Mathematics and Science Study) aims to evaluate three parameters: "knowledge", "application" and "reasoning". Along with the correct answers of the children, their incorrect reasonings are also recorded. The analytical study showed no unified approach to the assessment of typical mistakes in the development of natural science concepts existing today. One of the promising directions can be the arrangement of a unified typology of the main mistakes of primary schoolchildren when studying natural science concepts and creation of an assessment tool based on it.

General Information

Keywords: initial concepts, concepts, natural science concepts, analisis of mistakes, typologies of the main difficulties, science teaching, elementary schoolchildren

Journal rubric: Psychology of Education

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The research was carried out with the financial support of the state task of the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation No. 073-00041-21-05 dated 07/14/2021 «Formation of the psychological component of the methodological training of the future teacher necessary for the analysis of the causes of students' mistakes in order to develop their subject conceptual thinking in the process of solving educational tasks».

Received: 01.10.2021


For citation: Egorenko T.A., Sanina S.P. Approaches to Identify Typical Mistakes by Primary Schoolchildren Studying Natural Science Concepts [Elektronnyi resurs]. Psychological-Educational Studies, 2021. Vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 94–106. DOI: 10.17759/psyedu.2021130406. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Tatiana A. Egorenko, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Head of the Chair of Pedagogical Psychology named after Professor V.A. Guruzhapov, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Svetlana P. Sanina, PhD in Education, Associate Professor, Chair of Pedagogical Psychology named after Professor V. A. Guruzhapov, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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