designing a science methods course for early childhood preservice teachers

Download Designing a science methods course for early childhood preservice teachers

Post on 10-Jul-2016

213 views

Category:

Documents

0 download

Embed Size (px)

TRANSCRIPT

  • *OURNALOF%LEMENTARY3CIENCE%DUCATIONs&ALLs

    *OURNALOF%LEMENTARY3CIENCE%DUCATION6OL.O&ALLPP$EPARTMENTOF#URRICULUMAND)NSTRUCTION#OLLEGEOF%DUCATIONAND(UMAN3ERVICES7ESTERN)LLINOIS5NIVERSITY

    $ESIGNINGA3CIENCE-ETHODS#OURSEFOR%ARLY#HILDHOOD0RESERVICE4EACHERS6ALARIE,!KERSON)NDIANA5NIVERSITY

    0REPARINGEARLYCHILDHOOD+TEACHERSTOTEACHSCIENCEPRESENTSSPECIALCHALLENGESFORTHE SCIENCEMETHODS INSTRUCTOR%ARLYCHILDHOODPRESERVICE TEACHERS TYPICALLYCOME TOTHEMETHODSCLASSROOMWITHLITTLESCIENCECONTENTKNOWLEDGETHEYALSOLACKCONFIDENCEIN THEIR OWNABILITIES TO TEACH SCIENCE4HIS PAPERPRESENTS A THEORETICAL BACKGROUNDREFLECTIONS OF A METHODS INSTRUCTOR AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TEACHING AN EARLYCHILDHOODSCIENCEMETHODSCOURSE

    )THASBEENFOUNDTHATPRIMARYANDELEMENTARYTEACHERSARERARELYSPECIALISTSIN SCIENCE AND INDEED OFTEN AVOID TEACHING IT BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT CONFIDENTTHEYCANTEACHITWELL.ATIONAL3URVEYOF3CIENCEAND-ATHEMATICS%DUCATION !TWATER 'ARDENER +IGHT #OX #ARPENTER 0ERKES 3CHOENEBERGER2USSELL4ILGNER)THASBEENSHOWNTHATELEMENTARYTEACHERSGENERALLYDONOTHAVEASOLIDUNDERSTANDINGOFSCIENCECONTENTEXHIBITINGMISCONCEPTIONSINPHYSICALSCIENCEINPARTICULAR,AWRENZ2ESEARCHSHOWSTHAT PRIMARY TEACHERS HOLDMISCONCEPTIONS ABOUTMOTION CHANGES INMATERIALS+RUGER 3UMMERS FORCES ENERGY +RUGER 0ALACIO 3UMMERS ANDLIGHTANDSHADOW3MITH.EALEHOWEVERALLPRIMARYANDELEMENTARYTEACHERSAREREQUIREDTO TEACHSCIENCEREGARDLESSOF THEIRQUALIFICATIONS THEYAREALSOEXPECTEDTOHELPTHEIRSTUDENTSMEETNATIONAL"ENCHMARKS!!!3AND.ATIONAL3TANDARDS.2#"ESIDESCONCERNSWITHCONTENTKNOWLEDGEANDCONFIDENCEINTEACHINGSCIENCE

    EARLY CHILDHOOD TEACHERS HAVE OTHER ISSUES TO CONSIDER &OR INSTANCE ARE THEDEVELOPMENTAL LEVELSOFTHEIRSTUDENTSSUFFICIENTTOALLOWTHEMTOCONCEPTUALIZESPECIFIC SCIENCE CONTENT 4HERE IS DISAGREEMENT OF WHAT ACTUALLY CONSTITUTESDEVELOPMENTALAPPROPRIATENESSOF SCIENTIFIC IDEAS INSTRUCTIONANDCURRICULA FORYOUNGCHILDREN+UHN-ETZ(OWDOPRIMARYTEACHERSIDENTIFYSCIENCE MISCONCEPTIONS OF CHILDREN WHO OFTEN HAVE NOT YET DEVELOPED STRONGWRITINGSKILLS!NDHOWDOWEHELPTHESETEACHERSBECOMEMORECOMFORTABLEINTHEIRABILITIESTOTEACHSCIENCETOYOUNGCHILDREN4HEPURPOSEOF THISPAPER IS TODESCRIBEGOALS FORANEARLYCHILDHOODSCIENCE

    METHODSCOURSEWITHTHEDESIGNOFTHECOURSESETUPTOHELPPRESERVICETEACHERSMEETTHOSEGOALS4HEEXPERIENCESPROVIDEDINTHECOURSEWEREDESIGNEDTOHELPPRESERVICETEACHERSBUILDBOTHTHEIRSCIENCEANDPEDAGOGICALUNDERSTANDINGSASWELLASFORTHEPRESERVICETEACHERSTOPRACTICETHEMWITHYOUNGCHILDRENINORDERTO BUILD PEDAGOGICAL CONTENT KNOWLEDGE 3HULMAN )T IS HOPED THAT THEPAPERWILLINFORMOTHERSWHOPREPAREEARLYCHILDHOODTEACHERSTOEFFECTIVELYTEACHSCIENCE

