Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Hoban, G. F. & Nielsen, W. S. (2013). Learning science through creating a “Slowmation”: A case study of preservice primary teachers. International Journal of Science Education, 35 (1), 119-146.


Many preservice primary teachers have inadequate science knowledge, which often limits their confidence in implementing the subject. This paper proposes a new way for preservice teachers to learn science by designing and making a narrated stop-motion animation as an instructional resource to explain a science concept. In this paper, a simplified way for preservice teachers to design and make an animation called ‘slowmation’ (abbreviated from ‘slow animation’) is exemplified. A case study of three preservice primary teachers creating one from start to finish over 2 h was conducted to address the following research question: How do the preservice primary teachers create a slowmation and how does this process influence their science learning? The method of inquiry used a case study design involving pre- and post-individual interviews in conjunction with a discourse analysis of video and audio data recorded as they created a slowmation. The data illustrate how the preservice teachers’ science learning was related to their prior knowledge and how they iteratively revisited the content through the construction of five representations as a cumulative semiotic progression: (i) research notes; (ii) storyboard; (iii) models; (iv) digital photographs; culminating in (v) the narrated animation. This progression enabled the preservice teachers to revisit the content in each representation and make decisions about which modes to use and promoted social interaction. Creating a slowmation facilitated the preservice teachers’ learning about the life cycle of a ladybird beetle and revised their alternative conceptions.