Activating students’ prior knowledge of basic science concepts on animal and human system organ

  • Mochammad Ahied Natural Science Education, Faculty of Education, Universitas Trunojoyo, Indonesia
  • Aida Fikriyah Natural Science Education, Faculty of Education, Universitas Trunojoyo, Indonesia
  • Irsad Rosidi Natural Science Education, Faculty of Education, Universitas Trunojoyo, Indonesia
  • Laila Khamsatul Muharrami Natural Science Education, Faculty of Education, Universitas Trunojoyo, Indonesia
Keywords: Comprehension, Prior Knowledge, Science, System Organ


This study aimed to analyze students' prior knowledge of basic science subjects, especially in organ systems concepts in animals and humans. This research was conducted on the lecture of Basic Science toward 46 students in Science Education class. Data were collected using a diagnostic test consisting of 12 essay questions in the first meeting before the learning process was implemented. Furthermore, findings obtained in this study were analyzed using quantitative descriptive method. Findings of the study indicated that students’prior knowledge reached a low level, with 4.8 on the average score. From out of 46 students in this study, six students reached high prior knowledge score. In contrast, 40 students reached below a high level. It can be concluded that students do not have great prior knowledge. It should be stimulated continually in every initial learning process to comprehend the new concepts during learning activities easily.


Azis, Y. M. (2013). The effectiveness of blended learning, prior knowledge to the understanding concept in economics. Educational Research International, 2(2), 106-116. Retrieved from

Bahtiar, B., & Dukomalamo, N. (2019). Basic science process skills of biology laboratory practice: improving through discovery learning. Biosfer: Jurnal Pendidikan Biologi, 12(1), 83-93.

Bergman, E.M., de Bruin, A.B.H., Vorstenbosch, M.A.T.M. et al. (2015). Effects of learning content in context on knowledge acquisition and recall: A pretest-posttest control group design. BMC Medical Education, 15(1), 1–11.

Chen, Y.C., & Yang, F.-Y. (2017). Exploring the associations among spatial ability, prior knowledge and science learning achievement. Asian Conference of Education (ACE)

Costley, K. C., & West, H. G. (2012). Teaching practice: A perspective on inter-text and prior knowledge. STRATE Journal, 21(2), 21–25. Retrieved from

Darmawan, E., Zubaidah, S., Ristanto, R. H., Zamzami, M. R. A., & Wahono, B. (2020). Simas Eric learning model (SELM): Enhance student’metacognitive skill based on the academic level. International Journal of Instruction, 13(4), 623-642.

Diaz, K. V. L. (2017). Prior knowledge: Its role in learning. University of the Philippines Los Baños.

Drummond, K., & Murphey-Reyes, A. (2017). Quantitative research designs: Experimental, quasi-experimental, and descriptive. Jones & Bartlett Learning, 155–183. Retrieved from

Eddy, S. (2020). Recent research in science teaching and learning. CBE Life Sciences Education, 19, fe2.

Fatokun, K., & Omenesa, K.A. (2015). Effect of prior knowledge and classroom interactions on students’ achievement in chemistry. African Educational Research Journal, 3, 184-189. Retrieved from

Ferlazzo, L., & Sypnieski, K. (2018). Activating prior knowledge (pp. 57–63). Edutopia. Retrieved from

Fernández, G., & Morris, R. (2018). Memory, novelty and prior knowledge. Trends in Neurosciences, 41(10), 654–659.

Greener, S. (2012). Interactive learning environments? Interactive Learning Environments, 20(2), 101–102.

Hailikari, T., Katajavuori, N., & Lindblom-Ylanne, S. (2008). The relevance of prior knowledge in learning and instructional design. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 72(5). Retrieved from

Harahap, L. J., Ristanto, R. H., & Komala, R. (2020). Evoking 21st-century skills: Developing instrument of critical thinking skills and mastery of ecosystem concepts. Tadris: Jurnal Keguruan dan Ilmu Tarbiyah, 5(1), 27-41.