  • *OURNALOF%LEMENTARY3CIENCE%DUCATIONs&ALLs

    #ONTEXTOFTHE#OURSE

    4HE%ARLY#HILDHOOD3CIENCE-ETHODSCOURSEISPARTOFASERIESOFCOURSESTAKENBY STUDENTS IN THE %ARLY #HILDHOOD "! AND #ERTIFICATION 0ROGRAM AT A LARGE-IDWESTERNUNIVERSITY-OSTEARLYCHILDHOODMAJORSINTENDTOTEACHKINDERGARTENASPRACTICINGTEACHERSBEINGCERTIFIEDINEARLYCHILDHOODEDUCATIONISCURRENTLYTHEONLYWAYTOBECOMECERTIFIEDTOTEACHKINDERGARTENINTHISSTATE7ITHTHEIR%ARLY#HILDHOODCERTIFICATIONTHEYCANTEACHPRESCHOOLTHROUGHTHIRDGRADE!SPARTOFTHEIR CREDIT DEGREEPROGRAM THEY TAKE ONLYNINE SEMESTER HOURS OF SCIENCEINCLUDING A GENERAL CONTENT COURSE FOR ELEMENTARY TEACHERS AND A TECHNOLOGYCOURSE 4HEY THEN SELECT A THREECREDIT ELECTIVE SCIENCE COURSE FROM A CHOICE OFCONTENTAREAS4HISNINECREDITHOURREQUIREMENTISTHREECREDITSFEWERTHANWHATELEMENTARYMAJORSTAKEATTHESAMEUNIVERSITY4HESTUDENTSINTHEEARLYCHILDHOODPROGRAMDOENROLLINTWOSCIENCEMETHODSCOURSESTAKENASACOHORTTHEFIRSTTOPREPARETHEMTOTEACHBOTHMATHANDSCIENCETOYOUNGCHILDRENTOYEARSOLDANDTHESECONDTOPREPARETHEMTOTEACHMATHANDSCIENCETOKINDERGARTENTOPRIMARYAGESTUDENTSAGES4HEGOALSOFTHE%ARLY#HILDHOOD0ROGRAMARETOACTIVELYENGAGESTUDENTSINAVARIETYOFEXPERIENCESANDACTIVITIESTOENABLETHESTUDENTSTO ACQUIRE THE KNOWLEDGE SKILLS AND DISPOSITIONS OF AN EFFECTIVE TEACHERDEVELOPSENSITIVITYTOISSUESOFDIVERSITYOFALLFORMSIERACECLASSCULTUREGENDERDISABILITYANDEMBRACEETHICALSOCIALANDINTELLECTUALCOMMITMENTSTOYOUNGCHILDRENUNIVERSITYDOCUMENT6IRTUALLYALLPRESERVICETEACHERSWHOAREPARTOFTHE%ARLY#HILDHOOD0ROGRAMAREFEMALEANDTHEMEANAGEIS4HEREAREAPPROXIMATELYTOSTUDENTSENROLLEDINEACHSECTION!SPARTOFTHESEMESTERINWHICHTHEYTAKETHE+SCIENCEMETHODSCOURSETHE

    PRESERVICETEACHERSARECONCURRENTLYENROLLEDINAFIELDPLACEMENT4HEYSPENDONEFULLDAYEACHWEEKINA+CLASSROOM7ITHINTHATDAYTHEYAREREQUIREDTOTEACHLESSONSFROMALLCONTENTCOURSES INWHICHTHEYARECURRENTLYENROLLED INCLUDINGSCIENCETHEOTHERCOURSESINCLUDELANGUAGEARTSMATHSOCIALSTUDIESANDSPECIALEDUCATION'OALS FOR PRESERVICE TEACHERS THAT ARE SPECIFIC TO THE EARLY CHILDHOOD SCIENCE

