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- PublicationOpen AccessFacilitating Preservice Biology Teacher Development through Material-Based Lesson Planning(2024)Lesson planning is a core task for preservice teachers and simultaneously a major challenge due to the complexity of the planning process. This complexity can be reduced by using preselected teaching materials (material-based planning). To explore its potential, think-aloud protocols of material-based planning on the topics of photosynthesis and digestion by 13 preservice biology teachers at a German university serve as the main data source. The data were coded using qualitative content analysis, whereby a superordinate distinction was made between core and secondary dimensions of lesson planning. The results reveal a focus on core dimensions such as instructional strategies (visible structures) and student understanding (deep structures), while secondary dimensions like reflecting task authenticity are comparatively rare. This shows the potential of material-based planning, which enables preservice teachers to concentrate on central planning dimensions due to a reduced workload. Further analysis of the code frequencies shows an imbalance between visible and deep structures, which is more commonly observed in the planning of photosynthesis and is interpreted as an indicator of students’ overload due to the complexity of the topic. Successful planning by preservice teachers is therefore dependent on both planning task and topic selection. Corresponding implications for teacher education are discussed.