International Labour Organization, I. (2013). Situation analysis on conducive learning environment for children withdrawn and prevented from child labour A case of Kilifi District in Kenya. Retrieved from

Lambert, V. A., & Lambert, C. E. (2012). Qualitative descriptive research: an acceptable design. Pacific Rim International Journal of Nursing Research, 16(4), 255-256. Retrieved from

Liu, Y., Lin, Z., Liu, F. et al. (2019). Generating paraphrase with topic as prior knowledge. In Proceedings of the 28th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (pp. 2381-2384).

Mccomas, W. (2014) Prior knowledge. In: McComas W.F. (eds) The Language of Science Education. SensePublishers, Rotterdam.

Otero, V., & Nathan, M. (2008). Pre-Service elementary teachers’ views of their students’ prior knowledge in science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 45, 497–523.

Özerem, A., & Akkoyunlu, B. (2015). Learning environments designed according to learning styles and its effects on mathematics achievement. Eurasian Journal of Educational Research, 15(61), 61–80.

Permatadewi, S., Zen, D., & Haryani, M. (2019). Prior knowledge mapping on natural science. Journal of Biology Education, 8(1), 117–125.

Psotka J. (2012) Interactive learning environments. In: Seel N.M. (eds) Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning. Springer, Boston, MA.

Seely, J. E., & Hart, R. A. (2012). Prior-knowledge assessments. BioProcess International, 10, 12–19. Retrieved from

Singh, A. (2014). Conducive classroom environment in schools. International Journal of Science and Research, 3(1), 387-392. Retrieved from

Stern, E. (2015). Intelligence, prior knowledge, and learning. In International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition (pp. 323–328).

Taber, K. S. (2014). Constructing active learning in chemistry: Concepts, cognition and conceptions. In I. Devetak & S. A. Glažar (Eds.), Learning with Understanding in the Chemistry Classroom (pp. 5-23). Dordrecht: Springer.

Taylor, N. & Whannell, R. (2017). Assessing science teaching and learning in the classroom. In G. Woolcott & R. Whannell (Eds.), Teaching Secondary Science: Theory and practice (pp. 323-347). Cambridge University Press: UK.

Trilipi, D., Subali, B., Anwar, Y., & Santoso, L. M. (2019). Note-taking roundhouse diagram strategy: improving student retention on body defense system concepts. Biosfer: Jurnal Pendidikan Biologi, 12(2), 157-169.

Trzcieliński, S. (2019). Prior knowledge and opportunity recognition. In International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (pp. 191-200).

Tsai, C.C., & Yang, F. Y. (2011). Editorial: Research about science learning in asian countries. Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 20(2), 201–206. Retrieved from

Turşucu, S., Spandaw, J., & de Vries, M. J. (2020). The effectiveness of activation of prior mathematical knowledge during problem-solving in physics. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 16(4).

Wade, S., & Kidd, C. (2019). The role of prior knowledge and curiosity in learning. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 26.

Wetzels, S. A. J,, Kester, L., & van Merrienboer, J. J. G. (2011). Adapting prior knowledge activation: Mobilisation, perspective taking, and learners’ prior knowledge. Computers in Human Behavior, 27, 16–21.

Whannell, R., Taylor, N., & Woolcott, G. (2018). Assessing science teaching and learning. In G. Woolcott & R. Whannell (Eds.), Teaching Secondary Science: Theory and practice (pp. 116–140).

Woolf, B. P. (2005). Distributed interactive learning environments. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Open & Online Learning, ICOOL. Retrieved from

Zeng, C., Thomas, D. C., & Lewinger, J. P. (2020). Incorporating prior knowledge into regularized regression. Biorxiv, 1-15.

How to Cite
Ahied, M., Fikriyah, A., Rosidi, I., & Muharrami, L. K. (2020). Activating students’ prior knowledge of basic science concepts on animal and human system organ. Biosfer: Jurnal Pendidikan Biologi, 13(2), 280-291.