    METHODS COURSE INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING TO INCREASE THEIR CONFIDENCE ANDCOMFORTLEVELFORTEACHINGSCIENCETOACQUIRESTRATEGIESFORTEACHINGSCIENCETOTOYEAROLDSTUDENTSTODEMONSTRATEANAWARENESSOFTHEDEVELOPMENTALAPPROPRIATENESSOFVARIOUSSCIENCECONCEPTSFORYOUNGCHILDRENTODEMONSTRATEAN UNDERSTANDING OF STATE AND NATIONAL BENCHMARKS AS THEY RELATE TO SCIENCETEACHINGANDTODEMONSTRATESKILLSININSTRUCTIONOFCURRICULUMDEVELOPMENTINANDASSESSMENTOF SCIENCESTANDARDS FORYOUNGCHILDREN4OHELPPRESERVICETEACHERS MEET THESE GOALS THE SCIENCE METHODS COURSE INSTRUCTOR TURNED TO ARESEARCHBASEINELEMENTARYSCIENCEEDUCATIONTODESIGNTHECOURSE4HEDESIGNOFTHECOURSEANDITSCOMPONENTSAREPRESENTEDINTHEFOLLOWINGSECTIONS

    $ESIGNOFTHE#OURSE

    4HE COMPONENTS OF THE COURSE 4ABLE WERE DESIGNED TO MEET THE COURSEGOALS WHILE ADDRESSING ISSUES OF TEACHER COMFORT LEVEL FOR TEACHING SCIENCEDEVELOPMENTAL APPROPRIATENESS OF CONCEPTS FOR YOUNG CHILDREN AND PRAGMATICISSUESINLEARNINGTOBEANEARLYCHILDHOODSCIENCETEACHER7ITHINTHEFOLLOWINGSECTIONSBELOWAREDESCRIPTIONSOFTHEFOCIFOREACHCOMPONENT

  • *OURNALOF%LEMENTARY3CIENCE%DUCATIONs&ALLs

    4ABLE-AIN#OMPONENTSOFTHE#OURSE

    #OMPONENTS 3TRATEGIES

    #OMPONENT/NE)NCREASINGPRESERVICETEACHERSCOMFORTWITHSCIENCEANDTEACHINGSCIENCE

    )NSTRUCTORCREDIBILITY/PENNESSTOSTUDENTQUESTIONS$EVELOPMENTOFCONTENTKNOWLEDGE%MPHASISONNATUREOFSCIENCEANDINQUIRY,ITERACYCONNECTIONS!LLOWINGREVISIONOFASSIGNMENTS

    #OMPONENT4WO%XPLICIT REFLECTION FOR TEACHING YOUNGCHILDRENSCIENCE

    !SSESSINGPRIMARYSTUDENTIDEAS,ESSONPLANNING2EFLECTIONSONTEACHING7EEKLYREFLECTIONSONISSUESINPRIMARYSCIENCETEACHING

    #OMPONENT4HREE0RAGMATIC ISSUES FOR TEACHING YOUNGCHILDRENSCIENCE

    #LASSROOMMANAGEMENT3ELECTINGACTIVITIES!SSESSMENTISSUES7ORKINGINANOTHERTEACHERSCLASSROOM

    #OMPONENT/NE)NCREASING0RESERVICE4EACHERS#OMFORTWITH3CIENCEAND4EACHING3CIENCE

    )NSTRUCTOR#REDIBILITY4HEFIRSTITEMONTHECOURSEAGENDAISTOINTRODUCEMYSELFTHECOURSEINSTRUCTOR

    ASAFORMERPRIMARYTEACHEROF THEFIRSTSECONDANDTHIRDGRADES )HAVEFOUNDTHATSHARINGTHAT)HAVEACTUALLYBEENAPRIMARYTEACHERRESPONSIBLEFORTEACHINGALLSUBJECTSINCLUDINGSCIENCEADDSCREDIBILITYTOMYMETHODSINSTRUCTIONANDTHEPRESERVICE TEACHERSWILLINGNESS TO ATTEND TO COURSE DISCUSSIONS AND THEORETICALISSUES ) AM ABLE TO SHARE TEACHING VIGNETTES AND EXAMPLES OF PRIMARY STUDENTWORKTOILLUSTRATEIMPORTANTPOINTS0RESERVICETEACHERSHAVECOMMENTEDINCOURSEEVALUATIONSABOUTHOWMUCHTHEYAPPRECIATEDTHETEACHINGSTORIESANDEXAMPLESOFSTUDENTWORK0RIORWORKWITHINSERVICETEACHERSALSOSUPPORTSTHEVALUEPRIMARYTEACHERS PLACE ON PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT BY SOMEONE WHO HAS EXPERIENCETEACHINGATTHEIRGRADELEVEL$ICKINSON"URNS(AGEN,OCKER

