Designing a science methods course for early childhood preservice teachers

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  • *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

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  • *OURNALOF%LEMENTARY3CIENCE%DUCATIONs&ALLs

    4ABLE-AIN#OMPONENTSOFTHE#OURSE

    #OMPONENTS 3TRATEGIES

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  • *OURNALOF%LEMENTARY3CIENCE%DUCATIONs&ALLs

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  • *OURNALOF%LEMENTARY3CIENCE%DUCATIONs&ALLs

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  • *OURNALOF%LEMENTARY3CIENCE%DUCATIONs&ALLs

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