How does eye-tracking contribute to detection of students’ problem-solving skills on science tasks?

doc. PhDr. Martin Rusek, Ph.D.
Charles University, Faculty of Education

A student-centred approach to teaching for literacy development cannot do without problem tasks. However, the PISA research as well as other research suggest that Czech students' ability to solve problem tasks has some reserves. However, these skills can only be effectively developed by a teachers who are proficient problem solvers themselves. The present research was focused on pre-service chemistry teachers and their ability to solve problem tasks of a general science as well as chemistry nature. The eye-tracking method supplemented by think-aloud and interviews were used to investigate the strategies applied by the student teachers in complex problem tasks. Students in the master study program demonstrated better problem-solving skills than freshman students. However, the research revealed considerable reserves in their approach to applying supportive strategies when confronted with a problem. Comparing the students' progress with that of experts then provides further insight into the issues addressed and offers implications for the further preparation of science teachers.