    "EING/PENTO3TUDENT1UESTIONS) ALSO REMAINED OPEN TO PRESERVICE TEACHER QUESTIONS &OR EXAMPLE ON THE

    DAYOFTHEEQUINOXONEPRESERVICETEACHERSTATEDTHATONTHISDAYWESHOULDBEABLE TOBALANCE ANUNCOOKEDEGGONONE END ) STATEDMYDISBELIEF BUT TURNEDTHECOMMENTBACKTOTHEPRESERVICETEACHERSBYASKINGh(OWCANWEFINDOUTv/NEPRESERVICETEACHERWHOLIVEDONCAMPUSNEAROURCLASSROOMWENTHOMETOGET SOME EGGS 7HEN SHE RETURNED SEVERAL PRESERVICE TEACHERS INDEED WEREABLE TO BALANCE THE EGG ON ITS END 4HE PRESERVICE TEACHERS WERE AMAZED ANDBELIEVEDITWASSOMETHINGTODOWITHTHEEQUINOXHOWEVER)TOLDTHEM)WASSTILLUNCONVINCED9ESOUROBSERVATIONISTHATCERTAINPEOPLECANMAKEANEGGSTAND

  • *OURNALOF%LEMENTARY3CIENCE%DUCATIONs&ALLs

    ONONEENDYETWHATWOULDOURINFERENCEBE7HATCOULDPOSSIBLYEXPLAINTHATSOMEOFUSCOULDBALANCEANEGGONITSENDONTHISPARTICULARDAY#OULDWEDOITONOTHERDAYSASWELLORISTHERESOMETHINGSPECIALABOUTTHISDAY!NDWHYCANT ALL OF US DO IT 3TUDENTS PROPOSED ELABORATE EXPLANATIONS FOR THE EVENT&INALLYSOMEONECONNECTEDTOTHE)NTERNETANDFOUNDANEXPLANATIONTHATSATISFIEDUSALL9ESWECANBALANCEANEGGONITSENDBUTITHASTODOWITHTHETALENTOFTHEPERSONDOING THEBALANCINGAND IT CANBEDONEONANYDAY4HEPRESERVICETEACHERSTESTEDTHISIDEABYBALANCINGEGGSONTHEIRENDSONSEVERALDAYSFOLLOWINGTHEEQUINOXSUPPORTINGTHECLAIM4HUSBYALLOWINGTHEMTOASKQUESTIONSANDBEINGRESPONSIVETOTHEIRQUESTIONS)ENCOURAGEDTHEMTOEXPLOREIDEASTHEYMAYNOTHAVEOTHERWISEEXPLOREDINAMANNERTHAT)HOPETHEYENCOURAGETHEIROWNSTUDENTSTOUTILIZE4HEYWEREFREETOASKQUESTIONSANDCONFRONTTHEIRIDEASWHICHMAYNOTHAVEBEENTHECASEINEARLIERSCIENCECONTENTCOURSES

    $EVELOPMENTOF#ONTENT+NOWLEDGE!NOTHER PART OF THIS COMPONENT TO HELP PRESERVICE TEACHERS IMPROVE THEIR

    COMFORT LEVELWAS TOHELP THEM FINDSTRATEGIES TO IMPROVE THEIR SCIENCECONTENTKNOWLEDGE 3IXTY MINUTES OF EACH THREEHOUR CLASS SESSION WERE DEVOTED TOEXPLORATIONOFSCIENCECONTENTINTHECONTEXTOFAHANDSONEXPLORATIONTHATSHAREDAMODELFORTEACHINGSCIENCETOYOUNGCHILDREN4HESEWEEKLYINVESTIGATIONSWEREALLINTHEPHYSICALSCIENCESEGCHEMISTRYPHYSICSBECAUSEPRIMARYTEACHERSTENDTOFOCUSONBIOLOGICALSCIENCEIFTHEYTEACHSCIENCEATALLANDWEWANTEDTOIMPROVETHEIRKNOWLEDGEOFPHYSICALSCIENCE4HEPRESERVICETEACHERSWEREASKEDTORESPONDTOANOPENENDEDQUESTIONTOELICITTHEIRIDEASABOUTTHESCIENCECONTENTSUCHASh7HYDOYOUTHINKSOMETHINGSFLOATANDOTHERSSINKv4HEYTHENPARTICIPATEDINAHANDSONINVESTIGATIONTOTESTTHINGSTHATFLOATANDSINKFOLLOWEDBYADISCUSSIONONHOWSUCHANINVESTIGATIONCOULDBEORCHESTRATEDWITHYOUNGCHILDREN&INALLYTHEYWEREASKEDTOREVISITTHEIREARLIERELICITEDIDEASANDRESPONDAGAINTOTHEOPENENDEDQUESTION4HISTECHNIQUEHASPROVENTOBEANEFFECTIVEWAYFOREXPERIENCEDPRIMARYTEACHERSTOELICITSTUDENTIDEASANDTODESIGNINSTRUCTIONTOADDRESSTHOSEIDEAS!KERSON&LANIGAN!KERSON&LICK,EDERMAN0RESERVICE TEACHERS WERE ALSO ASKED TO

Recommended

View more >