Review of educational research vol:69 issue:2 pages:145-186
The purpose of this review was to (a) overview prior knowledge research and its role in student performance, and (b) examine the effects of prior knowledge in relation to the method of assessment. We selected 183 articles, books, papers, and research reports related to prior knowledge. While prior knowledge generally had positive effects on students' performance, the effects varied by assessment method. More specifically, prior knowledge was more likely to have negative or no effects on performance when flawed assessment measures were used. However, in some studies, flawed methods yielded informative results. Thus, in educational research the implications of assessment measures must be considered when examining the effects of prior knowledge.