Prior knowledge comes from visual experiences, seeing those mental pictures of a subject. Prior knowledge comes before understanding what readers read, or understanding the subject. A deficit in prior knowledge inhibits student learning by taking away their educational experiences and replacing them with standardized testing.

To begin with, prior knowledge plays an important role in enabling students to learn to read, and to read to learn. First, learning to read starts in kindergarten and continues through third grade, where teachers use books called primers.

Primers teach students how to read because they tell stories about subjects that students already have visual experience with, such as family, friends, food, pets, or games.

Since students know the basic information about such subjects, when they are being taught how to read, they understand the primers. Finally, when students enter fourth grade, they begin reading textbooks to learn about science and social studies. These students developed prior knowledge of science and social studies from kindergarten through third grade, when they attended field trips to zoos and museums, watched educational films, and completed science projects.

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If they learned this basic information about the natural world of science, and about the human world of social studies, students are able to understand their textbooks. As a result, they can add new knowledge to further their education.

Additionally, many students struggle with the prior knowledge deficit because of standardized testing. First of all, standardized testing takes time away from educational experience by using all the time and money on the tests.

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Teachers use the time on teaching students how to become test takers, instead of educating them in different experiences of the world. In the past, schools would take students on field trips to teach them mostly about science, and social studies.

However, such field trips cost a lot of money; money that is currently being used on standardized tests. On one hand, traditional education consisted of students reading and writing to understand and explain the knowledge of the world. On the other hand, now day’s students are test takers, and they use their reading and writing skills for the test, just like knowledge is used to memorize all the information without understanding it. Teachers need to focus on this method because they are evaluated by the students test scores.

To summarize, prior knowledge deficit hinders students learning by taking away their educational experiences and focusing their time on standardized testing. A solution to the prior knowledge deficit is for teachers to dedicate more time on teaching students about subjects that will be used later on in further education, rather than teaching students how to become test takers.

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Prior Knowledge Deficit. (2016, Dec 12). Retrieved from

Prior Knowledge Deficit

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